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Mattie Christine Webb

History Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


My dissertation presents a new social and political history of the anti-apartheid movement, one of the most important episodes in late-20th century U.S. history. This project, based on an examination of extensive oral histories and multilingual archival materials from the United States and South Africa, complicates the role of U.S. multinational corporations amid the late apartheid era.

As a public historian, I am also spearheading an ongoing oral history project based in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, which includes numerous interviews with South African workers, trade unionists, and anti-apartheid activists.


I 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. 

I am also a Visiting Scholar and Affiliate at Rhodes University and the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) in Makhanda (Grahamstown), Eastern Cape, South Africa, where I have actively participated in worker education programs while spearheading my ongoing oral history project. 

Beyond my academic work, I am an accomplished distance runner, and compete for the HOKA Aggies post-collegiate club, where I race distances from the 5K to the Marathon. I ran and competed at the Division I level throughout my BA and MA programs, running for both North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

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I am based in Santa Barbara, California and am currently available for speaking engagements, collaborative work, guest lectures, and any media requests

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