College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Paul T. Kelton, PhD

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - History, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor
Associate Dean for the Humanities
Primary office:
785-864-3661
Strong Hall
Room 200
University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045
Second office:
785-864-9450
Wescoe Hall
Room 3617



Indigenous peoples of North America; environmental history; Early American history.

Teaching

Research

Service

Associate Dean Paul Kelton joined the Dean’s Office after having served as chair of the departments of history (2008-2013) and Germanic languages and literature (2015). He has served as a Senior Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development (2009-2010), a Faculty Fellow with in the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (2014-2015), and an Executive Committee member of the Indigenous Studies Program (2012-2015).

Selected Publications

Kelton, P. (2015). Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America (C. Cameron, P. Kelton, & A. Swedlund, Eds.). Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

Kelton, P. (2015). Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation's Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824, Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

Kelton, P. (2015). Remembering Cherokee Mortality during the American Revolution. In . (Ed.), Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

Kelton, P. (2012). Cherokee Medicine and the 1824 Smallpox Epidemic. In D. Gordon & S. Krech (Eds.), Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment in Africa and North America. Athens: University of Ohio Press.

Kelton, P. (2012). The British and Indian War: Cherokee Power and the Fate of Empire in North America. William and Mary Quarterly, 69(4), 765-794.

Kelton, P. (2009). Shattered and Infected: Epidemics, Depopulation, and the Collapse of the Native Slave Trade, 1696-1715. In R. Etheridge (Ed.), Mapping the Shatter Zone: The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World (pp. 312-332). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

Kelton, P. (2007). Epidemics and Enslavement: Biological Catastrophe in the Native Southeast, 1492-1715, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

Kelton, P. (2004). Avoiding the Smallpox Spirits: Colonial Epidemics and Southeastern Indian Survival. Ethnohistory, 50, 45-71.

Kelton, P. (2003). 'At the Head of the Aboriginal Remnant': Cherokee Construction of a Civilized Indian Identity during the Lakota Crisis of 1876. Great Plains Quarterly, 23, 3-17.

Kelton, P. (2002). The Great Southeastern Smallpox Epidemic. In R. Etheridge & C. Hudson (Eds.), Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540-1760 (pp. 21-37). Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press.

Selected Presentations

Kelton, P. (12/03/2015). Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation’s Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824, a Book Talk. University of Oklahoma. Norman, OK

Kelton, P. (11/06/2015). Medical Ethnohistory: Why We Should Pay Attention to Native Practitioners. American Society for Ethnohistory. Las Vegas, NV

Kelton, P. (10/23/2015). Germs, Genocides, and Ethnic Cleansings: Rethinking the Biological Consequences of 1492. Western History Association. Portland, OR

Kelton, P. (09/10/2015). Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation’s Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824, a Book Talk. Kansas City Public Library. Kansas City, MO. Available Here

Kelton, P. (06/20/2015). Disease Diplomacy: How Rumors of Smallpox, Outbreaks, and Diabolical Schemes Shaped the Course of Empire in North America, 1755-1764. Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Chicago, IL

Kelton, P. (06/02/2015). From Smallpox to Ebola: What History Can Tell Us about Humanity's Experience with Emergent Infectious Diseases. Mini-College, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Kansas. Lawrence, KS

Kelton, P. (05/19/2015). Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation's Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824, a Book Talk. University of California Los Angeles, Department of History and American Indian Studies Program. Los Angeles, CA

Kelton, P. (11/30/2014). Losing America, 1775-1783: How Entanglements with Indigenous Peoples Doomed the British Empire. Southern History Association/Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA

(10/31/2013). In Comfort and Safety: Considerations of Indian Health in the Debate over Removal. Western History Association/Annual Conference. Tucson, AZ

Kelton, P. (02/28/2013). Remembering Cherokee Mortality during the American Revolution. Invited seminar "Beyond Germs: The Impact of Colonialism on Indigenous Health in America," Amerind Foundation. Dragoon, AZ

