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Alison Frank Johnson

Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair


Alison Frank Johnson

Alison Frank Johnson is professor of history at Harvard University and a resident faculty at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) where she co-chairs the History Seminar. She also serves as chair of the department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard.

She specializes in the history of German-speaking Europe and the Habsburg Monarchy in the modern period. She has written about environmental and economic history, natural resources, the death penalty, the Mediterranean slave trade, and popular religiosity, among other diverse topics.


  • Professor of History, Harvard University
  • Chair, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
  • Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

Select Publications

Frank Johnson, Alison. “Europe without Borders: Environmental and Global History in a World after Continents,” Contemporary European History. Volume 31 (January 2022): 129-141.

Frank Johnson, Alison. “Waiting for the Executioner: Regime Change and the Case for Clemency,” The Public Seminar, 21 January 2021.

Frank Johnson, Alison, and Emily Greble. “Soccer and the Enduring Nonsense of Race,” The Public Seminar, 21 June 2021.

Frank Johnson, Alison. "The Strange, Sad Case of the ‘Bosnian Christian Girl’: Slavery, Conversion, and Jurisdiction on the Habsburg-Ottoman Border,” Austrian History Yearbook 51 (April 2020), 39-59.

Frank, Alison. “The Children of the Desert and the Laws of the Sea: Austria, Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and the Mediterranean Slave Trade in the Nineteenth Century,” American Historical Review 117, no. 2 (April 2012), 410-444.

Frank, Alison. “The Petroleum War of 1910: Standard Oil, Austria, and the Limits of the Multinational Corporation,” American Historical Review 114, no. 1 (February 2009), 16-41.

Frank, Alison. Oil Empire: Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia (Harvard University Press, 2005).