Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Jennifer Greenburg

Jennifer Greenburg

Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Brown University

Jennifer Greenburg is a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. She holds a PhD in Geography from UC Berkeley. Jennifer’s research focuses on the historical and geographical entanglement of US militarism with humanitarianism. Methodologically, her work combines ethnography of military training sites with archival investigations of colonial and Cold War histories, focusing in particular on the ties that bind Haiti to the United States. Jennifer’s research has received funding from the Social Science Research Council and the National Science Foundation. Her publications have appeared in The Journal of Historical Geography and Journal of Haitian Studies.

Jennifer is currently working on her first book manuscript, based on her dissertation, “‘We’re an NGO with guns’: Haitian geographies of US militarized development,” a study of the US military’s enlistment of development as a counterinsurgency weapon in the post-9-11 moment. This project combined ethnographic observations of US military trainings with primary archival research in Haiti, a site of continual US intervention whose history is used in present-day military instruction. The book manuscript expands several dimensions of this research, including the gendered articulations of militarized development. Jennifer is currently conducting research on the US military’s establishment of all-female counterinsurgent teams in the years leading up to the recent reversal of policies that technically banned women from direct assignment to ground combat. Her next book project, “Genealogies of Humanitarian Violence,” is a history of the present entanglement of militarism and humanitarianism in Haiti.


2016  “‘The one who bears the scars remembers’: Haiti and the historical geography of US militarized development.” Journal of Historical Geography 51: 52-63.

2013 “The ‘strong arm’ and the ‘friendly hand’: military humanitarianism in post-earthquake Haiti.” The Journal of Haitian Studies 19 (1): 60-87.

2010 “The spatial politics of xenophobia: everyday practices of Congolese migrants in Johannesburg.” Transformation 74: 66-86.