Ms M.A. (Martje) aan de Kerk MA

  • Faculty of Humanities
    Capaciteitsgroep Geschiedenis
  • Visiting address
    Oost-Indisch Huis
    Kloveniersburgwal 48  Amsterdam
    Room number: D 0.09
  • Postal address:
    Kloveniersburgwal  48
    1012 CX  Amsterdam

Research Project


Martje aan de Kerk is a PhD candidate at the early modern history department. She is working on a project entitled: 'Madness and the city. Interactions between the mad, their families and urban society in the Dutch Republic, 1600-1795.' This project aims to uncover the interactions between the mad, their family and urban society, and to analyze the changing attitudes towards perceived madness in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The focus of the research will be on the changing daily reality of the mad and their caregivers during this period. Which options were available to families, and which choices families made in order to take care of their mad family members? Which impact did this all have upon the significant increase in the admission rates of the urban Dutch Dolhuyzen in the eighteenth century?


'They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me.' (Remark from Nathaniel Lee (c.1653 - 6 may 1692) after being incarcerated in Bedlam for five years)


Short Biography 

Martje aan de Kerk (1988) finished the Research Master in History ( cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam in 2013. During this period she specialized in medical history during the early modern period. In her master thesis she examined perceptions of illness and treatment options on the medical market in early modern Amsterdam.Her price winning bachelor thesis about the patterns of admission in the Amsterdam  Dolhuys in the seventeenth and eighteenth century has resulted in publications in  Skript (2011) and  Geschiedenis Magazine (2012).


Research interests

History of Medicine, Social History of Medicine, Early Modern History, Urban History, History of social institutions, History Of Madness And Psychiatry and History of Medicine and the Body.


‘Niets menselijker dan het anatomisch model’ De fascinatie voor anatomische modellen’, online published on: (december 2013).


‘Verstoten of verzorgd, Patronen van opname en ontslag in het Amsterdamse Dolhuys, 1640-1780’, Geschiedenis Magazine jaargang 47 nr. 5 (2012) 18-22.


‘Verstoten of verzorgd. Patronen van opname en ontslag in het Amsterdamse Dolhuis, 1640-1780’, Skript historisch tijdschrift Vol. 33 afl. I (2010) 4-15. 

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