Dr Jack Palmer

Dr Jack Palmer


I finished my PhD –  ‘Entanglements of Modernity, Colonialism and Genocide: Burundi and Rwanda in Historical Sociological Perspective’ – in the School of Sociology and Social Policy in March 2017. I worked as a teaching fellow in the School of Sociology and Social Policy from September 2016 to 2018. From 2018 to 2021, I held a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship for the project ‘Zygmunt Bauman and the West: Exile, Culture, Dialogue’. As of November 2021, I am a research fellow principally responsible for helping to establish and coordinate the two school projects, Making Majorities and Social Innovation. 


  • Deputy Director of the Bauman Institute

Research interests

My Leverhulme Trust-funded research project ‘Bauman and the West’ (2018-2021) is an extended study of the life and work of the late sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. A sole-authored monograph from this project titled Zygmunt Bauman and the West: A Sociology of Intellectual Exile is under contract with McGill-Queens University Press (submission March 2022). With Dariusz Brzeziński, I am also editor of and contributor to Revisiting Modernity and the Holocaust: Heritage, Dilemmas, Extensions (Routledge 2022). Additionally, I am co-editor of a three-volume series of selected writings of Zygmunt Bauman published by Polity Press (with Dariusz Brzeziński, Tom Campbell and Mark Davis). 

I have an ongoing interest in theoretical debates concerning non-Western experiences, interpretations and trajectories of modernity. I continue to develop to work on the sociology of mass violence and conflict - in particular the conceptual, normative and empirical dimensions of genocide - and on the sociology of colonial-imperialism, decolonisation and postcolonialism. These interests are foregrounded in my first monograph, Entanglements of Modernity, Colonialism and Genocide: Burundi and Rwanda in Historical Sociological Perspective (Routledge 2018). I am currently working toward a historical-sociological project on a constellation of concepts – genocide, extinction and occupation – which I see as having import for a) understanding the entangled histories of the Holocaust, European colonial-imperialism and planetary destruction; and b) understanding the role of concepts as effective forces in history and a terrain of social conflict, negotiation and collective meaning-making in the present.

I am also interested in the historical development of sociology, in Britain and beyond. I have an especial interest in ‘sociologies of decolonisation’ which developed between 1945-75 and spoke to the emergence of postcolonial nation-states and new international institutions on a scale scarcely imaginable in the late 19th and earlier parts of the 20th centuries when sociology emerged as an institutionalised discipline. I am also interested in the contribution of intellectual exiles to the development of British sociology after 1945. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD Sociology (University of Leeds)
  • MA Social and Political Thought (University of Leeds)
  • BA Media Studies and Entertainment Technology (University of Portsmouth)

Student education

Although my teaching commitments are now limited, I do continue to give guest lectures and supervision in my areas of specialist interest. 

Research groups and institutes

  • The Bauman Institute