Elizabeth Lunbeck is a historian of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the United States and Europe, with allied interests in women and gender, intellectual and cultural history, and the twentieth-century United States. Her newest book, The Americanization of Narcissism (Harvard University Press, 2014), winner of the 2015 Courage to Dream Book Prize of the American Psychoanalytic Association, examines the consolidation of narcissism as a clinical category and as cultural critique, from Freud’s time to our own. The book has been reviewed in the New Yorker, The Economist, and Harper’s, among other outlets. She is also the author of The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender, and Power in Modern America (Princeton, 1994, 1996), which traces psychiatry’s early-twentieth-century transformation from a discipline concerned primarily with insanity to one equally concerned with normality, and as focused on normal persons and their problems as on the insane; it was awarded the John Hope Franklin Prize, the Morris D. Forkosch Prize, and the History of Women in Science Prize. With the psychoanalyst Bennett Simon she wrote Family Romance, Family Secrets (Yale, 2003), which focuses on the earliest surviving account of a psychoanalytic treatment of hysteria. Professor Lunbeck has also co-edited four additional volumes, most recently Histories of Scientific Observation (Chicago, 2011) with Lorraine Daston. Grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Institutes Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Charles Warren Center, among others, have funded her research and writing. She has been named “Distinguished Psychoanalytic Educator (2010)” by the International Forum of Psychoanalytic Education (IFPE). With Emily Martin of NYU and Louis Sass of Rutgers, she founded The Psyences Project, a regional seminar on the “psy” disciplines, and serves as History of Psychiatry editor of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.
Lunbeck is Professor of the History of Science in Residence in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, where she also serves as departmental Director of Graduate Studies. She is an academic program graduate of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and holds an MA in counseling psychology from William James College.