About me

I am a cultural, social and political historian of modern France, with a particular interest in popular culture (especially visual culture), revolution, religion and commemoration. My doctoral research looked at the relationship between caricature and republican identity in France during the Second Republic (1848 – 1852). This material forms the basis for my book on representations of republicanism in French caricature and satire between 1830 and 1852 (in preparation). I was awarded the annual article prize for 2011 by the journal French History, for my article Cette nouvelle transformation du gamin de Paris: the figures of the Mobile Guard and vivandières in popular culture in 1848′.

My current work is an expansion of these interests into a broader project, which looks at how the memory of the revolution of 1848 was constructed and interpreted in France from the mid nineteenth century to the Fourth Republic (1946 – 1958).  This research examines the question of how 1848 was remembered from the perspectives of both left and right, exploring the memories and experiences of those who lived through the revolution and the impact of its legacy on subsequent generations.

Between 2010 and 2013 I was an Irish Research Council Marie Curie Actions CARA Postdoctoral Mobility Fellow, based in the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin and the Centre de recherches en histoire du XIXe siècle, Université Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), where I spent the first two years of my fellowship.

I am currently Lecturer in Modern European History at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I’m also the Director of Postgraduates at the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, a research centre based at Durham University and involving universities across the North East of England.

More information on me:

Northumbria University personal page

I can be contacted at:

laura [dot] obrien [at] northumbria [dot] ac [dot] uk


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