Paul Kelton

Associate Dean for the Humanities
Primary office:
785-864-3661
Strong Hall
Room 200


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).  As an interdisciplinary historian, Kelton 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 Enslavement (2007); Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs (2015); and (ed. with Catherine Cameron and Alan Swedlund) Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America. 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 joined the University of Kansas in 2001, has mentored eight PhD students to successful completion of their degrees, and in 2015 received the Louis Byrd Graduate Educator Award. 


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