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Department of History


Alexandra Bethlenfalvy

Title: Graduate Student
U.S. History, PhD
Department: History
College of Arts and Sciences
Alexandra Bethlenfalvy

Pronouns: she/her 

Advisor: Patricia Sullivan

Education: BA History, Religious Studies, and French, (McGill University, 2014); MA History, (Clemson University, 2016)

Bio: Alexandra is a PhD candidate in History, with a secondary field in both Women & Gender Studies and Atlantic World. In her dissertation, “Democracy’s Sanctuary: Highlander Folk School’s Campaign for Justice from the Labor Movement to the Civil Rights Movement, 1932-1962,” Alexandra demonstrates how Highlander’s evolution and extensive outreach captures the process of political and racial change in the South across a thirty-year period. Highlander—with its network of southern progressives—championed democracy by confronting systemic economic, social, and racial oppression. From the New Deal era to the early 1960s, the involvement of labor and civil rights activists shaped Highlander’s formative decades. By nurturing an environment for free-thinking and collaborative work, Highlander helped advance class and cross-racial alliances. Alexandra is the recipient of the 2023 Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship, and the 2023 David G. Ellison Fellowship from the Department of Southern Studies at USC. She was awarded the SPARC Research Grant in 2019, as well as the John A. Peters Fellowship from the Wisconsin Historical Society in 2018.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.