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Brockport / History / Faculty / Dr. Alison Parker

History Faculty

Dr. Alison Parkerparker

College Senate President 2015-2016

Office: 319 Liberal Arts Building
Phone: 585.395.5689


  • African American Women's History


  • PhD, The Johns Hopkins University, History, 1993.
  • MA, The Johns Hopkins University, History, 1990. 
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, History and the History of Art, Phi Beta Kappa, 1988.

Awards and Honors

  • Scholarly Incentive Award, College at Brockport, Spring 2013.
  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, State university of New York, Spring 2012.
  • Provost's Post-Tenure Research Fellowship, College at Brockport, Spring 2012.
  • Humanities Project Grant, University of Rochester, for organizing a conference "Gender and Race in American History," Spring 2010.
  • NEH Summer Seminar, "Motherhood and the Nation-State in Western Societies Times," Directed by Karen Offen & Marilyn Boxer, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Stanford University, Summer 2002.

Courses Taught 

  • Race and Gender in American History
  • American Women's History & Family History
  • American Legal History



Edited Books:

  • Interconnections: Gender and Race in American History, edited by Alison M. Parker & Carol Faulkner (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2012, paperback 2014).
  • Beyond Black and White: Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the U.S. South and Southwest, edited by  Stephanie Cole and Alison M. Parker, Texas A&M University Press, 2004.
  • Women and the Unstable State in Nineteenth-Century America, edited by Alison M. Parker and  Stephanie Cole, Texas A&M University Press, 2000.

Book Series Editor:


  • "'The Picture of Health': The Public Life and Private Ailments of Mary Church Terrell," in a special issue of the Journal of Historical Biography guest edited by Alison M. Parker, entitled "Disability and Disclosure: The Body, Secrets, and Women's Biography," (2013).
  • "Frances Watkins Harper and the Search for Women’s Interracial Alliances,” in Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle for Equal Rights, edited by Mary Huth and Christine Ridarsky (University of Rochester Press, 2012).
  • "Clubwomen, Reformers, Workers, and Feminists of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," in Women's Rights in the Age of Suffrage: People and Perspectives, edited by Crista DeLuzio (New York: ABC-CLIO, 2009).
  • "Women Activists and the US Congress, 1870s-1920s," in The American Congress: Building of Democacy, edited by Julian Zelizer, (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004).
  • "The Case for Reform Antecedents to the Woman Suffrage Movement," in Votes for Women: A  Concise History of the Suffrage Movement, Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • "'What We Do Expect the People Legislatively to Effect': Frances Wright, Moral Reform, and  State Legislation" in Women and the Unstable State in Nineteenth-Century America, edited by Alison M. Parker and Stephanie Cole, Texas A&M University Press, 2000.
  • "'Hearts Uplifted and Minds Refreshed': The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the  Production of Pure Culture," in Journal of Women’s History, Summer 1999.
  • "Mothering the Movies: Women Reformers and the Censorship of Popular Culture," in Movie Censorship and American Culture, edited by Francis Couvares, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996.

Digital Articles & Projects:

  • "Mary Church Terrell" peer-reviewed biographical essay for the series "Black Women and Suffrage" for the Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-200 website, edited by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn and Thomas Dublin (Alexander Street Press, Spring 2015).
  • “Mary Church Terrell’s International Perspective on U.S. Race Relations,” peer-reviewed article with a fully transcribed Primary Source Document Project for the Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 website, edited by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin (Alexander Street Press, Spring 2012).

Review Essays:

  • "Intersecting Histories of Gender, Race, and Disability, "Journal of Women's History (Spring 2015, Vol. 2y, Issue 1).
  • "Twentieth-Century Transformations: Sexualities Defined and Sexual Expression Expanded" Reviews in American History (June 2014).
  • “Reading Race Through U.S. Women’s Biographies,” in the Journal of Women’s History (Autumn, 2012 V. 24, Issue 3).
  • "The Alcotts and the Wilders: Revealing Family Histories,” for Reviews in American History (December 2010).
  • "The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848: A Pivotal Moment in Nineteenth-Century America."  Reviews in American History (Sept. 2008).
  • "Women's Rights and 'Speech Communities' in American Legal History," Reviews in American History, Vol. 31, N.1 (March 2003).

