Filippo M. Sposini’s HPS1100Y paper has been accepted by the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences and it will be published in 2020.
Filippo is a Roy McMurtry Fellow in Legal History and he works in the history of human sciences, medicine, and disability. He co-authored a book on the concept of normality in psychology and wrote a paper on the history of monstrosity in nineteenth-century statistics which will be published in the Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences in 2020.
Sposini’s paper investigates the certification of insanity through a standardized template called “Form K” which was used in Ontario between 1873 and 1883. Drawing on legal sources and archival material, he describes how Ontario became a unique case in the history of certification, how civil confinement relied on a strategy of consensus, and how the structure of certificates of insanity still informs today’s provincial documents. As a contribution to medico-legal and transnational history, his paper shows the relevance of the certification of insanity for understanding contemporary issues of involuntary confinement and the problem of stigma in mental health.