Associate Professor
214 LeConte
Office Hours: 
On fellowship 2018-2019; office hours by appointment
University of Michigan
History and Women's Studies
M. Phil.
University of Cambridge
University of Virginia

I am a historian of Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic, and I teach courses about Europe, the Atlantic world, women and gender, race, and pirates.  In my classes I emphasize active learning and intellectual engagement through social media.  Students conduct original research to create graphic novels, YouTube videos, and blog posts. I am also the coordinator for the History and Gender Workshop.

I research and write about race, gender, the family, and property in the eighteenth-century French Atlantic, a time when all these highly contested categories were beginning to take their modern shapes.  I use intimacy as a lens to frame broad interdisciplinary questions about identity, relationships, and empire. 

My first book, Intimate Bonds: Family and Slavery in the French Atlantic, follows the stories of people who built families and fortunes on both sides of the French Atlantic.  By focusing on family and household, the units that anchored France in the eighteenth century, I show interconnections among race, gender, colonialism, and the plantation system in the early modern period. 

My current project, “To Have and to Hold: Women and Property in Global France,” places the question of changing gender roles in a framework of social and legal history by examining property ownership among white women, indigenous women, and women of color in the French empire.  I have also published on representations of gender and race. 

Curriculum Vitae: 

Mary Alice and Philip Boucher Prize for the best book in French colonial history, French Colonial Historical Society

Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Sarah H. Moss Fellowship

Faculty Research Grant

Research Fellowship, Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts

Gilbert Chinard Research Fellowship

Society for French Historical Studies/Western Society for French History Research Grant

Robert R. Palmer Travel Research Award, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Chateaubriand Fellowhip

Fulbrignt Award (declined)


Courses Taught

Western Society since 1500 (Honors)
Women in Early Modern Europe
The Age of Absolutism
Old Regime and Revolutionary France
Pirates, Captives and Travellers
The Enlightenment
Seminar in Early Modern Europe
Colloquium in Early Modern Europe
Colloquium on Gender in History

Jennifer L. Palmer's Selected Publications

Palmer, Jennifer L. Intimate Bonds: Family And Slavery In The French Atlantic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Print.
Palmer, Jennifer L. Women And Contracts In The Age Of Transatlantic Commerce. Women And Work In Eighteenth-Century France. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2015. 130-151. Print.
Palmer, Jennifer. Writing Wills And Families: Constructing Mixed-Race Families In Eighteenth-Century France. "for The Salvation Of My Soul": Women And Wills In Medieval And Early Modern France. Joelle Rollo-Koster & Ryerson, Katheryn. St. Andrew's University Press, 2012. Print.
Palmer, Jennifer. Creating And Belonging To Community: Race And Gender In Eighteenth-Century La Rochelle. Proceedings of the Western Society for French History (2006): n. pag. Print.