School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Emerita Professor Mßire Cross

Emerita Professor



Having worked as Professor of French Studies in the School of Modern Languages from 2005 until my retirement in 2017, I am continuing my research activities as an Emerita Professor. I am the Series Editor (with David Hopkin, Oxford) of the Manchester University Press Studies in Modern French History where we welcome proposals for publication from all parts of the world. I am supervising a PhD student and maintaining my links with the Newcastle Labour and Society History Group. My current research project is a double biography of Flora Tristan and her biographer Jules-L Puech. As the leading scholar of Flora Tristan studies with the first annotated translation of her journal and the first book ever published on her correspondence, I have published and presented papers in French History and in Gender Studies in a wide international community. I was President of the Society for the Study of French History from 2014 to 217. From to 2005 to 2013 I served as President of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (ASM&CF) and was on the executive committee of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French from 2003 to 2013. I am a member of the editorial board of the journal French History and a trustee of the Society for the Study of French history (SSFH). 2015 saw my appointment to the positions of Head of Research of the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies (CNCS), Durham University, a position I held for 18 months.


I have had a wide geographical background as I was educated in Ireland and France before taking up my first teaching appointment in Paris where I was a lectrice for three years. I am married with four grown up children and have always enjoyed living in the north east of England while trying to sustain links with family and friends in many parts of Europe.

Roles and Responsibilities at Newcastle University until 1 October 2017

Chair of Athena Swan SAT for SML, September 2016 to 2017
Chair of Board of Examiners September 2016 to 30 September 2017
Head of French Section, 2009-2016
Acting Head of School August 2011 to February 2012
Deputy Head of School, 2007 to 2011
Chair of School Teaching and Learning Committee, September 2008 to 2011
Elected Senate Staff Member of University Council, September 2008 to July 2011
Member of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Promotions Panel, 2006 to 2009
Elected member of the University Senate, 2006-2009
Acting Head of School, January 2007 to July 2007
Chair of the Undergraduate Board of Studies, February 2006 to February 2007


PhD: The Relationship between Feminism and Socialism in the Life and Work of Flora Tristan 1803–44, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1989
MA (Distinction): Contemporary European Studies, University of Reading, 1976
BA (Hons): West European Studies (II (i)), University of Ulster, 1975

Previous Positions

Professor of French, University of Sheffield, October 2000 to September 2005
Director of Centre for Gender Studies in Europe, University of Sheffield, 1999 to 2005
Chair of School of Modern Languages and Linguistics, University of Sheffield, 2004 to 2005
Head of Department of French, University of Sheffield, 2002 to 2005
Senior Lecturer in French Studies, University of Sheffield, October 1995 to September 2000
Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in French Studies, Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic/University of Northumbria at Newcastle, September 1984 to September 1995
Tutor in the Departments of French and Politics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1983 to 1984
Tutor in Modern Languages, Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic, 1979 to 1982
Lectrice d’anglais: Universités de Paris XII et de Paris V, France, 1976 to 1979


Member of the Irish Research Council 2012-2016
Member of the Steering Group of the Labour and Society History Group, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities
Member of the Franco-British Council 2012 to present
Member of the Society for the Study of French History, AIRE (Association Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Epistolaires), Société d'Histoire de la Révolution de 1848 and the Society of Dix-neuviemistes.

Honours and Awards

Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques, 2008


Fluent in French
Reading knowledge of German and Irish

Informal Interests

Music, swimming, walking.


Research Interests

Flora Tristan (1803-1844), political activist in July Monarchy France
Jules L. Puech (1879-1957) pacifist and socialist historian, biographer of Flora Tristan
Marie-Louise Puech (1876-1966)
Epistolary Studies and Gender identity
History of political ideas in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France

Other Expertise

Feminism in French politics since 1789
Political parties in France
Women in contemporary French politics

Current Work

Political biography of Flora Tristan and Jules-L. Puech
Marie-Louise Puech (1876-1966)
Historical contextualisation of Flora Tristan's politics in provincial France
Socialist Worker poets and Flora Tristan

Future Research

Edited publication of letters
Flora Tristan and the Irish question

Research Roles

Head of Research of the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies (CNCS), Durham University, May 2015 to September 2016;
Series Editor ( with David Hopkin, Oxford) of the Manchester University Press Studies in Modern French History March 2015 to present;
Leading organiser of the annual conference for the Society for the Study of French History in Newcastle University, June 2010;
Member of Steering Group of Newcastle Labour History Research Group 2009 to present;
Convenor of Gender Research Group in HASS, 2009-2010; Member of Steering Group of NIASSH 2009-2010; Peer reviewer for HASS Faculty; Reader for publishers Palgrave and Routledge and learned journals, French History and Dix-neuf; Reviewer for grant applications for British Academy, Leverhulme and AHRC

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome applications for postgraduate research in the following areas: aspects of French political thought in the nineteenth century in particular, feminism socialism and republicanism; feminist movements of the nineteenth and twentieth century particularly associated with 1848 and 1968; Flora Tristan in translation (jointly with Translation Studies staff); Flora Tristan’s transnational connections (jointly with Peruvian specialist Dr Patricia Oliart); political literacy in mid nineteenth century France, in particular textual readings of political correspondence of activists; feminists and pacifism of the early twentieth century; Catholicism and social action in nineteenth and twentieth century France.

