Ashley Johnson Bavery

A photo of Ashley Johnson Bavery

Associate Professor

History and Philosophy

701T Pray-Harrold


[email protected]


  • Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • BA, Mount Holyoke College

Interests and Expertise

Ashley Johnson Bavery is a historian of United States immigration, race, and foreign policy. Her book, Bootlegged Aliens: Immigration Politics on America’s Northern Border (Penn 2020) won the First Book Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for its examination of unauthorized immigration in Detroit before World War II. Her current book project explores early Muslim immigration to the American Midwest and draws on local archives, mosque records, and oral histories to understand how Syrians, Palestinians, Bosnians, and Albanians negotiated urban life and forged interethnic and interracial relationships in Chicago and Gary, Indiana. At EMU, she teaches courses on U.S. immigration, urban America, and the U.S. in the world. She also teaches history methods courses and the senior seminar, which she runs in partnership with the EMU Archives.


  • HIST 124: The United States 1877 to Present
  • HIST 205: American Immigration and Ethnic History
  • HIST 300W: Researching and Writing History
  • HIST 426: U.S. History 1963-present
  • HIST 440/540: The History of Detroit
  • HIST 490W: Senior Seminar
  • HIST 585: Studies in Twentieth Century United States History
  • HIST 592: U.S. Foreign Policy / The United States and the World

Publications and Presentations

  • Bootlegged Aliens: Immigration Politics on America’s Northern Border (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020).
  • “Between Arabic, English, and Spanish: Syrian Muslim Migrations Between Mexico and the Midwest in the Twentieth Century,” forthcoming in Hidden Histories: Unauthorized European Migrations to the United States, eds. Danielle Battisti and S. Deborah Kang, (under contract with University of Illinois Press).
  • “Militarizing the Northern Border: State Violence and the Formation of the U.S. Border Patrol,” Journal of American History, Vol. 109, Issue 2, September 2022.
  • "Crashing America's Back Gate: Illegal Europeans, Policing, and Welfare in Detroit, 1921–1939," Journal of Urban History, June 23, 2016.