Professor Edward Shorter
Professor of the History of Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada
A Harvard-trained social historian, American-born Edward Shorter moved to Canada as an assistant professor of history in 1967 and completed his PhD the following year. A decade after his arrival, Shorter was promoted to a full professorship in History. His 1975 book The Making of the Modern Family launched a sub-specialty in the field and inspired him to explore the history of medicine. To gain the necessary scientific background for his next book, A History of Women’s Bodies (1982), Shorter undertook two years of a preclinical medical study. A decade later, he produced two volumes on psychosomatic medicine, the first of which, From Paralysis to Fatigue (1992) was awarded a Jason A Hannah Medal by the Royal Society of Canada in 1995. The same year he was elected a Fellow of the Society.
In 1991 Shorter moved to U of T’s Faculty of Medicine as its Jason A. Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine, and in 1996 was cross-appointed as a Professor of Psychiatry in recognition of his contributions to the history of the discipline. He is the author of numerous books on various aspects of psychiatric history, including A History of Psychiatry (1997), which was awarded the Hannah Medal in 2000; Before Prozac (2009); What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5 (2015); and The Madness of Fear: A History of Catatonia (2018), co-written with Dr. Max Fink, professor emeritus of psychiatry and neurology at SUNY-Stony Brook. His latest book, The Rise and Fall of the Age of Psychopharmacology, is being published by Oxford University Press in August 2021.