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“Disturbing Spirits” by Beverly A. Tsacoyianis Receives Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

The University of Notre Dame Press is proud to announce that Beverly A. Tsacoyianis’s book Disturbing Spirits: Mental Illness, Trauma, and Treatment in Modern Syria and Lebanon has received a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award for 2022. This award is presented yearly to academic works on account of “their excellence in presentation and scholarship, the significance of their contribution to the field, their originality and value as an essential treatment of their subject, and significance in building undergraduate collections.”

An analysis of the understudied subject of mental health treatment in war-torn Middle Eastern nations, Disturbing Spirits investigates the psychological toll of the conflict in the Middle East during the twentieth century, including a discussion of how spiritual and religious frameworks influence practice and theory. Tsacoyianis studies the mixed use of modern psychiatry and vernacular healers on people in Syria and Lebanon as a means to modernize the perception of mental illness and psychiatry in the Middle East. In this groundbreaking work, Tsacoyianis connects the discussion of global responsibility to scholarly debates about human suffering and the moral call to caregiving.

Beverly A. Tsacoyianis is an associate professor of history at the University of Memphis. Her work focuses on the modern Middle East, Islamic history, Israel and Palestine, and the history of science and medicine.


The University of Notre Dame Press, the largest Catholic university press in the world, publishes academic and general interest books that engage the most enduring questions of our time. Established in 1949, we believe in the power of research to advance knowledge and impact lives, and of our books to connect scholars, experts, students, and readers in order to encourage intellectual exploration and enrich conversations on campus, across the country, and around the world.

This piece first appeared at undpressnews.nd.edu.

Contact: Kathryn Pitts, pitts.5@nd.edu, 574.631.3267.

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