Kathleen Alfin


Advisor: Florence Bernault

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 examines how American ideas of race, gender, and sexuality influenced the establishment of a U.S. Army prostitution program in Liberia during World War II and Liberian women’s experiences of this sex operation. In addition to African History, I am also interested in Environmental History, especially the influence that militaries and warfare have had on the environment.


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”

Selected Publications

  • “A Firsthand Account of Finding Nature on a U.S. Military Base.” Edge Effects. February 27, 2018.
  • Review of The Nature of Whiteness: Race, Animals, and Nation in Zimbabwe by Yuka Suzuki. African Studies Review, Volume 60 no. 2 (2017): 239-240.
  • Review of Welcome to Greater Edendale: Histories of Environment, Health, and Gender in an African City by Marc Epprecht. Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue canadienne des études africaines, Volume 51 no. 2 (2017): 332-334.


  • 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