Jim Webb

Membership:  2016/2017

Member Bio

James L.A. Webb, Jr. is a professor of history at Colby College in Maine, where he teaches courses in ecological history, health history, and world history. His research is in the emerging field of the historical epidemiology of contemporary disease challenges. It focuses on the history of environmental and biomedical interventions to control disease and their impacts on disease transmission. His work synthesizes evidence from the biological sciences and the social sciences to develop historical perspectives that are useful to practitioners and planners in global public health. In 2010, Prof. Webb received a grant from the Wellcome Trust to conduct research on the historical epidemiology of African malarial infections and interventions. From 2011 to 2013, he was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine Grant for Scholarly Writing in Biomedicine and Health; in 2015 he was awarded a grant from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton; and in the spring of 2016, he held the Sanofi Chair at the Centre Virchow-Villermé (Paris-Descartes). He is the founding editor of two series at the Ohio University Press: Perspectives on Global Health, and Ecology and History.


  • “Climate, Ecology, and Infectious Human Disease.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Climate History, edited by Franz Mauelshagen, Christian Pfister, and Samuel White. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2017.
  • Globalization of Disease, 1300 to 1900. In The Cambridge World History, edited by Jerry H. Bentley, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, vol. 6. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • The Long Struggle Against Malaria in Tropical Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • with Tamara Giles-Vernick. Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control. Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2013.
  • Humanity’s Burden: A Global History of Malaria. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.