Paul R. Greenough
Paul Greenough has three broad areas of interest. One area is the history of immunization within public health. (He holds an additional appointment in the Department of Community and Behavioral Medicine in the College of Public Health.) His first involvement with public health immunization was when he contracted hepatitis-B from a cholera inoculation given by a public health worker while attending a giant pilgrimage center in India. He is something of a smallpox buff, and has published several historical papers on smallpox control in India between 1800 and 1975; he currently is collaborating with UK historian, Dr. Sanjoy Bhattacharya, on the history of smallpox eradication in Bangladesh, 1960-75. Off and on for quite a few years he has also been writing a book about investigative epidemiology in the US Centers for Disease Control, and for the completion of this project he has followed CDC epidemiologists abroad to see how they fared outside their North American cultural moorings.
A second area of interest is the social and environmental history of India, for which he's written at different times about rice-eating Bengali peasants and proletarians during famines, supercilious Indian rajas as tourists abroad, imperious conservation ecologists as designers of tiger reserves, mangrove swamps as sites of ecological desires, rebellious Indian subject/citizens in the second World War, and natural disasters in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka. His current research in this area explores themes (such as agency, vulnerability, theodicy, relief) in the social response to tsunamis and other natural disasters in India and Sri Lanka. Because Indian social and environmental history is so well developed, and has so many practitioners, it offers a churning sea of continuous research initiatives, with theoretical twists and turns, and the possibility (even for historians) of making practical suggestions for intervention.
A third area of interest is in the cultural, material and political relationships between India and other parts of the world during the late imperial period (c.1800-1960), and the follow-on consequences of migration out of India in the age of globalization. Matters such as the diasporic ties between India, East Africa, the Pacific islands and the Caribbean fascinate him. This fascination has involved travel to destinations beyond South Asia and has given him a broader perspective on (and sometimes even a grudging respect for) the scale of European imperialism. It has also has allowed him to collaborate with Caribbean and African historians, anthropologists, writers and artists, with a resulting huge intellectual stimulation. A current project concerns the dispersal of animal species (specifically the diaspora of Indian house crow) as a material symbol for the intercontinental demographic and cultural scrambling that occurred under late imperialism.
Closely related to Greenough's research interests are his involvements with interdisciplinary graduate studies such as the Global Health Studies Program (http://international.uiowa.edu/centers/global-health/default.asp) and the Crossing Borders Program (http://international.uiowa.edu/centers/crossing-borders/default.asp). Global Health Studies has been organized at the University on an unusually collective and inter-collegiate basis and has grown since 1985 from a few graduate students and faculty members in a journal club to its present status as an undergraduate area of concentration as well as an MPH track in the new College of Public Health. The Crossing Borders Program began in 1999 as a small faculty-centered research project, but after obtaining a major grant from the Ford Foundation and strong backing from the Provost and the College of Liberal Art and Sciences, it has become a sizable training program involving 12 departments that offers regular seminars, conferences and travel opportunities to graduate students working at the interface of ethnic, national and geographic boundaries. Greenough relinquished the Crossing Borders directorship in 2006 but continues to be involved as the History department’s representative to its executive committee. His consistent experience is that good students dream up extraordinary, usually multi-sited research projects that faculty then try to support and must race about trying to find support for. Learning about and assisting students with these varied dissertation projects are among the best possible rewards in a serious University.
Courses recently taught:
- 16:007 Civilizations of Asia: South Asia (lower-level undergraduate)
- 16:022 Issues: Nature and Society in Historical Perspective (lower-level undergraduate)
- 16W:051 Colloquium for History Majors (World) (lower-level undergraduate)
- 16:100 Tsunami and Response to Natural Disaster (upper-level undergraduate)
- 16:120 Museum Literacy and Historical Memory (upper-level undergraduate)
- 16W:137 History of Public Health (upper-level undergraduate)
- 16W:138 History of International Health (upper-level undergraduate)
- 16W:140 Disease, Politics and Health in South Asia (upper-level undergraduate)
- 16W:194 Imperialism and Modern India (upper-level undergraduate)
- 16:293 Crossing Borders Seminar: Globalization (graduate)
- 16:295 Readings in Modern India (graduate)
- Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, University of Iowa, 2006
- Director, Global Health Studies Program, International Programs (1994-2007)
- Co-director, National Resource Center in International Studies (2003-2006, 1988-1991)
- Director, Crossing Borders Program, International Studies (1999-2006)