Stef Espeel (Bruges, 1992°) graduated from the University of Ghent (2016) in history with a MA-thesis on the political influence of craftguilds in the city council of Bruges during the period 1359-1375. This was conducted through a thorough prosopography of the city's aldermen, councilmembers and headmen.
He's currently working on his PhD-project at the Centre for Urban History (CSG) at the University of Antwerp:
Shock cities. Food prices and access to food in Flemish cities during the 'Age of Shocks' (1280-1370)
Focussing on the economic history of late medieval Flanders, this project studies the evolution of food prices and food access within the Flemish county in times of crisis. Did the inhabitants of the major Flemish cities escape the "food shocks" of the period 1280-1370 and the Malthusian assumptions on the link between population densities and resources, by their advanced degree of market integration, or because of protection against the violent behavior of the markets? Or did Flemish urban food markets just disintegrate as violently as the English ones during the heaviest shocks?
At a time when resilience to exogenous shocks is at the heart of scientific and social debate this research projects uses the unique test-case of the 14th century crisis in the most urbanized region north of the Alps to analyze the differential resilience of urban populations to food shortages.
This project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Tim Soens (UA) and Prof. Dr. Alexis Wilkin (ULB).