James Purcell

James Purcell

Email: jrp2184@columbia.edu
Field: Medieval Europe
Advisor: Adam Kosto
Year: 2013

I'm a Ph.D. student in the history department studying the legal and institutional history of early medieval Europe. I like legal documents and language, relic labels, and fact-finding in pre-modern societies. My dissertation examines how the effort to anticipate and thwart fraud shaped institutions and epistemology in Merovingian Gaul.

An Americanist colleague and I are also working on Medieval America, an ongoing pop history project examining the bizarre trade in medieval buildings shipped from Europe to the U.S. in the early 20th century. 

At Columbia, I've served as co-social chair for the history department and graduate co-coordinator for the department's History in Action initiative. Now, you can find me at the Council for European Studies as it prepares for its annual conference, on the themes of sustainability and transformation.