Winner of Wolfe Mays Essay Prize 2021 announced

Last year the BSP and JBSP launched the annual Wolfe Mays Essay Prize. Here we announce our first year’s winner.

The British Society for Phenomenology (BSP) and the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology (JBSP) are pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 Wolfe Mays Essay Prize for Early Career Researchers. The theme for 2021 was Engaged Phenomenology.

The winner of the prize is Dr Rosa Ritunnano, MD (University of Birmingham & University of Melbourne – Priestley PhD Scholarship). Dr Ritunnano’s winning essay is titled: “Overcoming Hermeneutical Injustice in Mental Health: A Role for Critical Phenomenology”. The essay examines the potential role for critical phenomenology in psychiatric practice. Dr Ritunnano argues that the adoption of a critical phenomenological stance can remedy localised instances of hermeneutical injustice, which may arise in the encounter between clinicians and patients with psychosis.

“I am really grateful for this prize and the consideration given by the jury,” said Dr Ritunnano. “It is fantastic that the BSP is drawing attention to inter-disciplinary research in mental health, and in particular the pressing issues of stigma, discrimination and epistemic injustice. I am optimistic about the practical application of phenomenology, and its great potential to centre the expertise of lived experience to improve mental health care.”

Dr Ritunnano’s essay was selected from a very competitive field and was noted for its merits by all the jurors and reviewers. The essay will appear in the next volume of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology.

See also: University of Birmingham Institute for Mental Health announcement, with a statement from Professor Matthew Broome, Director of the Institute for Mental Health.