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Dr. Alison Efford

Alison Efford
Dr. Alison EffordMarquette University

Sensenbrenner Hall, 303G

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-7863
Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor


Alison Clark Efford (PhD, Ohio State, 2008) is an historian of immigration and the nineteenth-century United States. Questions of race and power stand at the center of her work, which typically intertwines cultural, social, and political narratives.

Her first book, German Immigrants, Race, and Citizenship in the Civil War Era (Cambridge University Press, 2013), explored how German Americans contributed to the rise and fall of white commitment to black rights. Its transnational approach to the post-war period garnered particular attention. Other essays and articles have appeared in The Missouri Historical Review, The Bulletin of the German Historical Institute, The Journal of the Civil War Era, The Gettysburg Address: Perspectives on Lincoln’s Greatest Speech (ed. Sean Conant, Oxford University Press, 2015), Reconstruction in A Globalizing World (ed. David Prior, Fordham University Press, 2018), and the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee.

Dr. Efford’s current project uses the heavily documented phenomenon of immigrant suicide to apply new insights from the history of emotions to the question of immigrant suffering. With case studies of German, Jewish Eastern European, Japanese, Polish, and Italian immigrants, her book will link intensely personal feelings of despair to the ways different groups interacted with each other at the turn of the twentieth century. She is also collaborating with Viktorija Bilić (Translation and Interpreting Studies, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee) on a collection of Civil War–era letters by the important German-American abolitionist and suffragist Mathilde Franziska Anneke.

Dr. Efford performs professional service for several organizations, including the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (as newsletter editor) and H-Transnational German Studies (as co-book review editor). She enjoys bringing her perspective as a native New Zealander to the classroom, regularly teaching surveys of US history and upper-division courses on immigration and on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. She works with graduate students who research immigration, race, and other aspects of US culture, society, and politics.

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of History
Sensenbrenner Hall, 202A
1103 W. Wisconsin Avenue 
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7217

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