Conferences and Presentations 

  • The Harriet Jacobs Lecture, “Black Women and the Rise of the Democratic Party in the 1930s:  Mary Church Terrell, a Case Study,” Purdue University, March 2016.
  • “Mary Church Terrell at Oberlin: Integration and the Introduction of Jim Crow, 1880-1914,” Symposium on Mary Church Terrell’s Life & Legacy, Oberlin College, February 2016.
  • “’Mrs. T, they say you belong to the NAACP…and that you are critical:’ Mary Church Terrell’s 1930s Organizational Work,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History 100th Anniversary Conference, September 2015.
  • Invited Discussant, "A Shared Governance Success Story: The College at Brockport's Joint College Senate and Brockport Student Government Anti-Racism Resolution," Campus Governance Leadership Training Institute, June 2015.
  • Invited Speaker, "Women's Suffrage in New York State" panel, New York Council for the Humanities, Albany, New York, Spring 2015.
  • "Intersectionality:  Disciplinary Perspectives and Practices," roundtable organizer & participant, American Historical Association, January 2015.
  • Invited Talk, "The Black Elite? Mary Church Terrell's Financial Instability," University of Rochester, History Department Workshop, Fall 2014.
  • "Re-Envisioning Mary Church Terrell: From Racial Uplift to a Critique of 'White Lawlessness,'" Association for the Study of African American Life and History, September 2014.
  • Invited Talk, “Susan B. Anthony: Debates about Birth Control and Abortion in the Late 19th Century,” Susan B. Anthony Lecture Series, Susan B. Anthony House, May 2013.
  •  Invited Talk, “The International Activism of Mary Church Terrell,” National University of Ireland, Maynooth, March 2013. 
  • “Gilded Age Legal Culture and Race Relations,” Roundtable Discussion on “Rethinking The Long Gilded Age” at the American Historical Association, January 2013.
  • Invited Talk, “Interconnections: Race and Gender in American History,” Goucher College, October 2012.
  • “Mary Church Terrell: Disability and Disclosure,” Society for Disability Studies Conference, Denver, Colorado, June 2012.
  • Invited Talk: "Disability and Disclosure: The Public Life & Private Ailments of Mary Church Terrell," Johns Hopkins University, Spring 2012.
  • Presenter & Organizer: "'The Picture of Health': Mary Church Terrell's Privatizing of Her Body's Problems," for a Workshop: "The Body and Biography: Feminist Biographers and the Problem of Disclosure,: at the Berkshire Conference on Women's History, June 2011.
  • "Gender and Citizenship" Roundtable Participant at the Organization of American Historians, March 2011.
  • “Women and Electoral Politics in the Long 1920s: Race, Gender, and Political Culture," Chair, American Historical Association, January 2011.
  • “Possibilities and Limits of Biography in Comparative Perspective,” Roundtable Participant, American Historical Association, January 2010.
  • "Breaking Boundaries: Women in Nineteenth-Century American Politics," Roundtable Participant, Organization of American Historians, March 2009.

Current Project

  • I am writing a book on Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954), the first president of the National Association of Colored Women and a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Last Updated 10/27/15


Congratulations to Dr. Jose R. Torre on winning the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching!

History major Michael Zagari has been accepted into the Duquesne University School of Law this coming fall on a full academic scholarship! During his time at Brockport, Mike has played on the NCAA men’s ice hockey team and has won the Jack Crandall and Robert Griswold History Department Awards.

History major Gabrielle Brannigan received a scholarship to enter the MA program in Social Studies and Special Education at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education.

History professor Jose R. Torre to direct NEH Landmarks Workshop for K-12 teachers. The Rochester Reform Trail explores Rochester’s nationally important antebellum reform history. This July, 72 K-12 teachers from as far away as California, Florida and Oregon will visit Rochester and learn why national figures like Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony chose to live and work for social justice in Rochester, New York.


Robert Marcus Memorial Lecture, Thursday, 4/14/16, 7:30 pm, McCue Auditorium (LibArt 104 A/B), Dr. Raymond Craib (Cornell University), Title: "The Cry of the Renegade:  The politics and poetry of subversion in Santiago, Chile"