Howard Phillips

Howard Phillips is a professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town, where he pioneered research in and the teaching of the social history of medicine and disease. He is the author or coauthor of numerous works, including “Black October”: The Impact of the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918 on South Africa.

Listed in: African Studies · Medicine · History · African History · Public Health




Epidemics · The Story of South Africa’s Five Most Lethal Human Diseases
By Howard Phillips

This is the first history of epidemics in South Africa, lethal episodes that shaped this society over three centuries. Focusing on five devastating diseases between 1713 and today—smallpox, bubonic plague, “Spanish influenza,” polio, and HIV/AIDS—the book probes their origins, their catastrophic courses, and their consequences.

“Such a book is overdue…(It) is precisely written, accessible, eminently readable, and, as I have found out, can be effectively deployed as an effective teaching tool.”

Julie Parle, University of KwaZulu-Natal