Professor of History James L.A. Webb Jr. has received a $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine for his project Malaria in Africa: A History of Infections and Interventions, 1900-2010.
 
The grant provides resources for Webb to research and write a book on that topic, a follow-up to his influential 2009 work, Humanity’s Burden: A Global History of Malaria, published by Cambridge University Press (reviewed in summer 2009 Colby magazine).
 
Webb describes the new project as a historical epidemiology, and said it is unusual for a social scientist to receive that level of funding from NIH/NLS. His was one of five such grants for scholarly work in biomedicine and health and received the maximum funding.
 
The earlier book took both a global perspective and a long view—50,000 to 100,000 years of human history. His new study will focus on the history of infections and public health interventions specifically in Africa over a little more than a century. The grant provides funding for him to spend two semesters on leave from teaching to write, and he said he intends to take the coming two fall semesters to work on the book.