Home / Recent Posts / News & Announcements / Filippo M. Sposini’s paper accepted by the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences


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.