Welcome to the home page of Ada Palmer. I am an historian, an author of science fiction and fantasy, and a composer. I teach in the History Department at the University of Chicago.
Here you will find information about my works and activities, samples of my writing and music, links to publications and blog pieces, my curriculum vitae, my forthcoming schedule of teaching, public presentations and concerts, and other useful information.
Teaming up with my good friend and fellow author & history-lover Jo Walton, we talk with fellow writers, historians, researchers, editors, & other friends about the craft of writing, history, food, gelato, and other topics, with some episodes of just me and Jo having the kinds of intense writing or history discussions we enjoy.
Listen for free on Libsyn, on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, and on YouTube, or support me on Patreon get new episodes early.
Sample Episode: Speculative Resistance with Malka Older
A Conversation with Ada Palmer on the Nature of Intellectual Transformation
A conversation with University of Chicago historian Ada Palmer on the nature of intellectual transformation. Looking across more than 500 years of European history—from Medieval scholasticism to the Enlightenment—we examine the relationship between ideas and historical change. The event is part of Conversations @Graham, our new series featuring big ideas discussions with extraordinary scholars and innovators who teach in the Graham School’s Open Program.
An exhibition and video series at The University of Chicago
Why do people censor? For ambition? Religion? Profit? Power? Fear? This global history of attempts to control or silence information, from antiquity’s earliest written records to our new digital world, examines how censorship has worked, thrived, or failed in different times and places, and shows how real censorship movements tend to be very different from the centralized, methodical, top-down censorship depicted in Orwell’s 1984, which so dominates how we imagine censorship today. From indexes of forbidden books, to manuscripts with passages inked out by Church Inquisitors, to comics and pornography, to self-censorship and the subtle censorship of manipulating translations or teaching biased histories, the banned and challenged materials in this exhibit will challenge you to answer: how do you define what is and isn’t censorship?
Sections of the Project:
- Eight public Dialogues among the participants, October 5 through November 20, 2018.
- Videos of the public dialogues, available streaming online.
- Museum Exhibit “History of Censorship and Information Control from the Inquisition to the Internet” in the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Library, open September 17 through December 14, 2018.
- A printed catalog of the exhibit, and further publications to come.