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Paul T. Kelton

Associate Professor and Chair, History
Primary office:
864-9450
Wescoe Hall
Room 3636


Professor Kelton (Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1998) examines the choices and actions of Indigenous Peoples and how they have shaped the fates of empires during the era of colonization. His reexamination of British relations with their Native allies has led to an important article, “The British and Indian War,” and has spurred research on a book project titled, “Empires of Blood: Indigenous Peoples and the Fight for North America, 1754-1783.” This will assess how Natives influenced the origins, courses, and outcomes of the Seven Years War and the American Revolution. He continues his in-depth research on Indigenous experiences with European-introduced diseases and 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: the Impact of Colonialism on Indigenous Health, edited with Catherine Cameron and Alan Swedlund (University of Arizona Press, forthcoming). These books and articles demonstrate how epidemics occurred within a larger context involving the Native slave trade, imperial warfare, Indigenous medical culture, and forced relocations.       

Recent Publications:

  • Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation’s Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2015)
  • “The British and Indian War: Cherokee Power and the Fate of Empire in North America” William and Mary Quarterly 69 (October 2012): 763-792
  • Epidemics and Enslavement: Biological Catastrophe in the Native Southeast (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

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 six students to successful completion of their PhDs and welcomes prospective students to apply to work with him. 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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Education

Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 1998


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Local Events

2nd Annual American Indian Art & Culture Extravaganza 
Saturday, December 9 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Johnson County Community College, Atrium at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Free and open to the public
American Indian arts and crafts vendors, lectures of American Indian cultures and issues, performances by American Indian dancers, photos with American Indian Santa, exhibitions by American Indian community members, silent auction to benefit scholarships for American Indian students, traditional American Indian soup and bread sale, and more
For more information: 913-469-8500 or cais@jccc.edu

FILM - Out of State
Saturday, December 09 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
In 2007, the state of Hawaii outsourced the care of roughly 2,000 male prisoners to a private, for-profit prison in Arizona. Exiled thousands of miles from their island home, a group of indigenous Hawaiian inmates have discovered their calling on the inside: teaching each other their native language and dances. As several of the men complete their sentences, the film follows them as they reintegrate in Hawaii. Out of State explores questions of cultural and religious identity; the overabundance of native Hawaiians and minorities in the prison system; the cycle of criminal behavior and its impact on the family; and prisoner entitlement. Join us for a moderated discussion led by Native-Hawaiian filmmaker and Out of State’s director, Ciara Lacy, and member of the Osage Nation, Jimmy Lee Beason II, M.S.W.

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