Jennifer Hillman is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of History and Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London, 2013-2016. She completed a PhD in History at the University of York in 2012, and then spent one year at the European University Institute as a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow. She has recently completed her first book manuscript – entitled Female Piety and the Catholic Reformation in France which will be published in 2014 by Pickering & Chatto in the Religious Cultures in the Early Modern World Series. It is a study of the unique culture of worship practiced by seventeenth-century lay, rigorist women, usually known as the 'Belles Amies de Port Royal.' The book argues that their devotional culture was characterised by intimate spiritual friendships, an aversion towards the licentious culture of an increasingly libertine royal court and distinctive, anti-Baroque devotional practices.
Her new postdoctoral project at QMUL is a study of early modern spiritual direction, and aims to discover more about the emotional intimacies shared by male confessors and their female penitents in the early modern period. More broadly, Jennifer is also interested in the interdisciplinary study of religious belief and has published an article exploring 'unbelief' in seventeenth-century France.