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

Announcing the 2017 Cheiron Book Prize


Eligible works for the 2017 Cheiron Book Prize include original book-length historical studies, written in English and published in 2015 or 2016. Topical areas can include, but are not limited to, histories of psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, and social statistics. Works that are primarily history of medicine or history of education are not suitable entries, unless they are strongly tied to the history of the social/behavioral/human sciences. Edited collections or anthologies are not eligible, nor are conventional textbooks. 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.

The Award

The author of the winning book will receive $500 plus up to $300 in travel expenses to attend the 2017 Annual Meeting of Cheiron held in June at Mississippi State University, where the prize will be awarded. Remote-electronic presentation is possible, for a winner who cannot make the meeting. Announcements of the award will be widely circulated to relevant journals and organizations.

How to Submit an Entry

Two copies of each book entered must be received by the committee chair by 15 October 2016. Books that are printed late in 2016 are eligible for the next competition; only printed books are eligible.

To enter the competition, two copies of each entry, clearly labeled "2017 Cheiron Book Prize," must be mailed directly to the committee chair:

Jerry Sullivan
Professor of Anthropology
Collin College, Spring Creek Campus
2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway
Plano TX 75074

2016 Cheiron Book Prize Citation: Susan D. Lamb

In acknowledgment of the book’s exceptional contributions to our understanding of Adolf Meyer and the field he singularly shaped, Cheiron (The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences) awards the 2016 Cheiron Book Prize to Susan D. Lamb (U. Ottawa) for The Pathologist of the Mind: Adolf Meyer and the Origins of American Psychiatry, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2014.

After becoming the first psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1908, Meyer devoted himself over the next five decades to the scientific acceptance of psychiatry as a methodologically sound specialty of medicine. Although historians of psychiatry have recognized Meyer as a founding father, many of his ideas were not well understood, and his highly influential impact on psychiatry has been partially shrouded in mystery. Having gained access to previously sealed patient records as well as Meyer’s personal correspondence, and having offered such a careful and thoughtful analysis of these precious archival materials, Lamb provides historians of the behavioral and social sciences with a coveted window into Meyer’s thinking and decision making.

Pathologist of the Mind clarifies Meyerian notions of psychobiology, psychotherapy, and evolutionary theory (among others) and places this important figure, as well as the hospital and area of specialty to which he was dedicated, into historical context. In impressively detailed fashion, the book brings the man and the era to life.

Members of the 2016 Cheiron Book Prize Committee:  Jennifer Bazar, Gerald Sullivan, Phyllis Wentworth (Chair), and Jacy Young.