Expert on rising rates of mental illness to speak at Bates College

Liah Greenfeld, an authority on the causes and implications of rising rates of mental illness, delivers the lecture “The Burden of Our Time: Mental Illness in Contemporary America” at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in Bates College’s Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Sponsored by the sociology, politics and psychology departments, the event is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please contact this

A professor of political science and sociology at Boston University and director of the university’s Institute for Advancement of the Social Sciences, Greenfeld is internationally renowned for her research into issues of culture, mental illness and modernity. Her talk addresses the growing epidemic of mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia among Americans. Specifically, she will discuss the forces driving these illnesses and why we are falling prey to them.

The lecture is aimed at a general audience. As Bates associate professor of sociology Francesco Duina explains, her “approach is interdisciplinary, and it not only directly challenges established wisdom in the social sciences, but also preconceived notions of the medical community.”

Duina predicts that Greenfeld’s lecture “will provide us with answers that are certain to be illuminating, provocative and profound. Anyone eager to learn more about these illnesses and our modern world, more generally, should come and listen to Professor Greenfeld. They will not be disappointed.”

Greenfeld is also a University Professor in Boston University’s University Professors Program, an initiative for gifted students designed to “build bridges between disciplines.”

She is the author of several books including “The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth” (Oneworld Publications, 2001), for which she won the 2002 Donald Kagan Best Book in European History Prize, and the first volume of her collected essays, “Nationalism and the Mind” (Roxbury Pub Co., 2006).

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