Strauss, Madwoman: Margreth, Hanns Eyseleis' daughter. Used
on the cover of H.C. Erik Midelfort's "A History of Madness
in Sixteenth-Century Germany
Historian Erik Midelfort Honored with National Phi Beta Kappa Book
Award for A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany'
Nov. 12, 1999 -- H.C. Erik Midelfort, the
C. Julian Bishko Professor of History
at the University of Virginia, has been named winner of the 1999
Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, one of three prestigious national Phi
Beta Kappa Book Awards for outstanding nonfiction, for his recent
"A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany.
three Phi Beta Kappa book awards, which carry prizes of $2,500 from
the nation's oldest scholarly honorary society, have been given
annually since the 1950's for outstanding books in the humanities
and social and natural sciences. Other 1999 award winners were James
Olney of Louisiana State University for "Memory and Narrative: The
Weave of Life Writing," for outstanding literary scholarship; and
"The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene of Columbia University for
the literature of science.
highly praised study of how Renaissance Germans understood madness,
published by Stanford University Press, won in the category of outstanding
studies of the intellectual and cultural condition of mankind. The
honor society's announcement, calling the book a "wonderfully
rich and gripping work," noted that "Midelfort's achievement
entails not only outstanding historical scholarship, but a command
of theology, medicine, and law and the ability to work and think
in five different languages."
who has taught at U.Va. since 1970 and is principal of Brown
College, is also the author of "Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany"
and other studies of madness and the occult in the Renaissance.
"A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany," based on years
of scholarship, has been praised for shedding light not only on
the entire history of its era but on the nature of insanity and
culture in general.
Phi Beta Kappa book award winners, selected by panels of scholars
in various fields from more than 100 entries submitted by publishers
throughout the country, will be honored at a dinner in Washington,
D.C., Dec. 10.
additional information about the awards contact Linda Surles at
Phi Beta Kappa at (202) 265-3808. Erik Midelfort may be reached
at (804) 924-7949.
Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856