Robin Bates

  • Fellowship year:2010-2011
  • University: University of Chicago
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: Early Modern Europe
  • Dissertation Title: Regimes of Education: Pedagogy and the Political Reconstruction of Postrevolutionary France, 1789-1848
  • Following the French Revolution of 1789, education offered a privileged domain to imagine the reconsolidation of the social order in the intimate as well as public realm. Pedagogy offered a medium for proposing models of human relations that might apply to many different contexts—pertaining not only to school rooms, but also to families, social classes and governments. This dissertation rediscovers a postrevolutionary moment when the social versatility of these educational projects promised a national reconstruction that seemed foreclosed through conventional political channels. Many pedagogical projects launched after the Revolution also amount to searching attempts at establishing the new social condition of a changed country, where none of the educators had grown up. At a time of great uncertainty, ambitious pedagogies intervened into an unprecedented historical situation that had yet to take its definitive shape. These men and women took part in wide-ranging projects to reestablish French politics, society and domestic life on unshakeable, renovated and natural foundations. Using archival materials, educational treatise, and children’s literature, this dissertation shows how the work of well-connected educationists articulated to the regimes that governed France from the close of the Revolution to the installation of the Second Republic in 1848.