Christopher Lane, professor of English and director of graduate studies, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue a project titled “Social Phobia and the Ethics of Psychopharmacology.” Lane is one of only 186 of more than 3,000 applicants from the United States and Canada to be named a 2005 Guggenheim Fellow.
Lane will use his fellowship to finish researching the history of “social phobia,” a diagnostic category that dates from the 1870s but was not fully defined until the mid-1980s, and, by the 1990s, ballooned to become one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in the western world.
His research will investigate the intellectual history behind “social phobia” and how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, with each new edition, defined “social phobia” more loosely and expansively. Lane also will explore how “social phobia” manifests itself in modern fiction and film, from Celine to Kafka, Sartre to O’Neill and Beckett to Kieslowski.
Lane specializes in Victorian and modern British literature, colonial fiction and critical theory. A former Mellon fellow in the humanities at the University of Pennsylvania and former director of psychoanalytic studies at Emory University, Lane is the author of “The Ruling Passion,” “The Burdens of Intimacy” and, most recently, “Hatred and Civility: The Antisocial Life in Victorian England.”
In addition to writing those books, he has edited “The Psychoanalysis of Race,” co-edited “Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis,” and authored several dozen articles on Victorian literature, psychology and philosophy.”