James A. Palmer

Palmer photo
James A.
Assistant Professor of History

Professor Palmer studied at Michigan State University, Duke University, and Washington University in St Louis, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2015. He specializes in medieval history, especially the history of Italy's communes, or city-states. His current book project is focused on fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century Rome. It examines the ways Roman elites built strong social solidarity among themselves during a period when the composition of the ruling elite was shifting. It argues that the social strategies on which they drew, often rooted in religious ideas and institutions, fundamentally transformed the sense these elites had of their relationship to the Roman commune.

Professor Palmer's recent publications include "Piety and Social Distinction in Late Medieval Roman Peacemaking," Speculum 89.4 (2014): 974-1004.

Website (including CV and other information):


Fall 2015:

  • EUH 4121-1 Earlier Middle Ages

Spring 2016:

  • EUH 4122-1 Later Middle Ages
  • HIS 4935 (Senior Seminar) Urbanization and Transformation in Medieval Italy