Esteem Indicators

Trustee of the Society for the Study of French History 2011 to present
Member of the Editorial Board of the journal, French History, 2011 to present
Appointed Honorary Vice-President of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France for Life
Keynote speaker at Flora Tristan International Symposium, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Panel commentator and Panel chair at the meeting of the Society of the Study for French Historical Studies, St Louis, USA, March 2009
Panel member of Tate Modern Research seminar on Gauguin, London, May 2008
Official Guest of the Institut français, Tunis for an International Conference on Gender Studies, held by the Université de Tunis, Tunisie, 15-17 February 2007
Visiting Professor at a Masters Research Seminar on Gender Studies, Université Paris VII, November to December 2006
Guest of Honour of French Embassy at Franco-British Summit on Europe day in the Elysée and Matignon with Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac to celebrate the Entente Cordiale, May 2004
President of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France, 2005 to present
Invited speaker at Conference on 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage, Université de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and the Finnish Embassy, Paris, 27–8 October 2006
Invited as visiting Professor to Université de Paris VII for Masters’ Programme in Gender Studies, November 2006
Elected as honorary member of Canadian Society for Nineteenth-Century French Studies, June 2006
Interview on BBC Radio Four with Jenny Murray: Woman’s Hour for live broadcast, on Ségolene Royal, April 2006
Panel Member for one-day Symposium of AUPHF, Institut français, London, 2 May 2006
Panel Member for one-day Symposium of AUPHF, University of Liverpool, April, 2004
Consultant to Deirdre Fernand, The Sunday Times, for article on Flora Tristan and Paul Gauguin, 19 October 2003, pp. 30–34
External Examiner for PhD Thesis, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Ireland, October 2003
Consultant to media journalist and scholar, Gail Pellet, New York, for a broadcasting project on Women’s History, May, 2003
Invited by Bibliothèque municipale de Castres, France to present a paper on Flora Tristan for International Women’s Day, 2003
Panel commentator and panel chair (members Jean Pederson, Rochester USA, Laure Talamante, UCLA USA, Judith de Groat, St Lawrence USA) at the meeting of the Society of the Study for French Historical Studies held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, 17–20 June 2004 Panel commentator on three papers (members, Christina de Bellaigue, Oxford, Michele Cohen, London, Gillian Dow, Oxford) on ‘Women, Education, and Nationality in England and France, 1789–1900’, Berkshire Conference, Clermont College, California, June 2005
Consultant to David Sweetman, author of Paul Gauguin. A Complete Life, London, Hodder and Stroughton, 1995, with regard to Flora Tristan


2013 Vacation Scholarship from HASS, Newcastle UNiversity
2005: British Academy Award for International Conference Travel to Brisbane, Australia
2002-03: Leverhulme Research Fellowship (5 months)
1999–2002: Arts and Humanities Research Board, Large Research Grant for Project: Flora Tristan’s Correspondence 1843–44: Literacy in France, based in the Humanities Research Institute and in French Department at Sheffield
2002-03: AHRB Matching Leave Research Scheme
2003: British Academy Award for International Conference Travel to Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
2001: British Academy Conference Grant for conference on Gender, the Letter and Politics
1999: British Academy Award for International Conference travel to Bloomington, Indiana, USA
1999: Funding from the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France and the Ambassade de France for French Conference, New Dawns 1792–1824
1996, British Academy Award for International Conference travel to Utrecht, Holland
1993–1994, University of Northumbria Research Grant (12 months)
1992–93, Research Fellowship, University of Northumbria, (12 months)


Undergraduate Teaching 2005-2017

FRE4010 Gender, Religion and Politics in France since 1789
FRE2004 From the Commune to Vichy History of Modern France 1870-1945
FRE4061 Writing French
FRE4002 Paris: Aspects of History and Culture
FRE1006 Introduction to French History, Politics and Society

Postgraduate Teaching 2005-2017

Postgraduate supervision of pgr students, Cecilia Gil, Ellen Dew and Jemima Short