top of page

Mattie Christine Webb

Historian || Writer || Teacher 


I am a social and political historian of the United States and southern Africa in the twentieth century. Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Associate and Kissinger Visiting Scholar with International Security Studies (ISS) at Yale University's Jackson School of Global Affairs.


I earned my Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2023. Since 2021, I have been an Affiliate Scholar with Rhodes University's Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) in South Africa. Interested in policy-driven research, I am also an International Policy Scholar Consortium and Network (IPSCON) Fellow with Johns Hopkins University (SAIS). My research sits at the nexus of transnational labor movements, Black internationalism, African studies, and U.S. foreign policy, and has been generously funded by a Fulbright Fellowship, a Boren Fellowship, and various other grants.


My book project, Diplomacy at Work: South African Labor, U.S. Multinationals, and Transnational Racial Solidarity (under contract with Columbia University Press), offers a new social and political history of the anti-apartheid movement, placing South African workers at the center of global narratives of labor and race in international relations.

I am currently working on a number of writing projects, many of them public-facing. One is an archives project on the American Committee on Africa and its ties to worker-based movements against apartheid. The other is a piece for an edited volume on great power politics and multipolarity. Finally, I am also writing a case study on the anti-apartheid movement, which will be used by undergraduates in Yale's Grand Strategy course.

As a public historian, I am also spearheading an oral history archives project based predominantly in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, which includes numerous interviews with South African workers, trade unionists, and anti-apartheid activists. Working with NALSU as well as archivists at the University of the Western Cape and Fort Hare University, I am preparing my interviews for donation.


I also hold a master’s degree in Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I wrote my thesis on economic sanctions as a tool to promote regime change, with a specific focus on the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. I received my BA summa cum laude in History from North Carolina State University in 2014. 

Beyond my academic work, I am a competitive long distance runner. I was a Division I Track & Field and Cross Country athlete throughout my BA and MA programs, competing for both North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I've wedded this interest with my research in South Africa, where I volunteer with a local running after school program for rural South African youth. I ran South Africa's historically-significant Comrades Ultra-Marathon (88K) in June 2024. I hope to incorporate the history of Comrades and other global running events into a book project on the role of sport in the fight against apartheid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-15 at 8.39.45 AM
Screen Shot 2022-10-15 at 8.08.52 AM
Screen Shot 2022-10-15 at 8.00.16 AM
Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 2.22.53 PM
Image 2

I am primarily based in New Haven, Connecticut and am currently available for speaking engagements, collaborative work, and guest lectures. I sometimes split time between the United States and South Africa.


bottom of page