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A view of the Ellen Terry building.

Dr Ben Dew

Associate Head of School (Recruitment and Marketing)

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

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Ben Dew is the Associate Head of School in Humanities for Recruitment and Marketing. He also teaches on the third-year undergraduate module Enlightenment: Literature, Culture and Modernity and the MA module Utopias and Dystopias.   

Career overview

Ben Dew completed a BA in English and Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, and an MA and PhD in eighteenth-century studies at Queen Mary University of London. Prior to taking up his current post, Ben was a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Portsmouth.  


Ben’s research is concerned with the intellectual and cultural history of the eighteenth century with particular reference to historical writing. His monograph, Commerce, Finance and Statecraft: Histories of England, 1600-1780 (Manchester University Press, 2018) explored the relationship between history writing and economic thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He is also the co-editor (with Fiona Price) of Historical Writing in Britain, 1688-1830 (Palgrave, 2014) and the editor of The Politics of Tea (Pickering and Chatto, 2010), a scholarly edition of pamphlets concerning tea, and the history and politics of empire in the eighteenth century.  

Ben is currently working on two projects. The first explores Enlightenment-era accounts of Poland and Russia. This research looks at a variety of sources – historical writing, travel literature and diplomatic records – to investigate the ways that ‘western’ writers conceptualised ideas of empire, race and slavery in ‘eastern’ Europe. The second project is concerned with accounts of nation and migration in eighteenth-century British historical writing. 

Ben would welcome applications from postgraduate students interested in: the history of historical writing; Enlightenment intellectual history; the relationship between Britain, Poland and Russia in the eighteenth century.   

External activities

Ben has held fellowships from the University of Yale (2019) and the Jewish Historical Society of England (2018). He is also the author of Polish Portsmouth/Polskie Portsmouth (Portsmouth, 2018) a dual-language, illustrated pamphlet outlining the early history of Portsmouth’s Polish community. 

Publications and press


  • (Ed. with Maggie Bowers), Poles in Britain: History, Culture and Literature (Cham: Palgrave, forthcoming). 
  • Commerce, Finance and Statecraft: Histories of England, 1600-1780 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018). ISBN: 1784992965.
  • (Ed. with Fiona Price) Historical Writing in Britain, 1688-1830: Visions of History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). ISBN: 1137332639.
  • (Ed.) Tea and Politics (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2010). ISBN: 1848930259.


  • ‘Enlightenment Historical Writing and the expulsion of England’s Jews’, Helsinki Yearbook of Intellectual History, 1:1 (2020), 89-104. 
  • ‘Jewish Exclusions: Eighteenth-Century Historians and the Expulsion of England’s Jews’, Intellectual History Archive, 6 (2018), 1-10. 
  • ‘“Damn’d to Sythes and Spades”: Labour and Wealth Creation in the Writing of Bernard Mandeville’, Intellectual History Review, 23:2 (2013), 187-205.
  • ‘Commerce, Finance and the Politic Tradition in the Histories of Paul de Rapin de Thoyras and William Guthrie’, Clio: A Journal of Literature, History and the Philosophy of History, 42:2 (2013), 161-186.
  • ‘Epicurean and Stoic Enlightenments: The Return of Modern Paganism?’, History Compass, 11:6 (2013), 486-495.
  • '“Waving a mouchoir à la Wilkes”: Hume, Radicalism and The North Briton’,  Modern Intellectual History, 6:2 (2009), 235-260.
  • ‘Political Economy and the Problem of the Plebs in Eighteenth-Century Britain’, History Compass, 5 (2007), 1214-1235.
  •  ‘“Spurs to Industry” in Bernard Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees’, The Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, 28:2 (2005), 151-166.

Chapters in Books 

  • ‘History Writing’, Oliver Goldsmith in Context, ed. by David O’Shaughnessy and Michael J. Griffin (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). 
  • ‘Polish History in Britain: the work of Napoleon Feliks Żaba, Leon Szadurski and J.F. Gomoszyński’, Poles in Britain: History, Culture and Literature (Palgrave, forthcoming). 
  • ‘Conceptions of Polish and Russian Poverty in the British Enlightenment’, Ideas of Poverty in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. by R.J.W. Mills & Niall O’Flaherty (Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming), 
  • ‘An Economic Turn?’, Historical Writing in Britain, 1688-1830: Visions of History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 73-91. ISBN: 1137332639.
  • ‘Rewriting Popular Classics as Popular Fiction: Jane Austen, Zombies, Sex and Vampires’, The Bloomsbury Introduction to Popular Fiction, ed. by Christine Berberich (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), pp. 282-295. ISBN: 978-1441134318. 
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