Spotlight on James Palmer

James PalmerDr James Palmer has taught in the School of History since 2007 as Lecturer in Continental Mediaeval History.  He obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield in 2004 under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Foot, before taking up his first lectureship at the University of Leicester in 2005 and then holding a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Nottingham in 2006-7.

James palmer bookAt heart, James is a cultural historian of the eighth and ninth centuries with interests that straddle the Merovingian, Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon worlds. His early research focused on the politics of memorialisation which surrounded English missionary activities in Germany and Frisia. This work led to the publication of his first monograph, Anglo-Saxons in a Frankish World, in 2009 – a study once described as ‘sensitive and methodologically exemplary’[1] for its efforts to place the missions as a textual phenomenon as well as a historical one. He is working on merovingianworld, an online resource for research and teaching on Merovingian Gaul.

James’s current research project, funded by an AHRC Fellowship, concerns the role of apocalyptic thought and rhetoric in social and political change. He is finishing the book Apocalypse and Authority in the Early Middle Ages and has been developing a website to accompany it (

James Palmer apoc

James teaches at all levels in the department and his courses include ME3231 Mediaeval Apocalyptic Traditions and ME4813 Kings and Holy Men in the Merovingian World.

He has obtained some notoriety as drummer and occasional fiddler in Dry Island Buffalo Jump, the University’s only Fife-based faux-Americana country band. Profits from their work goes towards a student hardship fund.




James in documentary 'Mission Bayern', screened in Bavarian cinemas in December 2012

James in documentary ‘Mission Bayern’, screened in Bavarian cinemas in December 2012


For more information on Dr James Palmer see


About standrewshistory
With over forty full time members of staff researching and teaching on European, American and Asian history from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the present day, the School of History at the University of St Andrews has one of the finest faculty and diverse teaching programmes of any School of History in the English speaking world. The School boasts expertise in Mediaeval and Modern History, from S cotland to Byzantium and the Americas to the Middle East and South Asia.Thematic interests include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism. The School of History prides itself on small group teaching and tutorials allowing for in depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. Cutting edge research combined with teaching excellence offer a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: