Kathleen Alfin

Email: kalfin@wisc.edu

Advisor: Florence Bernault
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Kathleen Alfin


My primary research interests revolve around Liberia during the early 20th century, in particularly during the First and Second World Wars. My Master’s thesis examined how American ideas of race, gender, and sexuality influenced the creation of a U.S. Army prostitution program in Liberia during World War II and Liberian women’s experiences of this sex operation. My dissertation is an expansion of this project that analyzes how Liberian and American notions race, class, and gender shaped relationships between and experiences of American soldiers and Liberian women during the Second World War. In addition to African History, I am also interested in Environmental History, in particularly the influence that militaries and warfare have had on the environment.


M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (African History)
M.S., Troy University (International Relations)
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (History)


  • African History

MA Title

  • “‘Uncle Sugar’s Belles:’ Liberian Sex Workers and the U.S. Army in the Second World War”

Working Dissertation Title

  • “Exceptional Encounters: American GIs and Liberian Women during the Second World War”

Selected Publications


  • March 2017 – Omar N. Bradley Historical Research Fellowship
  • March 2016 – Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for Swahili

Professional Affiliations

  • African Studies Association
  • The Society for Military History

Courses Taught (as Instructor)

  • History 108a – Regional Studies in World History-Africa (United States Military Academy, West Point, NY)
  • History 345 – Modern Africa (United States Military Academy, West Point, NY