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Professor Linda Newson obtained her BA and PhD from the Department of Geography at University College London. She was a Lecturer, Reader and Professor at King’s. She briefly taught in the Geography Departments at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Cambridge, and has twice held a Fellowship at the Newberry Library, Chicago. 

She is the author of six monographs and has published extensively in both English and Spanish. In 1992, she received the Carl O. Sauer Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers, USA, and in 1993, the Back Award from the Royal Geographical Society for her contributions to the historical geography of Latin America. 

In 2000, she was elected Fellow of the British Academy and in 2001 Fellow of King’s College London. She has held senior administrative positions within King's, including the Head of the School of Humanities from 1997-2000. She served on the Council of the British Academy from 2007-2010 and is currently on its International Policy Committee.

She also chairs its Latin American and Caribbean Panel. She is a Strategic Reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and serves on the Peer Review College. She is also a member of the Advisory Panel on the Endangered Archives Programme, sponsored by Arcadia, at the British Library.


  • Demographic change in Latin America and the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period 
  • The impact of colonial rule on indigenous societies 
  • Portuguese slave trade to Spanish America 
  • The history of medicine in early colonial Spanish America

Linda is an historical geographer who is interested in explaining geographical variations in the impact of colonial rule on indigenous peoples. Although she is particularly interested in the demographic impact of the Old World diseases, her work views demographic change within the wider context of the economic and political changes that were consequent upon contact with Europeans. She has completed books on the impact of colonial rule on the island of Trinidad, Nicaragua, Honduras and Ecuador. 

Further details

See Linda's research profile