School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Jemima Short

Postgraduate Research Student


I am an AHRC-funded PhD student working on French History in the School of Modern Languages at Newcastle University. I study the actions of ordinary, even anonymous women working in Catholic religious orders in order to enrich a currently fragmented history of female activism in France. Women religious are traditionally invisible in histories of medicine and welfare. Focussing on nuns who worked as nurses in the Nineteenth Century, my project features methods of trade union studies which I am applying to case studies of Catholic female orders including the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Helpers of the Holy Souls of Purgatory. The project is underpinned by archival work in French departmental archives and private congregational archives. Using a wide variety of private and public sources and a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis, I intend to interrogate the representation and recognition of female labour. This work is a step towards understanding how women’s work is valued and historicised in the particular context of religious congregations, and to restoring the visibility of this work.  


My research interests include the history of female activism, religion and the State, labour history, and representations of women.  

Previous research projects have looked at religion, anti-feminism and representations of women in various aspects of French culture: the Pétroleuses and autobiographies of women accused of arson, literary depictions of clerical control of women, representations of virginity as seen through Joan of Arc. My Masters dissertation examined reader responses to the anti-feminist writing of Jules Michelet.


FRE1071 Level B French
FRE1006 La France de 1789 à nos jours
Previous teaching experience as a lectrice at the University of Nantes, leading a wide variety of English language classes.


Paper presented at the Gender Research Group dissertation symposium, Univserity of Newcastle, 2015 at which I was awarded first prize
Paper presented at the ASMCF annual conference, University of Hull, 2015
Paper presented at the SKEPSI annual conference, Univserity of Kent, 2017