James L. A. Webb Jr.

James L. A. Webb, Jr. is a Professor of History at Colby College. He is the editor of the Ohio University Press series Perspectives on Global Health and the Series in Ecology and History and the author of Humanity’s Burden: A Global History of Malaria and The Long Struggle against Malaria in Tropical Africa. He is currently writing a book on the historical epidemiology of diarrheal diseases.

Listed in: History · African Studies · Asian Studies · Environmental Policy · Public Health · Medicine · International Studies · International History · Asian History · Global Issues · Environmental History · African History




Global Health in Africa · Historical Perspectives on Disease Control
Edited by Tamara Giles-Vernick and James L. A. Webb Jr.

Global Health in Africa is a first exploration of selected histories of global health initiatives in Africa. The collection addresses some of the most important interventions in disease control, including mass vaccination, large-scale treatment and/or prophylaxis campaigns, harm reduction efforts, and nutritional and virological research. The chapters in this collection are organized in three sections that evaluate linkages between past, present, and emergent.

“An immensely valuable collection…Global Health in Africa should inspire a new generation of local historians to locate the medical in African histories.”

Social History of Medicine




Tropical Pioneers · Human Agency and Ecological Change in the Highlands of Sri Lanka, 1800–1900
By James L. A. Webb Jr.

In 1800, the highlands of Sri Lanka had some of the most biologically diverse primary tropical rainforest ecosystems in the world. By 1900, only a few craggy corners and mountain caps had been spared the fire stick. Highland villagers, through the extension of slash-and-burn agriculture, and British managers, through the creation of plantations—first of coffee, then cinchona, and finally tea—had removed virtually the entire primary forest cover.