Robert Peckham lectures on the history of medicine and health in the Department of History and in 2010 introduced cross-faculty teaching modules on global histories of disease and public health.
He is a founder and Director of the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine (CHM), a joint initiative of the Faculty of Arts and the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, where he oversees a programme of research projects involving a wide range of disciplines networked to national and international institutions. From 2008-2011 he was Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has also held fellowships at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge and St. Peter's College, Oxford, and he has been the recipient of a Senior Alexander S. Onassis Foundation Fellowship. In 2015, he was King's College London-HKU Fellow.
Research Interests and Projects
Robert’s current research focuses on the social, cultural, and political dimensions of infectious disease in modern Asia. An ongoing project examines the repurposing of communication technologies for epidemic surveillance: from the telegraph, telephone and radio, to satellites and aerial robotics ('drones'). He has also written on imperial medicine, colonialism, and the modern state. Informing his research is an interest in space, place, and the securitization of health. These convergent interests evolved from earlier work on the deployment of Western state-building technologies and institutional practices in the former territories of the Ottoman Empire in Southeast Europe. Listen to an interview on the New Books Network (NBN). He is currently the Principal Investigator of the following research projects:
'Techno-Imperialism and the Origins of Global Health,' supported by a GRF award from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.
'Political Ecologies: Drones and Emerging Infections in Southeast Asia.'
Teaching and Courses Taught
Robert received the Outstanding Teaching Award for 2012 in recognition of his contribution to teaching and learning in the University.
Students should consult Robert Peckham's course site for further information on courses they are taking or are interested in taking.
Research Postgraduate Supervisions
Robert welcomes enquiries from prospective MPhil and PhD students with interests that coincide with his own research, including aspects of: imperial and colonial history; the history of science, technology, medicine, and health; biopolitics, security, and the modern state.