James Giblin, Ph.D.

Professor, History

Dr. Giblin received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1986. He is currently a Professor of History at the University of Iowa.  

His primary research interest is Tanzania and East Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His first book, The Politics of Environmental Control in Northeastern Tanzania, 1840-1940, explored connections between environmental and political change. More recent research on social history in twentieth-century Tanzania has been published as A History of the Excluded: Making Family and Memory a Refuge from State in Twentieth Century Tanzania.

He regularly teaches GHS:3555 Understanding Health & Disease in Africa, a course intended for students coming from a variety of disciplines who are interested in current African health issues.  The course stresses that good public health policy in Africa requires recognition of Africa’s “therapeutic diversity,” i.e., the people who live in countries in Africa utilize not just Western biomedicine but rather a variety of traditions of healing.  This aspect of modern Africa affects all aspects of life on the continent from religion to culture to sexuality and beyond.

At U Iowa, Dr. Giblin has also taught courses on African history, the history of human rights, and oral history (which was part of a collaborative community-based theater production).


head shot of Jim Giblin in front of a painting of an African community
Contact Information

117 Schaeffer Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Phone Number