History from Below

In an article posted on ManyHeadedMonster website, Chris Briggs, Lecturer in Medieval British Social and Economic History at the University of Cambridge, discusses the possessions of the peasantry of England and Europe during the later middle ages (1200-1500). The Future of History from Below is the 16th piece in an online symposium.

From the website:

This post discusses an ongoing research project on the possessions of the medieval English peasantry, and considers how far and in what ways it should be considered an exercise in ‘History from below’. The paper begins by outlining what I see as the characteristics of ‘History from below’, both in general and with respect to the English middle ages in particular. I also ask whether history from below, a movement that was at its most confident roughly 50 years ago, can still be traced in the more recent and current work of English medievalists. Next I briefly describe my project on peasant goods and chattels, which is still at the stage of identifying questions, methods and sources. The final part looks at ways at which this work might and might not advance the history from below agenda.