Watson Institute at Brown University
International Relations
Jennifer Greenburg

Jennifer Greenburg

Jennifer Greenburg

Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs

Areas of Interest: Critical human geography, development studies, humanitarianism, US militarism, Haiti, gender.


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 Development and Change, Gender, Place, and Culture, Critical Military Studies, The Journal of Historical Geography and Journal of Haitian Studies.


Jennifer is currently working on her first book manuscript, The Gendered Work of War: Military Humanitarianism and the Production of the New American Soldier. This book investigates the US military’s enlistment of development and humanitarianism as counterinsurgency weapons in the post-9/11 era. The Gendered Work of War traces key turning points leading up to the present conjuncture of military humanitarianism, showing in particular how present-day military trainings rely on particular understandings of the colonial and Cold War past. The book manuscript argues that military uses of development and humanitarianism produced sweeping changes in military gender relations over the past decade. 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.


2017 “‘Going back to history’: Haiti and US military humanitarian knowledge production.” Spaces at the Intersection of Militarism and Humanitarianism, eds. Emily Gilbert and Killian McCormick, special issue, Critical Military Studies. doi: 10.1080/23337486.2017.1313380.

2017 “Selling stabilization: anxious practices of militarized development contracting.” Development and Change 48 (6): 1262-1286.

2017 “New military femininities: humanitarian violence and the gendered work of war among US servicewomen.” Gender, Place, and Culture 24 (8): 1107-1126.

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.


INTL 1803L: Humanitarianism in Uniform