Dr Ben Jackson

Dr Ben Jackson

Department of History
Teaching Fellow in Early Modern History

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I am a social and cultural historian of gender, objects, and consumerism in the long eighteenth century (1666–1832). I have broad research interests in the history of gender (particularly masculinity and manhood), domestic life, religion, manufacturing and consumption (in both a national and international context), material and visual culture, and the built environment in the early modern period, specifically in Britain and its empire.


  • PhD in History, Queen Mary, University of London (2021)
  • MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York (2016)
  • BA in English and Related Literature, University of York (2015)


My interest in the eighteenth century began during my BA in English and Related Literature at the University of York and I pursued this enthusiasm by completing York’s MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies. I was awarded my PhD in History from Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) in 2021 and my thesis examined the social and cultural history of men’s material culture in period 1666–1832. Before joining the University of Birmingham as a Teaching Fellow in 2021, I taught undergraduate history at both Queen Mary and University College London.  

I have been awarded research fellowships at The Huntington Library (California), The Clark Library (University of California, Los Angeles), and the John Rylands Research Institute and Library (University of Manchester).


I teach on the following undergraduate modules in Semester One:

  • Making of the Modern World: Europe 1500-1800
  • Research Methods (early modern strands)

I teach on the following undergraduate modules in Semester Two:

  • People and Places (early modern strands) 
  • State and Empire in the Early Modern World 
  • Women Behaving Badly in Early Modern England
  • Group Research: Crime and Deviance in Early Modern Europe

I also supervise undergraduate dissertations in early modern history.


My research to date has focused on what men’s relationship to their possessions tells us about masculine experience and culture in the long eighteenth century (1666-1832). Examining men’s material culture through a range of interdisciplinary sources, my doctoral research surveyed middling and elite men’s objects including children’s toys, domestic furniture, carriages, snuffboxes, canes, and hunting weapons. I am currently expanding on this research to write a monograph on what objects can tell us about masculine culture and experience in eighteenth-century Britain and its empire.

This year, I am working on three research publications: one on the emotional language men use when writing about their material culture, another on attitudes to country sports in early modern England, and finally a book chapter on carriages in satirical culture, c.1760-1830.  

As well as this, I am also developing a new research project on early modern clergymen’s attitudes and experiences of consumerism, material goods, and fashion. It seeks to better understand how, and indeed if, men’s professional and denominational identity impacted their consumer behaviour and attitudes across the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This research seeks to assert the importance of religion and occupation in men’s experiences.

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