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Alex Asal

Picture of Alexandra Asal

M.A. Candidate

Fields: Public History, U.S. Women's History, Global Jewish History
Education: B.A., History, Smith College
Interests: Archives

I came to the field of public history through my undergraduate education at Smith College. I knew I loved history, and I was pretty sure that I didn't want to teach in a formal classroom, which was the default suggestion from everyone who heard my major. In the search for a career that would not take me too far from the past, I started applying to archival internships, and that was that.

At UMass, my fields of focus have been public history, U.S. women's history (staying true to my Sophia Smith Collection roots), and global Jewish history. I am especially interested in looking at these fields through the lens of labor, immigration, and transnationalism. Women's labor in the World War II era, both in civilian work and in the military, is a perpetual fascination, and while I've never made food history an official area of study, it seems to keep showing up when I least expect it. Along the way, I have held internships with the Wexler Oral History Project and the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History, and I am always interested in talking about archives, the work they're doing, and why everyone should be excited about them.