Renowned social scientist Liah Greenfeld will receive the 2008 UAB Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Prize and present a free, public lecture 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 in the Alys Stephens Center Jemison Concert Hall. Greenfield’s analysis of modern culture and mental disease is examined in her lecture, “Madness in Modern Society: A Key to the Mind?”
Her recent research examines modern culture and mental disease in the years 1500- 1900 in an effort to account for the rise in the rates of mental disorders in Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. It indicates that modern societies, produced by nationalism, emphasize secularism, openness and the elevation of the individual and may play a role in causing mental illness.
Greenfeld, a professor of political science and sociology at Boston University, directs the university’s Institute for the Advancement of the Social Sciences. This research represents the third state in her investigation of modern culture, which has focused on social structure, politics and the economy. Greenfeld’s books include Nationalism and the Mind: Essays on Modern Culture and The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth.
The Ireland Award brings internationally renowned scholars in the arts and sciences to UAB to present a public lecture, attend a dinner in their honor and participate in campus activities. The prize is made possible through an endowment established by Caroline F. and Charles W. Ireland.