Elisa Minoff is an assistant professor of History. She is a legal and political historian of the twentieth-century United States, and her research interests include the history of migration, social and economic policy, and citizenship.
Her current book project, The Age of Internal Migration (under contract, Cambridge University Press), examines the political and legal debates over migration in the mid-twentieth century. Between 1930 and 1970, as national quota laws kept the nation’s foreign-born population to a minimum, the attention of journalists, lawmakers, jurists, social workers, civil rights activists, and the broader public turned to internal migration. Drawing on a broad source base—including federal and state court case files, the records of Congress and presidential administrations, personal and organizational papers, and contemporary published accounts—the book explains how the debates over internal migration took shape and what their long-term effects were for policy and polity.
In 2013-2014, she held a Fellowship in Economic and Social History at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. She earned a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 2013. Her dissertation, “Free to Move? The Law and Politics of Internal Migration in Twentieth-Century America” received the William Nelson Cromwell Dissertation Prize from the American Society of Legal History in 2014.