Jack Palmer
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Personal profile

Biography

I joined Leeds Trinity University as a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in September 2022. Prior to this, I worked in various teaching and research roles at the University of Leeds. 

Research interests

All of my research and knowledge exchange activity addresses, from a variety of angles and perspectives, the ambiguous relationship between violence and large-scale transformations of modern societies, and how this relationship is registered in intellectual and cultural forms. As such, my work makes substantive contributions to: global historical sociology; theories of modernity; Holocaust and genocide studies; the sociology of intellectuals and ideas; and the history of social thought since 1945. 

My first book, based on PhD research funded by a University of Leeds Research Scholarship (2013-2017), is a study of trajectories of modernity in the Great Lakes of Africa (Entanglements of Modernity, Colonialism and Genocide: Burundi and Rwanda in Historical Sociological Perspective [Routledge, 2018]). Through a close historical-sociological study of a region long-neglected by Western sociologists, it challenges Eurocentric and progressivist assumptions in sociological theorisations of modernity. Funded by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (2018-2021), I have also published substantial work on the lifework of the major social thinker, Zygmunt Bauman, including a sole-authored book, Zygmunt Bauman and the West: A Sociology of Intellectual Exile (McGill-Queens University Press, 2023). I am also co-editor of Revisiting Modernity and the Holocaust: Heritage, Dilemmas, Extensions (Routledge, 2022), and part of the editorial team for a 3-volume series of unpublished and rarely accessed writings of Zygmunt Bauman for Polity Press (2021-2024). My work has appeared in international journals such as European Journal of Social Theory, Thesis Eleven, European Holocaust Studies, Studia Literraria et Historica and Theory, Culture & Society.  

At present, I am working on a project on the entangled conceptual histories of ‘genocide, ‘extinction’ and ‘occupation’. I see this project as having import for a range of contemporary socio-cultural issues (the comparative memorialisation of historical atrocities, debates about demographic shifts in Western societies, collective interpretations of climate breakdown and species loss) as well as for understanding the role of concepts as effective forces in social life. I also continue to work on post-war intellectuals and ideas, with a particular emphasis on interpretations of the events of the Holocaust and of decolonisation in the discipline of sociology.   

In recent years, I have taken directorial role in the Bauman Institute, a centre for social and critical theory, where I am now an Honorary Research Fellow. I was centrally involved in the development of the Papers of Janina and Zygmunt Bauman, a public archive of international significance based in Leeds. I am a member of the International Network of Genocide Scholars and the British and Irish Association of Holocaust Studies, a fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, and I sit on the editorial board of the Polish journal, Zoon Politikon.   

Teaching and Administration

At LTU, I am programme lead for BA Sociology and BA Criminology and Sociology. I manage the Level 4 module ‘Identities and Inequalities’, as well as ‘Lifeworlds: Sociology of the Everyday’ and ‘Digital Lives: Self and Society in the Digital Age’ at Level 5, and 'Genocide Studies' and Level 6.

 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Leeds

20132017

Master of Arts, University of Leeds

20112012

Bachelor of Arts, University of Portsmouth

20082011

External positions

Honorary Research Fellow, The Bauman Institute, University of Leeds

2022 → …

Member of Editorial Board, Zoon Politikon

2021 → …

Deputy Director , The Bauman Institute, University of Leeds

20202022

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