School of Health Sciences

Image of Charley Baker

Charley Baker

Associate Professor of Mental Health / Academic Lead for Safeguarding, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Dr Charley Baker (BA MA PhD PGCHE SFHEA) is an Associate Professor of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham. She has broad expertise across a range of mental health and illness, with a particular interest in 'psychosis', self harm, suicidality, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Charley is heavily involved in nurse education at the University, where she is Faculty Lead for Safeguarding across the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. She has extensive experience in education around safeguarding for professionals and pastoral care of students for safeguarding and domestic violence. She is known internationally for her work in the Health Humanities, particularly in the sub fields of literature and mental health, and heavy metal music and self harm. Charley has worked with a broad range of organisations including the NHS, BBC and different publishers.

Charley has an extensive range of publications, including Our Encounters with Self Harm (PCCS Books, edited with with Clare Shaw and Fran Biley, 2013), Health Humanities (Paul Crawford et al, Palgrave, 2015) and Madness in Post-1945 British and American Fiction (Baker et al, Palgrave, 2010). Charley is co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded international Madness and Literature Network ( and International Health Humanities Network ( She was awarded her PhD in 2016 from Royal Holloway, University of London - Reading 'Psychosis' in Kathy Acker's Writing: Rethinking Clinical and Critical Perspectives. Charley is Editor of Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. She also serves on the Editorial Board for Journal of Medical Humanities.

Expertise Summary

  • Representations of mental health in fiction and autobiography
  • 'Psychosis', self harm, suicidality, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Safeguarding
  • Domestic Violence
  • Welfare of students in HEIs

Teaching Summary

Faculty Lead for Safeguarding Complaints Investigating Officer Fitness to Practice Investigating Officer & Panel Member PhD supervision Mental Health Nursing (BSc) & Graduate… read more

Research Summary

I am co-founder of both the Madness and Literature Network ( and the International Health Humanities Network (

I have researched and spoken on issues of representations of mental illness in literature, and have research interests in self harm, suicide, 'personality disorders' and the therapeutic use of reading.

Doctoral Research, Royal Holloway, University of London: "Postmodern Psychosis - The Literary Move Towards New Perspectives". My thesis examines the intersection between psychiatric formulations of psychosis and the nature and status of psychosis in the work of Kathy Acker. I believe that her fiction can contribute towards clinical discourses on psychosis in a demythological, depathologising manner. I suggest that the postmodern fiction of Kathy Acker in particular proposes an innovative manifesto of psychosis for the postmodern age - one which can, circularly, be of clinical significance with regards increased understanding for individuals suffering from the psychotic illnesses.

Selected Publications

  • PAUL CRAWFORD and CHARLEY BAKER, 2009. Literature and Madness: A survey of fiction for students and professionals Journal of Medical Humanities. 30, 237-251
  • PAUL CRAWFORD, BRIAN BROWN, VICTORIA TISCHLER and CHARLEY BAKER, 2010. Health Humanities: The future of Medical Humanities? Mental Health Review. 15(3), 4-10
  • CHARLEY BAKER, PAUL CRAWFORD, BRIAN BROWN, MAURICE LIPSEDGE and RONALD CARTER, 2010. Madness in Post-1945 British and American Fiction Baisingstoke: Palgrave.
  • CHARLEY BAKER, 2011. “Nobody’s Meat” – Revisiting Rape and Sexual Trauma through Angela Carter. In: SUSANA ONEGA AND JEAN-MICHEL GANTEAU and , eds., Ethics and Trauma in British Fiction Since 1960 Amsterdam / New York: Rodopi. 61-83
  • Faculty Lead for Safeguarding
  • Complaints Investigating Officer
  • Fitness to Practice Investigating Officer & Panel Member
  • PhD supervision
  • Mental Health Nursing (BSc) & Graduate Entry Nursing (GEN) course
  • Clinical Supervision
  • UG and PG supervision

Past Research

March 2007-June 2010 - 3 year Leverhulme Trust funded position as a Research Associate, examining representations of madness in post-war UK and US fiction.

July 2005-March 2007: Research Assistant - Perceptions of coercion: a comparison between home and hospital treatment. Role included conducting clinical interviews, obtaining consent, administering the MacArthur Admission Experience Survey, BPRS and GAF, collecting and inputting demographic data and screening clinical notes.

Future Research

On-going research areas of interest include:

  • Representation of madness and mental health problems in 20th century fiction and autobiography
  • Safeguarding
  • Self Harm and Suicide
  • The history of borderline personality disorder as a diagnosis
  • Using literature and humanities in clinical education
  • 20th Century Literature and literary theory, particularly the theories of Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Foucault.

School of Health Sciences

B236, Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 95 15559