Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D.

Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Shannen Dee Williams is the Albert Lepage Assistant Professor of History at Villanova University. A historian of the African-American experience with research and teaching specializations in women’s, religious, and black freedom movement history, Williams is completing her first book, Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African-American Freedom Struggle, with Duke University Press.


Dr. Williams’s research been supported by a host of fellowships, grants, and awards, including a Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Fellowship in Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, a Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association, the Huggins-Quarles Award from the Organization of America Historians, and the John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award from the American Catholic Historical Association. Her work has been published in the Journal of African-American History, American Catholic Studies, America Magazine, the National Catholic Reporter, the Catholic News Service, and Religion Dispatches.


A Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, Dr. Williams received the Mary Magdalene Award from the Southeast Pennsylvania chapter of the Women's Ordination Conference in 2020 for her work in helping to amplify the voices of black Catholic women and girls in church history. In 2018, Williams received the inaugural Sister Christine Schenk Award for Young Catholic Leadership from FutureChurch for using history to foster racial justice and reconciliation in religious congregations of women.



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