Allison Dorsey, Ph.D., Professor of History at Swarthmore College, previously served on the faculty of Hamilton College and Oberlin College. Dr. Dorsey also served as a Research Fellow at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University. In 2006, she completed an NEH Summer Seminar on the Black Freedom Struggle at Harvard University. In addition to numerous invited lectures and presentations, Dr. Dorsey has also taught the history of Reconstruction-era black freedmen in two NEH Landmarks in American History Workshops sponsored by the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah and an NEH Summer Seminar organized by University of South Carolina Beaufort. Her academic interests include the history of African Americans, the 20th-century civil rights movement, African American film, and food history.
Dr. Dorsey is the author of “'We’ve Taken Old Gods and given them New Names': The Spirit of Sankofa in Daughters of the Dust,” published in Writing History with Lightening: Cinematic Representations of Nineteenth Century America (Louisiana State University Press, 2019); "The great cry of our people is land! Black Settlement and Community Development on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, 1865-1900," published in The Atlantic World and African American Life and Culture in the Georgia Lowcountry (University of Georgia Press, 2010); "Black History is American History: Teaching African American History in the 21st Century," Journal of American History (2007); To Build Our Lives Together: Community Formation in Black Atlanta, 1875-1906 (University of Georgia Press, 2004); and "'white girls' and 'STRONG BLACK WOMEN': Reflections of a Decade of Teaching at PWIs," published in Feminist Pedagogies for the 21st Century (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2002).
Dr. Dorsey was Founding Director of the Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program (S3P) from 2014 to 2017. Dr. Dorsey has returned to research on black freedmen along the Georgia seacoast.
Dr. Dorsey received her M.A. and her Ph.D. in American History from the University of California, Irvine. She and her husband of more than 38 years, Brian Ward, make their home in Swarthmore.