Prof. Blumenthal Wins Second Major Book Award

May 18, 2017

Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences has awarded its 2017 Cheiron Book Prize to Professor Susanna Blumenthal for Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal Culture (Harvard University Press, 2016). Since 2004, Cheiron has given the prize biennially for an outstanding monograph in the history of the social/behavioral/human sciences. Last month, Blumenthal’s book was also named the winner of the 2017 Merle Curti Award by the Organization of American Historians.

In announcing the prize, Cheiron said, “Blumenthal’s book contributes much to our understanding of the quandaries that lawyers and jurists faced and explored as they considered the appropriate legal relations between human activity and culpability, particularly over the course of the 19th century. … Relying on extensive knowledge of the primary sources (including routine civil and criminal cases), Blumenthal provides historians, psychologists, anthropologists, and other readers with an invigorated understanding of the emergence of refined notions of the individual (generally white men, at that time). … [Her] prose is lucid and subtle. Her exposition is both magisterial and thought-provoking. For example, the historical examination of the jurisprudence of insanity illuminates contemporary attitudes toward ‘others’—children, women, and slaves.”

Blumenthal is the Law School’s Julius E. Davis Professor of Law and an associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts. She is also co-director of the Law School’s Program in Law and History.

Professor Susanna Blumenthal
Professor Susanna Blumenthal

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