Paul Freedman is the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University and was chair of the department from 2004 to 2007. He attended Merrill College at UCSC and graduated in 1971 having studied history with, among others, Peter Kenez, John Beecher, and Terry Burke. Receiving his PhD in medieval history from UC Berkeley in 1978, Paul taught at Vanderbilt University from 1979 until 1997 when he moved to Yale.
He has written on agrarian history, food and luxury products in medieval Europe. He is the author of The Origins of Peasant Servitude in Medieval Catalonia and Images of the Medieval Peasant. Yale University recently published Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination. In 2007, Paul edited Food: The History of Taste, a book about cuisine from prehistoric hunter-gatherers to present trends. This has been translated into eight languages.