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The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program

Shannen Dee Williams

Shannen Dee WilliamsShannen Dee Williams is an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she teaches courses in U.S., African American, women's, civil rights, and religious history. She is currently working on her first book, "Subversive Habits: The Untold Story of Black Catholic Nuns in the United States," charting the epic journey of African American women religious from their fiercely contested beginnings in the nineteenth-century slave South to the present day. In doing so she shatters the silences surrounding the lives and labors of black sisters, including their largely hidden history in the fight against racial segregation and exclusion in the twentieth century. Williams' research has been supported by a host of fellowships and grants, including a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, a Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association, the OAH Huggins-Quarles Award, and a John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award from the American Catholic Historical Association.