Anke Maatz

Anke Maatz, Dr. med. MA

Resident and research associate

Co-director of the research strand Humanities

Phone: +41 44 296 7386

About me

I am a clinician-scientist with a background in both medicine and philosophy and I am working at the interface of clinical psychiatry and the Medical Humanities. My special interest in this field is the study of language in psychiatry.

I studied philosophy and medicine at the universities of Munich, Heidelberg, Jena (Germany) and Durham (UK), with my MA dissertation in philosophy being on concepts of self-reflection and their relation to concepts of schizophrenia, and my medical doctorate being in experimental attachment theory. After working with medical anthropologists on a project on clinicians’ experiences and subjective theories of so-called functional illness in Durham (UK), I was a postdoctoral researcher on the interdisciplinary project ‘’Schizophrenia’ - reception, semantic shift and criticism of a concept in the 20th century” in Zurich (CH) from 2013 to 2016 ( In close collaboration with a colleague from linguistics, I am now working on the verbalisation of mental experience in a project called “Let’s talk about it! But how?”. My research is currently being funded by the Medical Faculty’s programme Filling the Gap.

Since August 2013, I have also been training as psychiatric resident at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich.

Research interests

Language and psychiatry; conceptual history of psychiatry; phenomenological psychopathology; phenomenology of illness; philosophy of mind and body; philosophy of science; inter- and transdisciplinarity


German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics DGPPN

World Psychiatric Association, section Philosophy and Humanities in Psychiatry

DFG-network “Linguistik&Medizin”

Recent talks and poster presentations

Maatz A, Ilg Y. (accepted) Drüber reden! Aber wie? Zur Versprachlichung psychischen Erlebens aus psychiatrischer und linguistischer Perspektive - Reflektionen zur Kombination qualitativer Paradigmen aus Sozialwissenschaft und Linguistik (poster). 7. Networking Day für qualitativ Sozialforschende, University of Zürich, Switzerland. 22.11.2018.

Maatz A. ‘Schizophrenie’ - zwischen klinischer Realität und konzeptueller Vagheit. Reichenauer Sommerschule 2018, Psychiatriezentrum und Soteria Reichenau, Germany. 08.-09.06.2018.

Maatz A. Eugen Bleuler’s schizophrenia - linking debates about its nosological status, psychopathological description and socio-cultural reception. World Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, Berlin, Germany. 08.-12.10.2017.

Maatz A.‘Schizophrenie’ - Rezeption und Kritik eines umstrittenen Konzepts aus interdisziplinärer Sicht. Swiss Psychiatric Association’s Annual Conference, Bern, Switzerland. 05.-07.09.2017.

Maatz A. Evidenz vs. Wert? Versuch einer Synthese. Annual Conference of the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN), Berlin, Germany. 23.-26.11.2016.

Maatz A, Ilg Y. Diagnostic terms as discursive objects: The ins and outs of ‘schizophrenia’. Objects of psychiatry: Between thing-making, reification & personhood - an interdisciplinary conference, Zürich, Switzerland. 08.-11.06.2016.

Maatz A. Science and Subjectivity - Reflections on the significance of a humanistic orientation in medical practice, research and training. Workshop The Humanizsation of Health Sciences through Innovation in Health Professions Eduction, Fondation Brocher, Hermance, Schweiz. 18.-20.05.2016.


- Peer reviewed original papers

Maatz A, Ilg Y (submitted). The ins and outs of ‘schizophrenia’: Considering diagnostic terms as ordinary linguistic expressions.

Maatz A, Hoff. Schizophrenia, self and person - Eugen Bleuler and Arthur Kronfeld on a conceptual alliance. Psychopathology 2017;50(5):297-303.

Maatz A, Hoff P. 'Schizophrenie': Pars pro toto der Psychiatrie? Ein geistesgeschichtlicher Essay über den Status der ‘Schizophrenie' im psychiatrischen Diskurs. Nervenarzt 2017; 88(1):78-82.

Maatz A, Wainwright M, Russell AJ, Macnaughton J, Yiannakou Y. What’s ‘difficult’? A multistage qualitative analysis of secondary care specialists’ experiences with medically unexplained symptoms. J Psychosom Res 2016; 90:1-9.

Maatz A, Hoff P, Angst J. Eugen Bleuler's schizophrenia: a modern perspective. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015(17): 43-49.

Maatz A, Hoff P. The birth of schizophrenia or a very modern Bleuler: A close reading of Eugen Bleuler's ‘Die Prognose der Dementia praecox’ and a re-consideration of his contribution to psychiatry. Hist Psychiatry 2014; 25(4): 431-440.

Maatz A, Strauss B, Bär K-J. Development and Validation of a Set of German Stimulus- and Target Words for an Attachment Related Semantic Priming Paradigm. PLoS ONE 2013; 8(7): e67684.

- Other publications

Gerber B, Maatz A, Singh G (in prep). Freeing medicine from itself: reflections on the subversive potential of the arts, humanities in social sciences in medical education.

Hotzy F, Kerner J, Maatz A, Jaeger M, Schneeberger AR. Cross-Cultural Notions of Risk and Liberty: A Comparison of Involuntary Psychiatric Hospitalization and Outpatient Treatment in New York, United States and Zurich, Switzerland. Front Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 19;9:267.

Maatz A. Listen up! Hört hin! (exhibition review). Psychiatrische Praxis 2017 44(4):236-237.

Maatz A. Von Helden und Feinden einer kultursensitiven Psychiatrie (book review). Sozialpsychiatriche Informationen 2016;46(4): 56.

Ilg Y, Maatz A. Sprachliche Bilder von ‘Schizophrenie’ zwischen Fach- und Alltagssprache. In: Sollberger D, Kapfhammer HP, Boehlke E, Hoff P, Stompe T (Eds.): Bilder der Schizophrenie. Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2015:65-85.

Maatz A. Use of the first-person pronoun in schizophrenia (letter). Br J Psychiatry 2014 205(5): 409.