Kelton, P. (02/15/2013). Remembering Cherokee Mortality during the American Revolution. Haskell Indian Nations University. Lawrence, KS

Kelton, P. (11/30/2012). Comments on 'Health and Healing in Indian Country'. Panel at the American Society for Ethnohistory Annual Conference. Springfield, MO

Kelton, P. (10/31/2012). Comments on 'Epidemic! Disease across Time in Western Spaces'. Panel at the Western Historical Association Annual Conference. Denver, CO

Kelton, P. (10/31/2011). Comments on 'The Body in the American West' . Panel at the Western Historical Association Annual Conference. Oakland, CA

Selected Grants

Kelton, Paul, 'Beyond Germs: the Impact of Colonialism on Indigenous Health in America,' a Four-day seminar for invited scholars, Dragoon, AZ, Sponsored by the Amerind Foundation, $12,000, . Foundation. Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, Connecting Learning to Instruction in Olathe II, a Teaching American History Grant for Olathe (KS) Public Schools, U.S. Department of Education, $814,000, . Federal. Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, Empires of Blood: the Indigenous Fight for North America, 1754-1783, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, $8,000, Submitted 01/01/2014 (06/01/2014 - 07/31/2014) . Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, General Research Fund Award, Research Grant, General Research Fund, University of Kansas, $2,800, Submitted 01/01/2013 (07/01/2013 - 07/31/2013) . During the summer of 2013, I completed my portion of the introduction to this edited volume and my chapter. The book has since been accepted for publication by University of Arizona Press and will be released fall 2015. University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, Resident Fellow, Hall Center for the Humanities, - 04/30/2008) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, General Research Fund Award, Research Grant, General Research Fund, University of Kansas, - 07/31/2007) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, Sabbatical Research Leave, University of Kansas, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, - 12/31/2006) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, General Research Fund Award, Research Grant, General Research Fund, University of Kansas, - 07/31/2006) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, General Research Fund Award, Research Grant, General Research Fund, University of Kansas, - 07/31/2004) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, New Faculty General Research Fund Award, New Faculty Research Grant, General Research Fund, University of Kansas, - 05/31/2003) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Kelton, Paul, General Research Fund Award, Research Grant, General Research Fund, University of Kansas, - 07/31/2002) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Research Profile:

Professor Kelton (Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1998) has made important revisions to scholarship on the biological processes involved in the European takeover of the Americas. He is the author of “Avoiding the Smallpox Spirits: Colonial Epidemics and Southeastern Indian Survival,” Ethnohistory 51 (Winter 2004): 45-71; Epidemics and EnslavementCherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs; and Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America​, edited with Catherine Cameron and Alan Swedlund (University of Arizona Press, forthcoming). By placing humanity’s struggle with epidemics within the larger context of colonialism’s social disruption, structural violence, and political upheaval, Kelton’s books and articles have implications for understanding the origins of global health disparities and for teaching valuable lessons regarding modern approaches to emerging infectious diseases.  Professor Kelton continues his in-depth research on Indigenous experiences with European-introduced diseases and has ongoing projects detailing the contours of Native death and survival during the Seven Years War in North America, the American Revolution, and Indian Removal. 

Recent Publications:

Teaching Profile:

Professor Kelton believes that teaching and research are necessarily connected activities. The former hones one's skills to make research accessible to the public while the latter allows one to bring the newest and most important interpretations into the classroom. He enjoys teaching students at all levels and offers courses across a spectrum that ranges from freshmen-level surveys to graduate seminars. He has mentored eight students to successful completion of their PhDs and won the Louise Byrd Graduate Educator Award in 2015. He teaches and advises students in the Indigenous Studies Program and holds a position on that unit’s Executive Board.

Recent Courses:

  • HIST 128: History of the United States Through the Civil War
  • HIST 353: Indigenous Peoples of North America
  • HIST 696: Senior Research Seminar
  • HIST 801: Graduate Colloquium in North American Indigenous History

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