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Trained as a psychologist in Italy and the US, Filippo is a Roy McMurtry Fellow in Legal History studying the history of human sciences, medicine, and disability. Before moving to Canada, he worked as a Health Promoter in several reception centers for asylum seekers in North-East Italy and as a Headhunter for a Dutch multinational firm. Besides co-authoring a book and two papers on the concept of normality in psychology, he recently wrote on the certification of insanity, the history of monstrosity in nineteenth-century statistics, and on the institutional provisions for people with disabilities in early-modern Tuscany.

His dissertation, tentatively entitled “The Certification of Insanity: A Transnational History”, explores the emergence of the medical certification of insanity in the second half of the nineteenth century. Taking a transnational approach, he looks at the diffusion of the so-called “English system of certification” in various jurisdictions around the world, including England, Ontario, New York, and New South Wales. His research engages with some of the most delicate issues in contemporary mental health, including the production of social stigma, psychiatric expertise, and the law-medicine relationship in the determination of mental disorder during civil and criminal proceedings.

His graduate studies at the University of Toronto are funded by an Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS), by the Osgoode Society, and by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) historical liaison. In the summer 2020, he will conduct research at the Charité’s Institute für Geschichte der Medizin in Berlin as a DAAD-funded fellow.

He is an Editor of H-Disability and an Assistant Editor of H-Madness. In his free time, he likes playing Delta Blues (in Open G), boxing (Welter), and watching very long movies (like There will be Blood).

Some say he can make an incredible gorgonzola risotto (to be verified).


– Sposini FM (2020). Just the basic facts: The certification of insanity in the era of the Form K. Journal for the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (in production).

– Sposini FM (2019). At the borders of the average man: Adolphe Quêtelet on mental, moral, and criminal monstrosities. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Scienceshttps://doi.org/10.1002/jhbs.22019

– Turchi GP & Sposini FM (2016). Al di là del normale e del patologico: Sulle possibilità normative tra medicina e psicologia. [Beyond Normality and Pathology: On the Normative Possibilities in Medicine and Psychology]. Napoli: Edises.

– Turchi GP, Sposini FM, Pasquale G & Romanelli M (2016). Operational and theoretical issues in mental health: Time for challenges? Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy (JCPCP), 16(4), pp. 282-288.

– Turchi GP & Sposini FM (2016). Sulle possibilità normative in psicologia e psichiatria. [On the Normative Possibilities in Psychology and Psychiatry]. Rivista di Psicologia Clinica, 2/2016, pp. 24-40.

Research Gate



Contact Information

  • E-mail address: filippomaria.sposini@mail.utoronto.ca