I am a historian of Early Modern France, the Atlantic World, and the Caribbean. I teach courses about Europe, the Atlantic world, women and gender, race, and pirates. In my classes I emphasize active and cooperative learning and intellectual engagement; you should expect conversation in small and large groups, group projects, and lots of active learning. While I do sometimes lecture, lectures do not comprise the bulk of my classes. I find that when I help students to reach their own conclusions, rather than telling them in advance what their conclusions should be, they learn both the subject matter of the class and important analysis skills. And history is all about analysis!
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, “Possession: Race, Gender, and Property in Atlantic France,” argues that property ownership emerged in the context of the growth of the plantation system as a white male privilege. I examine the ways women, especially women of color, exerted control over property, and how those opportunities were taken away. I have also published on representations of gender and race.
Palmer, Jennifer L. Intimate Bonds: Family And Slavery In The French Atlantic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Print.
Palmer, Jennifer L. "Quotidian Intimacy: Gender and Slavery in Eighteenth-Century La Rochelle," Lumiéres: Histoire. Littératures. Philosophie. 35.1 (2021), 57-70.
Palmer, Jennifer L. "'She persisted in her revolt': Between Slavery and Freedom in Saint-Domingue," Social History/Histoire Sociale 53.107 (2020), 17-41.
Palmer, Jennifer L. "'The fruits of their labors': Race, Gender, and Land Ownership in the Eighteenth-Century French Empire." French History 32.4 (2019), 471-492.
Palmer, Jennifer L. “The Princess Served by Some Slaves: Making Race Visible through Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century France”. Gender & History 26.2 (2014): 242-262.
Palmer, Jennifer L. “What's in a Name? Mixed-Race Families and Resistance to Racial Marginalization in Eighteenth-Century La Rochelle”. French Historical Studies 33 (2010): 357-385.
Palmer, Jennifer L. “Creating and Belonging to Community: Race and Gender in Eighteenth-Century La Rochelle”. Proceedings of the Western Society for French History (2006): n. pag.
“White Women and the Plantation Economy in France and the French Caribbean,” in Colonisations. Notre histoire, ed. Mélanie Lamotte and Pierre Singaravélou (Le Seuil: Paris, forthcoming).
"Compromised Independence: Mixed-Race Girlhood in the Eighteenth-Century French Atlantic," in A Global History of Black Girlhood, ed. LaKisha Simons and Corrine Field (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2022).
"Testamentary Emancipation and Emotional Bonds in Eighteenth-Century Saint-Domingue," in Comparative Literary Histories of Slavery, ed. Mads Anders Baggesgarrd, Madeleine Dobie, and Karen-Margrethe Simonsen (Amsterdam: Johns Benjamins Publishing, Forthcoming).
"Proof of Freedom, Proof of Enslavement: The Limits of Documentation in Colonial Saint-Domingue," in Legal History in the French Archives, ed. Michael Gavreau and Nancy Christie (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020).
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.
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.
Palmer, Jennifer. “Les Huguenots Et Leurs Esclaves En La Rochelle Pendant Le Xviiie Siècle: Baptême, Autorité, Et Esclavage”. Les Huguenots Et L'atlantique. Mickaël Augeron, Didier Poton, & Bertrand Van Ruymbeke. Indes Savantes, 2009.
PhD, University of Michigan, History and Women's Studies 2008
M. Phil., University of Cambridge, History 2000
B.A., University of Virginia, Interdisciplinary 1997
University of Georgia School of Law, year of study supported by the Provost's Study in a Second Discipline Fellowship, 2018-2019
Selected Grants and Fellowships
National Endowment for the Humanities Individual Fellowship
American Council for Learned Societies Research Fellowship
Lapidus Digitization Fellowship, Omohundro Institute
Provost's Study in a Second Discipline Grant
Sarah H. Moss Fellowship
Research Fellowship, Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts
Faculty Research Grant
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
Fulbrignt Award (declined)
Selected Prizes and Honors
Best Article Prize, Histoire sociale/Social History
Virginia Mary Macagnoni Prize for Innovative Research
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