Jeff A. Webb



Professor and Head
Chairman of Editorial Board: Newfoundland and Labrador Studies
Member: English Language Research Centre


  • Ph.D. University of New Brunswick (1995)
  • M.A. Memorial University (1987)
  • B.A. Memorial University (1985)


Department of History
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1C 5S7
Phone: (709) 864 8420
Office: AA-4019

Research Interests

History of Newfoundland and Labrador; History of Social Studies and the Humanities; History of Mass Media; History of Atlantic Canada.

Current Research

I am a historian of Newfoundland whose interests include the history of the social sciences and humanities. Following an early work in political history I became interested in the ways that the mass media created a sense of community and identity. This led to several articles on aspects of the history of the confederation debate and a book on the social history of radio broadcasting. I then began work on the history of research on Newfoundland culture, culminating in my most recent book Observing the Outports: Describing Newfoundland Culture, 1950-1980.

My current research projects include a study of the geologist James P Howley's writings on the Beothuk, and the history of MUN Extension 1959-1990.

Student Supervision

I recently supervised graduate students in several areas, including the cultural revival of Newfoundland during the 1970s and the history of Resettlement. I am particularly interested in working with graduate students who want to work on the history of cultural movements, the history of universities, or the history of research, and will consider other topics.

Selected Publications


  • Observing the Outports: Describing Newfoundland Culture, 1950-1980 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016).
  • The Voice of Newfoundland: A Social History of the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland, 1939-1949 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).


  • "William Knox and the 18th Century Newfoundland Fishery" Acadiensis XLIV, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2015): 112-122.
  • "The Rise and Fall of Memorial University's Extension Service, 1959-91" Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, 29:1, 84-116.
  • "Cullers of language: The writing of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English" Dictionaries: The Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America 33, 58-82.
  • "Gate Keeping and Newfoundland Popular Culture" in Steve High (ed) Occupied St John's. McGill-Queen's University Press (2010)
  • "Revisiting Fence Building: Keith Matthews and the Historiography of Newfoundland" Canadian Historical Review (June 2010)
  • “Repertoire and Reception: Musical Culture in St John’s Newfoundland, 1930-1945" Journal of Canadian Studies (Spring 2008) 42:2.
  • “Who Speaks for the Public?: The Debate over Government or Private Broadcasting in Newfoundland, 1939-1949" Acadiensis Vol. XXXV, No.1 (Autumn 2005), 74-93.
  • “VOUS - Voice of the United States: The Armed Forces Radio Service in Newfoundland” Journal of Radio Studies Vol. 11 No.1 (June 2004), 87-99.
  • “Constructing Community and Consumers: Joseph R. Smallwood’s Barrelman Radio Program” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 1997, New Series Vol. 8 (1998), 165-186.
  • “Confederation, Conspiracy and Choice: A Discussion” Newfoundland Studies Vol. 14, No.2 (1998), 169-187.
  • “Canada’s Moose River Mine Disaster (1936): Radio-Newspaper Competition in the Business of News” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television Vol 16, No. 3, (October 1996), 365-376.
  • “Cultural Intervention: Helen Creighton's Folksong Broadcasts, 1938-39” Canadian Folklore canadien Vol.14 No.2 (1992), 159-170.
  • “Leaving the State of Nature: A Locke Inspired Political Community in St. John's Newfoundland, 1723” Acadiensis Vol.XI, No.1 (Autumn 1991), 156-165.