Jessica Biddlestone is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History specializing in the history of Modern France. She has also completed a minor field in African History. Her dissertation, “France in Roman Africa: Antiquity and the Making of Empire in French Algeria and Tunisia, 1830-1914,” explores how French administrators, archaeologists, military leaders, colonists, and classical scholars engaged with the material legacy of the Roman Empire in North Africa. She is particularly interested in how the study and re-use of Roman ruins shaped French narratives of Roman imperialism and informed colonization efforts in the region. This project has been supported by the Society of French and Francophone Professors of America, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, and the Graduate School at Northwestern University.
Before coming to Northwestern, Jessica received a B.A. in History from Ohio University, an M.A. in European History from the University of Cincinnati, and an M.A. in History and Literature from Columbia University. Jessica is currently a T.H. Breen Fellow at the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies, as well as Writing Fellow at the Graduate Writing Place. She also serves as the Assistant Chair of the Public Affairs Residential College on campus. She has developed and taught two courses on the History of Modern France while at Northwestern. In 2018, she was awarded the Lacey Baldwin Smith Prize for teaching excellence for her course Islam and Modern France.