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Johnson Bavery Joins History Faculty

A photo of Ashley Johnson Bavery.
A photo of Ashley Johnson Bavery.


Ashley Johnson Bavery comes to Eastern Michigan from Chicago, Illinois, where she got her PhD and taught at Northwestern University. She is excited to join EMU's Department of History and Philosophy, where she will offer courses in twentieth-century United States history, immigration history, U.S. foreign policy, and urban history. She also looks forward to bringing her expertise on Detroit to EMU.

Her book manuscript, Destination Detroit: Immigration Politics on the U.S.-Canada Borderland explores the understudied U.S.-Canada border to understand how immigration restrictions in the 1920s created a network of immigrant smuggling and turned European border crossers into some of America's first undocumented immigrants. Her work uncovers a world inhabited by liquor smugglers, Ku Klux Klansmen, U.S. Border Patrolmen, and immigrants from across the globe who struggled to negotiate a borderland at the heart of America's automobile industry. She is also beginning work on a second project, which investigates xenophobia and political power in Dearborn, Michigan's Arab American community. More broadly, she hopes to draw on her specialization in  historical immigration to help EMU students better understand America's current political climate.

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