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Dr Jessica Wardhaugh

Profile pictureAssociate Professor

Email: J dot Wardhaugh at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

About

I joined French Studies at Warwick in 2010, after working as a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford, and as a Special Lecturer at Bristol University. I have a B.A. in History with French and an M.A. in History from Durham University, and a D.Phil. from Oxford on the French Popular Front.

Research interests

My research focuses on modern French politics and culture. I'm especially fascinated by the relationship between the two: street politics, satire and caricature, and the interplay between individual commitments and imagined communities.

My first monograph, In Pursuit of the People: Political Culture in France, 1934–39 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) explored the battle between left and right to organise the people as political actors in the 1930s, and to imagine them as a community.

With a broader perspective, my new book on Popular Theatre and Political Utopia in France, 1870–1940: Active Citizens (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) reveals the importance of popular theatre to the creation of community in both theory and practice. Tracing the uses of theatre in political integration and subversion, it throws new light on the dynamics between the republican French state and more radical or dissident groups, including regionalists, anarchists, socialists, communists and royalists.

The persistent significance of the French extreme right, and the wider development of right-wing politics and culture, has also been a continuing research focus. In 2007 I published an edited volume on Paris and the Right in the Twentieth Century, and I have recently contibuted a study of royalist cosmopolitanism to the AHRC-funded network on Internationalism and Cultural Exchange, 1870–1920.

Ideas of Europe as a utopian community have equally inspired my research, with a particular focus on the intellectual networks around the Paris-based periodical Europe in the interwar years. I have worked as a visiting researcher at the Humboldt University in Berlin and as a member of the DFG-AHRC funded research network on Europeanization in the twentieth century. As a contributor to the 2017 conference on Constructing Europe at the Prokhorov Centre in Sheffield, I am now examining Russian influences on intellectual perceptions of Europe the 1920s and 1930s.

Through much of my research runs a fascination with the dynamic relationship between the personal and the political. My recent edited book, Politics and the Individual in France, 1930–50 (Oxford: Legenda, 2015) explores this relationship in historical, philosophical, and artistic contexts, reflecting on individual responses to mass politics and collectivist ideology, and contributing to a deeper understanding of memory, agency, and responsibility in times of crisis.

I have discussed my research with a wide audience, exploring the mass spectacles of the 1930s on BBC Radio 3 ('Europe: the Art of Austerity'), and offering more hands-on analysis of nineteenth-century caricatures and artefacts for school pupils as part of Warwick's Widening Participation initiative. I have contributed as a country expert to the Varieties of Democracy project, and taken part in the 2016 commemoration of the Battle of Cable Street with a blog on how cracking the visual codes of 1930s street politics can help us understand the burkini bans in contemporary France. I have recently been interviewed for the French History Network Blog on 'French Historians under the Spotlight'.

I currently serve as Reviews editor for Contemporary European History (CUP) and as Society News editor for French History (OUP), and I am an external examiner at Birmingham University.

Teaching and supervision

My teaching interests are in modern and contemporary French history and politics, especially street politics, popular theatre, imagined communities, and the development of the right. I have supervised MA and PhD theses on modern and contemporary French politics. I am also responsible for the following second-year and final-year TiFFC modules:

Publications

Books

  • (ed.), Paris and the Right in the Twentieth Century (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars’ Press, 2007), 248 p.
  • In Pursuit of the People: Political Culture in France, 1934–1939 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 300 p.
  • (ed.), Politics and the Individual in France, 1930-50 (Oxford: Legenda, 2015), 170 p.
  • Popular Theatre and Political Utopia in France, 1870–1940: Active Citizens (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Journal articles

  • ‘Staging reconciliation: popular theatre and political utopia in France in 1937’, Contemporary European History 14.3 (2005), pp. 279–94 (as Jessica Irons)
  • ‘Between Parliament and the people: the problem of representation in France, 1934–39’, Parliaments, Estates and Representation/Parlements, États et Représentation 27 (2007), pp. 207–226
  • ‘Un Rire nouveau: Action Française and the art of political satire’, French History 22.1 (2008), pp. 74–93
  • ‘Fighting for the Unknown Soldier: the contested territory of the French nation in 1934–38’, Modern and Contemporary France 15.2 (2007), pp. 185–201
  • ‘Parisian stars under a Provençal sky: the Théâtre d’Orange and the Making of Mediterranean Identity’, Nottingham French Studies 50 (Special issue on L’Invention du Midi, 2011), pp. 7–18
  • 'Crowds, culture, and power: mass politics and the press in interwar France', Journalism Studies 14.5 (2013), pp. 743-758

Book chapters

  • ‘Fighting for the streets of Paris during the Popular Front, 1934–38’ in Wardhaugh, Paris and the Right, pp. 43–63
  • ‘Popular theatre and revolutionary identity: anarchist and communist culture in Paris, 1900–34’ in Roger Spalding and Alyson Brown (eds), Entertainment, Leisure, and Identities (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars’ Press, 2007), pp. 96–111
  • ‘Europäer erschaffen: die Rolle der Zeitschrift Europe - Revue Mensuelle, 1923–1939’ in Kiran Patel, Veronika Lipphardt, Lorraine Bluche (eds), Der Europäer – ein Konstrukt. Wissenbestände, Diskurse, Praktiken (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2009), pp. 97–117
  • with Christian Bailey and Ruth Leiserowitz, ‘Intellectual dissidents and the construction of European spaces, 1918–1988’ in Kiran Patel and Martin Conway (eds) Europeanization in the Twentieth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • ‘Salvation, satire, and solidarity: right-wing culture in interwar France’ in Sean Kennedy and Samuel Kalman (eds), The French Right between the Wars: Political and Intellectual Movements from Conservatism to Fascism (Berghahn, 2014)
  • 'In the shadow of Danton: theatre, politics, and leadership in interwar France', in Wardhaugh (ed.), Politics and the Individual, pp. 13-27
  • 'The fabulous destiny of Saint-Patrice: royalist cosmopolitanism and republican France' in Grace Brockington and Sarah Victoria Turner (eds), Imagined Cosmopoleis: Internationalism and Cultural Exchange 1870–1920 (Peter Lang: forthcoming, 2017)
  • 'Demokratische Experimente in der politischen Kultur Frankreichs' inTim Müller and Adam Tooze (eds), Normalität und Fragilität: Demokratie nach dem Ersten Weltkreig (Hamburg: 2015)

Review articles

  • ‘Sacred Unions: religion and reconciliation in French society, 1919–1945’, French Politics, Culture, and Society 27.3 (2009) pp. 116–28

I have also reviewed books for Modern and Contemporary France, French History, The English Historical Review, Social and Cultural History, French Politics, Culture, and Society, The European History Quarterly and Theatre Survey. I have acted as referee for Palgrave Macmillan and the University of Delaware Press, for the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Research Council, and for a number of journals. I have also provided translations for the Cahiers d'Histoire du Temps Présent, the Dominican Order, and the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music, Oxford.

Qualifications

BA, MA (Durham), DPhil (Oxford)