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The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program


Shannen Dee Williams

Shannen Dee WilliamsShannen Dee Williams is Assistant Professor of History at Villanova University. She is at work on her first book, Subversive Habits: The Untold Stories of Black Catholic Nuns in the United States, which is under contract with Duke University Press. Based on previously sealed church records and more than 100 oral history interviews, Subversive Habits unearths black sisters' largely hidden efforts in the long struggle against racial segregation and exclusion in the Catholic Church and wider American society.
Williams's research has been supported by a host of awards and fellowships including a Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship for Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, and the John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award from the American Catholic Historical Association. In September 2018, Williams received the inaugural Sister Christine Schenk Award for Young Catholic Leadership from Future Church for using history to foster racial justice and reconciliation in religious congregations of women.

Lectures