John Webb Barham:

Historian, Lecturer, Writer and Columnist

John Webb Barham, a passionate and much sought after lecturer, had his fascination with travel and history ignited as a youngster, when his father took him on extended trips into Mexico and French Canada.  Later, as a sixth grader, his love of history would propel him to win the city-wide elementary school radio history contest in his home town of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. After that decisive event early in life, John was never far from some book dealing with history.

In college, John continued his passion for history, majoring in the subject and pursuing undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Arkansas, Mississippi State University and Vanderbilt University.

After graduate school, John served as an associate professor at both Jacksonville State University (Alabama) and King Saud University (Saudi Arabia).  Eventually returning to the United States in 1984, John entered the field of higher education administration, first as a dean at the University of Texas at Brownsville and later as a provost in the State University of New York.  After a career of forty years in higher education, he retired from the University of Missouri in 2006.

1972 saw John engaged in research in Toulouse, France, where he also gained fluency in the French language; and, while an associate professor and advisor in institutional research for six years at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, he pursued Arabic language studies. 

During and after both gulf wars, John was a highly praised speaker and lecturer on the Arab world and Islam.  His presentations after 9/11 drew record numbers and eventually resulted in his working with the Missouri Humanities Council and making numerous radio and television appearances.

During John’s tenure as an administrator at the University of Texas at Brownsville, his childhood enthrallment with Mexico was reawakened; and, by traveling to virtually all corners of the country and immersing himself in Mexican history, he would eventually acquire proficiency in the subject.

John’s retirement has left little or no time for leisure, as he divides his time between Mexico and his residence in Brownsville, Texas, and is constantly on the road for speaking engagements, presenting numerous programs each year throughout Mexico on Mexican history, culture, archaeology and politics for Elderhostel International.

Another major undertaking for John was been his acquisition of credentials as a Mexican journalist and writing a regular column, “North Looking South,” for the publication Atencion San Miguel in San Miguel de Allende.

John is available for speaking engagements for any group or organization seeking a stimulating and thought-provoking speaker.  He may be contacted by the following:

1955 West Monroe St.

Brownsville, Texas 78520