Dr Ruud Hendriks (R.P.J.)

Ruud Hendriks is at the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. His research is focusing on artistic and technique-based interventions in/ representations of mental health care. Combining ethnographic work in health care practices and philosophical reflection he has published on normative aspects of clowning in dementia care and socio-cultural perspectives on autistic spectrum disorders. His current research (with Ike Kamphof) looks at imaginaries of nature in psychogeriatric care.

The ZonMW project 'Make-believe matters' (with Ike Kamphof and Tsjalling Swierstra; 2016-2018) focussed on the moral role of low and high tech interventions with an aspect of make-believe in person centred dementia care (sociable robots, virtual reality, door stickers, dementia friendly design, etc.)

In the ZonMW project 'Beyond autonomy and language' (with Annette Hendrikx, Ike Kamphof, Aagje Swinnen, 2010-2013) Ruud focussed on artistic interventions in psychogeriatric care, and elder-clowning in particular.

Other research interests comprise: dance with people with Parkinson disease and sociocultural perspectives on autism spectrum disorder. He has collaborated with Wiebe Bijker and Roland Bal in a project on the Health Council of the Netherlands and the role of scientific expert advice in democracies. 


Some recent international publications :

Hendriks, R. (2023). Clothing the clown. Creative dressing in a day-center for people with dementia in the Netherlands. Medical Anthropology, 42(8), 771-786. doi: 1080/01459740.2023.2263808

Kamphof, I., & Hendriks, R. (2020). Beyond façade: Home making and truthfulness in dementia care. In: B. Pasveer, O. Synnes, & I. Moser (Eds.), Ways of Home Making in Care for Later Life (pp. 271-292). Palgrave Macmillan.

Hendriks, R.P.J. (2012). Tackling Indifference-Clowning, Dementia, and the Articulation of a Sensitive Body. Medical Anthropology. Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, 31, 459-476. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2012.674991

Hendriks, R. (2012). Autistic Company. Amsterdam/ New York: Rodopi.


Before joining the Philosophy department, Ruud has worked as a care worker in mental health care and studied health sciences. Ruud holds a PhD in Cultuurwetenschappen from Maastricht University (2000).