Professor Hindle studies social, cultural, and economic change in Britain during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. He will be teaching numerous courses in early modern British social, economic and political history; on the relationships between literature and politics in Tudor and Stuart England; and on microhistory as a research method and as a narrative strategy.
Steve Hindle came to Washington University after eleven years as Director of Research at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. He is particularly interested in how the social transformations caused by the Reformation, the English civil war, and the industrial revolution were experienced by working people (men, women, and children) at the local level; and has published widely on the nature and scale of the growth of governance, on the origins and significance of the evolution of social welfare policy, and on the changing balance of agriculture and manufacturing in early modern society. His study of social, economic, and spatial relations in an especially well documented seventeenth-century village will appear in 2023 with Oxford University Press as The Social Topography of a Rural community in Seventeenth Century England.
His next project is a study of the role of mills and milling in early modern English society. While historians have previously examined the politics of grain supply with reference to exchange entitlements and social protest, far less attention has been paid to the mechanics through which flour was produced, exchanged, and consumed. Study of the litigation and manorial regulations related to the toll corn that was collected at mills and in marketplaces will enhance our understanding of the labor involved in early modern flour trade and explain how millers came to enjoy extraordinary power to mediate the subsistence of local communities in early modern England.
Professor Hindle welcomes inquiries from students interested in pursuing graduate work in the social and economic history of sixteenth and seventeenth century Britain. He has previously supervised doctoral dissertations on subjects including alehouses and sociability; almshouses and provision for the elderly; the local politics of agrarian protest; the moralized understanding of economic change; and representations of vagrancy and mobility in early modern society.