University of Minnesota
Department of History

Department of History's home page.

Donna R Gabaccia

Department of History 1116 HellerH 271 19th Ave S


  • International migration studies
  • United States immigration and labor history
  • Comparative women and gender
  • World history

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1979.
  • Master's of Arts: University of Michigan, 1975.
  • Bachelor's of Arts with Distinction: Mount Holyoke College, 1971.


  • Gender and Migration: Gabaccia, Donna, with Katharine Donato, Jennifer Holdaway, Martin Manalansan, and Patricia Pessar, International Migration Revew, 40 , 2006.
  • "Nations of Immigrants: Do Words Matter?" : Gabaccia, Donna, The Pluralist , 5, 3 (Fall 2010) 5-31.
  • Foreign Relations: Global Perspectives on American Immigration . Gabaccia, Donna, Princeton University Press, Author, 2012. Link
  • Connecting Seas and Connected Ocean Rims: Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans and China Seas Migrations from the 1830s to the 1930s. Gabaccia, Donna, Dirk Hoerder , Brill , Co-Editor, 2011. Link
  • Intimacy and Italian Migration: Gender and Domestic Lives in a Mobile World. Gabaccia, Donna, Loretta Baldassar, Fordham University Press , Co-Author, 2010. Link
  • “Transition in Gender Ratios among International Migrants, 1820-1930". Gabaccia, Donna, Elizabeth Zanoni , Co-Author.
  • “Recipes in Context: Solving a Small Mystery in Charleston’s Culinary History". Gabaccia, Donna, Jane Aldrich , Co-Author.

Research Activities

  • Imagining Nations of Immigrants: a book that seeks to explain why the U.S., almost alone of the many nations of the world formed through migration, features immigration so prominently in its histories and myths about itself
  • Gender Ratios and International Migration : book project with Katharine Donato, Vanderbilt University , 2006 - 2013

Professional Activities

  • President, Social Science History Association: 2008
  • Co-Editor "Studies in World Migrations": Book Series, University of Illinois Press , 2005 - present

Outreach Activities

  • Fesler-Lampert Chair in Public Humanities :, 2009 - 2010
  • Gilder Lerman History in a Box Vol. VIII: The Freedom to Move: Immigration and Migration in U.S. History , 2009 - 2012
  • "Food, Farms and History: A Conversation with Michael Pollan":, January 4, 2013


  • President, Social Science History Association, 2007 - 2008
  • Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar , 2008 - 2009
  • 2010 Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Program Faculty Field Grant , 2011 - 2011

Courses Taught

  • Migration in Global History
  • Comparing Global Migrations (Graduate Level)
  • The Age of Global Contact
  • How to Do History
  • Food in History
  • Pathways to Minnesota: Digital Humanities
Alternative Output Formats Alternative Output Formats

Featured Faculty

  • Prof. Ruggles Chosen to Lead Population Association of America (PAA)

    Prof. Steve Ruggles has been chosen president-elect of the Population Association of America (PAA) He will be the first historian ever to lead that organization (more typically its presidents have been sociologists or economists). Steve will serve as PAA president-elect in 2014 and president in 2015.

    This honor is recognition of the great work that Steve has done both in his own research and in supporting the work of other scholars through his work with the Minnesota Population Center. Congratulations, Prof. Ruggles!

    Learn more about the Population Association of America (PAA)

    March 15th, 2014
  • Digital Research Projects by HIST 3959 Students

    In Fall 2013, HIST 3959 - How to Do History was taught by Prof. Donna Gabaccia with a focus on digital history research projects. One additional feature of HIST 3959 this fall was that six graduate students earned graduate credit by working with the undergraduate groups as "project managers."

    Here is a sample of innovative projects from class:

    The Pacific Railroad Surveyors
    Jewish Life in 1930s/40s Minneapolis
    Why Public Education?
    Rustication in the Chinese Cultural Revolution
    Early Scandinavian Cartography
    Korea, Forgotten War?
    Political Leadership and Masculinity

    December 13th, 2013
  • Major Awards for History Profs. Kevin Murphy, Barbara Welke, Donna Gabaccia (2), Kay Reyerson, Elaine Tyler May

    It has been a season for great honors and accomplishments for our faculty. Congratulations to all!

    Donna Gabaccia is one of the recipients of the 2013 University Outstanding Community Service Award
    Donna Gabaccia has been awarded the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective.
    Elaine Tyler May has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013 by The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
    Kevin Murphy is a 2013 recipient of the UofM's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.
    Kay Reyerson has been awarded the Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy.
    Barbara Welke has been named one of the new Distinguished McKnight University Professors.

    April 3rd, 2013

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