March 8 lecture to explore historic role of black women in Catholic sisterhoods

The fight to desegregate the nation's historically white Catholic sisterhoods remains one of the most under-researched topics in American history. Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D., will explore the topic during her talk "Subversive Habits: The Untold Story of Black Catholic Nuns" on March 8 at 7 p.m. at Mount Mercy University’s on-campus Chapel of Mercy. 

Williams, who is assistant professor of United States and African-American history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is currently working on her first book manuscript for Subversive Habits: The Untold Story of Black Catholic Nuns in the United States. Her talk will walk attendees from the nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the contested entries of U.S.-born black women and girls.

“Having an inclusive and welcoming environment starts with education,” said MMU Director of Student Engagement Tiffany Leschke. “The more we know about our history, the more we can work toward creating an inclusive space for all.”

Williams is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds a Master of Arts in Afro-American studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as a Ph.D. in history and graduate certificate in women's and gender studies from Rutgers University.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating may be limited.


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