Ben Dodds is a specialist in the history of late medieval England. He is particularly interested in rural society and the way in which small producers were able to respond to crises and incentives. He has worked extensively on the impact of and changes caused by the Black Death. These issues are explored in Ben’s 2007 book Peasants and Production. Ben is currently engaged in further work on the Black Death, exploring the pragmatic ways in which contemporaries dealt with the epidemic.
Most recently, Ben has worked on stories about bandits and what they reveal about the communities – often amongst less wealthy social groups in particular – in which they were produced, read and told. He began by working on the medieval stories of Robin Hood and then developed a broader comparative approach. He is particularly interested in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spain and the rich tradition of bandit stories which circulated there.
Ben Dodds teaches on the political and social history of the late middle ages in Europe, the tales of Robin Hood and stories about bandits.
Commercial Activity, Markets and Entrepreneurs in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Richard BritnellLong dominated by theories of causation involving class conflict and Malthusian crisis, the field of medieval economic history has been transformed in recent years by a better understanding of the process of commercialisation.