Rebecca Short

My DPhil research focuses on the life and work of eighteenth-century author Louis-Antoine Caraccioli (1719-1803). In my project, I examine the significance of self-fashioning, and the ways in which Caraccioli constructed his literary persona through paratext and engagement — or conflict — with his critics. Interrogating the very notion of ‘fashion’ as it pervades the author’s corpus, I explore the concept of self-fashioning and its centrality not just to Caraccioli’s activity and self-promotion, but also to his understanding of the relationship between outward appearance and interior disposition. This research is funded by the AHRC DTP.

Prior to beginning doctoral study, I completed an undergraduate degree in French at the University of St Andrews, and an MA in French Literature and Culture at King’s College London, where I was the recipient of the Sévigné Studentship. 

I am firmly committed to widening access to the study of Modern Languages at university, and deliver outreach talks to school groups through St Hilda’s College. 


I am currently a Stipendiary Lecturer at Worcester College, where I teach undergraduates at all levels. Papers include:

Prelims Papers III, IV, IIA and B


2nd Year Conversation classes

In previous years, I have also taught the following:

Paper XIII — Key Texts in French Thought

Paper VIII — Topics in the Period of Literature 1715 to the Present

Paper IIA — Prelims and FHS Translation French-English


‘Addressing the Absent Reader: the Dedicatory Epistles of Louis-Antoine Caraccioli’, Eighteenth-Century Paratext Research Network, 2020. Blog Post.

Selected Presentations

‘The Patchwork Self: Fashioning Intertextual Identity in the works of Louis-Antoine Caraccioli’, International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Congress, Sapienza University of Rome (July 2023)

‘Just a Spoonful of Sugar? Horatian Satire in Le Livre de quatre couleurs (1760)’, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, University of Oxford (January 2023)

‘Posthumous Presence: Religious Authority in the Lettres à une illustre morte (1770)’, Women and Religion in Eighteenth-Century France Symposium, Queen Mary University of London (June 2022)

‘The Mentor Idea: Introspective Self-Fashioning in Louis-Antoine Caraccioli (1719-1803)’, French Graduate Seminar, University of Cambridge (May 2022)

‘Louis-Antoine Caraccioli: A Case of Eighteenth-Century Catholic Particularity’, Saints, Scripture, and the Sacred, AHRC Symposium, University of Cambridge (March 2022)

‘The workings of colour in Louis-Antoine Caraccioli’, Early Modern Seminar Graduate Showcase, University of Oxford (May 2021)

Additional Activities
Roundtable Co-Organiser:  ‘Excess and Embodiment: The Physicality and Materiality of Frivolity in the Early Modern Period.’ Medieval and Early Modern Studies Department Seminar, University of North Carolina

Presentation: ‘Mere tactics? The Frivolity of Colour in Louis-Antoine Caraccioli’

Sponsored by the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of North Carolina, and the Dorothy Ford Wiley Fund.

In 2022-2023, I co-convened the Oxford French Graduate Seminar. 

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