Shannen Dee Williams

Assistant Professor of History

Phone: 865-974-7088

Departmental Website

Shannen Dee Williams is an assistant professor of history and an expert on African-American, Catholic, civil rights, women's, and black religious history, as well as twentieth-century U.S. social movements. She frequently lectures on the long and rich history of black Catholic nuns in the Atlantic world. Her research has been supported by numerous fellowships and grants, including the Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship in Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

She holds a doctorate in history and a graduate certificate in women's and gender studies from Rutgers University, a master's degree in Afro-American studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a bachelor's degree in history from Agnes Scott College.

Williams is working on the manuscript for her first book Subversive Habits: Black Nuns and the Long Struggle to Desegregate Catholic America. When published, it will be the first historical monograph to examine the lives and labors of black Catholic sisters in the twentieth-century U.S.

Topics of expertise: African-American history, Catholic history, civil rights history, women's history, black religious history, twentieth-Century U.S. social movements

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