On the 18th of September, ACUH member Martje aan de Kerk will defend her PhD thesis entitled ‘Madness and the city: Interactions between the mad, their families and urban society in the Dutch Republic, 1600-1795’.
Aan de Kerk's project aims to uncover the interactions between the mad, their family and urban society, and to analyse the changing attitudes towards perceived madness in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The research focusses on the changing daily reality of the mad and their caregivers during this period. Establishing what option people had to take care of their family members, how private and public care was arranged and who were classified as mad, are the project's key aims. As such, the thesis incorporates both intra and extramural care for the mad, thus shedding a new light on the history of early modern madness in the Dutch Republic.