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A social historian of medicine, Professor Shorter has published widely in the field of psychiatry and psychopharmacology. His recent publications include Written in the Flesh: A History of Desire (2005) nominated for the prestigious literary prize The Governor-General’s Award for Non-Fiction; A Historical Dictionary of Psychiatry (2005); Shock Therapy: A History of Electroconvulsive Treatment in Mental Illness (co-author David Healy, 2007); Before Prozac: The Troubled History of Mood Disorders.
In 1995 Professor Shorter won the Jason A. Hannah Medal of the Royal Society of Canada for From Paralysis to Fatigue: A History of Psychosomatic Illness in the Modern Era (1992), and in 2000 he was again honored with the Hannah Medal for A History of Psychiatry from the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac (1997). He earned his Ph.D at Harvard and he has been the Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine at University of Toronto since 1991.