Oscar  Webber

Oscar Webber

PhD Student

Summary: Environmental history; responses to nature-induced disasters; British colonialism; 19th century Caribbean history.

Overview: I am an environmental historian whose research focuses on human responses to nature-induced disasters. Though they have received little attention from historians, disasters are the product of historical processes and, as such, are ripe for historical investigation. I am specifically interested in exploring the processes of, and motivations behind, relief and aid giving. In many cases, who receives aid and the form in which it is provided can reveal and magnify the societal hierarchies, divisions and tensions that historians so frequently seek to investigate. My doctoral project provisionally titled ''Practical sympathy' - Disaster relief in the British Caribbean, 1812-1907' seeks to investigate disaster relief in a broad context, considering both immediate responses and the more long-term economic responses of the Colonial Office. 

Biography: I completed my undergraduate History degree in 2014, following which I completed an MA in Modern History at the University of Leeds in 2015. I am now in my first year of PhD study.


University of Leeds 110 Anniversary Scholarship for Doctoral Study (2015).

British Society for the History of Science research grant.

Economic History Society research grant.

Conference papers:

Historicising Disaster, ERSC PG Conference, University of York, June 2016

The Jamaican Earthquake of 1907, Historians Workshop, University of Leeds, May 2016

Community Engagement: I am very passionate about outreach. I work both as an Educational Outreach Fellow for the University of Leeds and for the Brilliant Club delivering History and Politics programmes to low progression schools in the North East of England.