Former contributors

Catherine Rose Ellis


Catherine is in the third year of a PhD in French, focusing on the role of eating and drinking in eighteenth-century sex work. She completed her BA in French and German at Durham in 2013, and returned to her beloved cathedral city in autumn of 2014 after studying for her Masters degree at Oxford. Her research is funded by an AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Award.

As well as reading about eighteenth-century dinners and sexual escapades, Catherine has spent her time at Durham co-ordinating the Modern Languages PGR forum, acting as the secretary to the Medieval and Early Modern Association (primarily by minuting long meetings and organising parties), and mentoring undergraduate students at her old college, Van Mildert. This year she is focusing primarily on writing up, finding arts and culture internships in the North East, and managing the MLAC blog.

Click here to read Catherine’s posts.

To find out more about Catherine and her research, please visit her page.

Jessica Allen


Jess arrived in Durham in October 2016 to start a Master’s by Research in French, which focuses on how women wrote about friendship during the Renaissance; this research is funded by a Faculty MA Bursary. She studied for her undergraduate degree in French and German at Jesus College, Oxford (2012 – 2016), and spent her third year studying at the University of Trier and interning at the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance in Tours. She was a research assistant on the project CatCor: Catherine the Great’s Digital Correspondence and has interned in libraries, archives, and museums in the UK, France, and Luxembourg.

Jess is currently enjoying all the opportunities that Durham has to offer whilst working on PhD applications. She is a Student Librarian in her college, St Chad’s, where she is also part of the Academic Committee, and takes yoga and aerial arts classes. She is excited to see how her research develops over the coming year and where this might lead her in the future.