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Cheiron: The international society for the history of behavioral & social sciences

Announcing the 2014 Cheiron Book Prize

Beginning in 2004, Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences has awarded the Cheiron Book Prize biennially for an outstanding monograph in the history of the social/behavioral/human sciences.

Eligible works for the 2014 Cheiron Book Prize include original book-length historical studies, written in English and published during the period 1 January 2011 through 31 December 2013. Topical areas can include, but are not limited to, histories of psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, and social statistics. Works that are primarily in the histories of medicine or education are not eligible, unless they are strongly tied to the history of the social/behavioral/human sciences. Edited collections, anthologies, or textbooks are not eligible. Submissions will be judged on the basis of their scholarly character, depth of research, and the importance of their contribution to the field. Submissions can be made by publishers or authors.

How to Submit an Entry
Two copies of each entry must be received by 15 October, 2013. Final page proofs may be used for books to be published after 15 October  and before 1 January 2014. If a final page proof is submitted, a bound copy of the entry must be received no later than 15 January 2014. No late submissions will be accepted

The author of the winning book will receive $500 plus up to $300 in travel expenses to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting of Cheiron, where the prize will be awarded. Announcements of the award will also be widely circulated. Two copies of each entry, clearly labeled "2014 Cheiron Book Prize," must be mailed directly to:

Katharine Milar
Department of Psychology
Earlham College
Richmond IN 47374
(765) 983-1556

American Madness2012 Book Prize Awarded to Richard Noll

The biennial Cheiron Book Prize for 2012 has been awarded to Richard Noll for his outstanding book, American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox (Harvard University Press, 2011). During the first three decades of the twentieth century, up to half of all individuals admitted to mental hospitals were diagnosed with dementia praecox, a terrible stigma considered synonymous with hopelessness and lifelong institutionalization. Noll traces the rise and fall of the concept of dementia praecox, from its inception by the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in 1896 through its proliferation in early 20th-century North American psychiatry and its rapid disappearance in the 1920’s, when it was replaced by the term schizophrenia.

 The story that Noll tells is not only well documented but also highly readable. His engaging narrative should attract readers at many levels, from undergraduate students of psychology and history to the most seasoned clinicians and scientists.  It provides not only rich detail about the careers of the many psychiatrists and psychologists who contributed to the development of the concept, but also an original analysis of how diagnostic labels can change nosology and treatment options for mental patients.  In light of current debates about the diagnoses and criteria to be included in DSM-5, this book is timely. We hope it will add an awareness of historical contingency to ongoing conversations about diagnostic utility in psychiatry and psychotherapy.

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Committee Members:  Kenneth D. Feigenbaum (Chairperson), David Devonis, Ingrid Farreras, Ellen Herman, David K. Robinson