Carmen is Lecturer in Modern History at Birkbeck. Her research examines the cultural and social history of gender and religion in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain. She is the author of Contested Identities: Catholic Women Religious in nineteenth-century England and Wales (2008) and numerous publications on gender and religion in Britain’s nineteenth-century medical marketplace.
Carmen’s current research examines the changes in Catholic women’s religious life from 1945 to 1990, thinking particularly about changes in individual and community lives. While the project centres on events in the long 1960s, particular the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), it considers pre and post Vatican II social, cultural and religious events as influencers in these changes. It frames these changes in two important ways. First, it interrogates ‘lived experience’ by examining the day to day lives of women religious. Second, Catholic religious institutes were international and this project is developed within a transnational framework. Religious life was influenced by international connections and the project examines the meaning and consequences of religious internationalism as it shifted and came into sharp relief from the 1940s.