Department of History

If you wish to get in touch with our administrative staff, please see the admin staff contact page.

Image of Richard Bates

Richard Bates

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Having taken a BA in History & French in 2005 and an MA in 2006, I taught in Berlin and at Université Paris 7 and worked for several years in the private sector before commencing my PhD.

My doctoral thesis, a critical historical biography of French child psychoanalyst Françoise Dolto (1908-88) was awarded in 2017. My supervisors were Dr Karen Adler and Professor Colin Heywood from the History department at Nottingham.

I am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow on the project 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020:an historico-literary analysis of her family life', funded by the AHRC.

Expertise Summary

- The political, social, and intellectual history of France in the twentieth century.

- History of childhood and the family.

- History of psychoanalysis.

Teaching Summary

I have taught in both the History and the French departments at Nottingham. notably on the following modules:

- V13147 - France 1940-44 and Beyond - final year History module on Vichy and the Occupation.

- R11019- France: History & Identity - first-year French module on France's national story, taught through the use of relevant artworks.

- R11020 - Contemporary France - first-year French module on recent France's recent political history and constitution.

- French language (years 1-4).

I previously also taught English language and British History at Université Paris VII and in Berlin.

From 2015-17 I worked as a facilitator on the online course, 'Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life' produced by the University of Nottingham and the British Library on the FutureLearn platform.

Research Summary

I am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow on the AHRC-funded project 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020:an historico-literary analysis of her family life'.

My research explores Florence Nightingale's connections to Derbyshire and the wider East Midlands, with particular emphasis on her early/family life, examined through the lens of gender and social class. It also seeks to connect Florence and her family both to the industrial history of Derbyshire and to wider, international and colonial histories.

Liaising with a network of partners with interest in Nightingale history, this project will be the first to analyse in depth Nightingale's long-standing connections to Derbyshire. The rollout of the research is timed to integrate with the national events planned by the Nightingale Museum, London for the 2020 bicentennial of Nightingale's birth. The project will incorporate a variety of outreach events, notably an exhibition to be held in Nottingham and Derby.

Past Research

My PhD research took the form of a critical introduction to the ideas and public influence of French child psychoanalyst Françoise Dolto (1908-88). It uses the life and ideas of this French child psychoanalyst as a prism through which to approach the history of psychology and the family in 20th-century France.

In the late twentieth century Dolto was a figure of significant cultural importance - France's leading public authority on child psychology. My thesis historicises Dolto's resonance with wider French society, explains the intellectual genealogy of her ideas, and explores the societal implications of her fame. It thereby constitutes a substantial contribution both to the history of psychoanalysis 'beyond the couch', and to the socio-cultural history of twentieth-century France.


My MA thesis studied the ideas of the Greek-French social theorist and philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis.

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details