Panel Presentation (continued)
The Many Roads to Psychobiography: A Multigenerational Panel
Panelists: Kevin Mc Ginnis, Joseph Epstein, Claude-Hélène Mayer (moderator), William McKinley Runyan (discussant)

Abstract: Psychobiography is the intensive psychological study of an individual within their unique socio‑cultural‑historic context. There are many roads to psychobiography: some choose a bottom-up approach to looking into lives of the subjects of research, trying to understand how one’s childhood and child-rearing practices influence this person’s personality, inner emotional life, career path, as well as relationships’ patterns. Others use a top-down approach based on psychological theories, as well as personality psychology, sociology, and anthropology. This multigenerational panel includes presenters from various cultural, professional, educational, and geographical backgrounds united by one aim of examining lives of famous individuals through psychological and cultural-social lenses.

Kevin McGinnis: A Psychobiographical Presentation on Suharto and His Role in the Tragic Genocide of East Timor (30 min)

Abstract: I intend to present a psychobiography on Suharto, the former authoritarian president of Indonesia. Suharto and his administration are frequently characterized as a military dictatorship and Suharto is responsible for widespread political persecution within Indonesia, as well as the invasion and genocide in East Timor.

Unfortunately, I believe that Sukarno’s regime and the genocide in East Timor is not well-known in the United States of America. This presentation aims to further our knowledge of the genocide in East Timor, Suharto, and his regime, and how to prevent the tragic genocide from occurring again.

Bio: Kevin McGinnis, LMSW is a recent graduate from the New York University School of Social Work and received his Master of Social Work. Presently, he is working on a research study with a group of colleagues led by Dr. Denis O’Keefe, PhD and Dr. Bandy Lee, MD. The study aims to analyze the beliefs of mental health professionals regarding the Goldwater Rule and its application in contemporary medical ethics. Previously, he worked as a therapist in a psychiatric hospital. Additionally, he has presented on public policy issues at the 2021 and 2022 IPhA annual conferences.

Joseph H. Epstein: Reflecting on Psychobiographies of the Nations’ Leaders: Exploring Grievances and Hegemonic Ambitions in U.S.-China Cyber Dynamics (30 min)

Abstract: Disruptive technologies historically play a pivotal role in shaping the international order. The 21st century has been characterized by China’s ascent and the emergence of digital technologies. Chinese piracy of U.S. technology, and vice-versa, is a contentious political issue.

The Chinese Communist Party is accused of leveraging an “all-state” approach to espionage, directing, or encouraging the PLA, patriotic hackers, criminal networks, and scholars from universities to conduct widespread cyber espionage and data theft. Chinese government officials vehemently deny allegations of engaging in such activities and instead accuse the U.S. government of cyber espionage, surveillance, and intelligence collection.

Espionage is not a new phenomenon in the political arena, but it is a consequence of fear and historical grievances. Historical grievances, combined with contemporary issues such as the U.S.-China trade dispute, disagreements over Taiwan’s sovereignty, tensions in the South China Sea, Fentanyl, and unresolved financial debts, all influence this great power relationship.

The U.S.-China race for hegemonic supremacy is intensifying during a technology revolution. This presentation explores the relationship between the two governments as it pertains to cyber piracy—distrust and historical disputes, with reflections upon the unique psychobiographies of the nations’ two leaders (Xi Jinping and Donald Trump).

Bio: Joseph Healy Epstein, BA (Philosophy), MA in Global Security Studies with a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Intelligence at Johns Hopkins University (2024) with an interest in history, math, behavior dynamics, and cognitive processes. Joseph plans on attending The University of Chicago or NYU next fall to pursue further graduate work in Political/Social Science. He resides in New York, New York, and can be contacted at .