Meta menu:

From here, you can access the Emergencies page, Contact Us page, Accessibility Settings, Language Selection, and Search page.

Open Menu


Crazy Rationalities: Media Techniques and Protest Movements, 1967-1991

The Concerned Self - Prevention of Mental Disorders in the FRG and GDR, 1949-2000

Berlin on Drugs. Heroin use in the Wall City in the 1970s and 1980s

You are here:

NORMAL#CRAZY: Contemporary History of an Eroding Difference

The interdisciplinary DFG project "NORMAL#VERRÜCKT Zeitgeschichte einer erodierenden Differenz" (FOR 3031) aims to compile the history of transformation in dealing with psychological otherness. Our institute is represented in this research group of nine university institutions with three sub-projects.

Aim and concern of the research group NORMAL#CRAZY

The history of psychiatry is a history of the difference between "normal" and "crazy". However, this difference is becoming increasingly fragile. On the one hand, the crazy gains an everyday normality, starting with the opening of psychiatric institutions and the integration of inmates into society up to the new buzzword of neurodiversity. On the other hand, behaviors and reactions like intoxication, stress or attention deficit are pathologized and become subject of psychiatric interventions.

In this way, previously established narratives of the historiography of psychiatry lose their interpretative power, which is owed to the very dichotomy that is currently being called into question. This is where our interdisciplinary research group comes in. It does not attempt to trace a change in the concepts of madness, but to mobilize these opposing tendencies as a resource for contemporary history. Thus, it wants to design a psychiatric contemporary history along the lines of an "anthropology of the present" that also subjects contemporary interpretive schemes of normal#crazy worlds to historical analysis.

Project info

NORMAL#CRAZY. Contemporary History of an Eroding Difference

Funding: DFG (FOR 3031)

Duration: 2021 - 2026


Prof. Dr. Thomas Beddies

Deputy Head of Institute

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Volker Hess

Head of Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine