About

Kelly_Shannon

I am an Associate Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), the Chastain-Johnston Middle Eastern Studies Distinguished Professor in Peace Studies, and the Director of FAU’s Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Initiative (PJHR). I specialize in the 20th century history of U.S. foreign relations and women’s history. My research focuses on U.S. relations with the Islamic world, U.S. relations with Iran, women’s human rights, transnational history, and international history. My first book, U.S. Foreign Policy and Muslim Women’s Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) explored the integration of American concerns for women’s human rights into U.S. policy towards the Islamic world since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. My other publications include book chapters and journal articles on President Harry Truman and the Middle East, the international movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM), U.S. encounters with Saudi gender relations during the first Gulf War, U.S. relations with Iran, and state of the field essays.

I am currently working on two books. The first is a monograph on U.S. relations with Iran during the first half of the twentieth century, tentatively entitled The Ties That Bind: U.S.-Iran Relations, 1905-1953. The second book, American Feminism and the World since 1945: An International History, is geared toward a general audience and is under contract with Bloomsbury Press. It examines the various ways in which U.S. feminists engaged with, influenced, and were influenced by international and transnational rights movements and global affairs since 1945.

At Florida Atlantic University, I teach undergraduate courses on 20th century U.S. history, U.S. women’s history, U.S. diplomatic history, U.S.-Islamic relations, the history of human rights, historical methods, and the senior seminar. I teach graduate readings courses and research seminars on U.S. women’s movements, U.S. foreign relations history, the history of U.S. empire, and the teaching practicum, and I advise M.A. theses.

Prior to becoming the PJHR director in July 2020, I had been affiliated with PJHR since its inception in 2014, when I served as an inaugural Faculty Fellow from 2014-2016. I am also affiliated with FAU’s Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program. I am the recipient of many grants and honors, including a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, a Rockefeller Archive Foundation Research Stipend, the Samuel Flagg Bemis Research Grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), the SHAFR Summer Institute, and the Marvin Wachman Fellowship in Force and Diplomacy from the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD) at Temple University.  I am an active member of SHAFR, as well as several other scholarly organizations. I have served on multiple SHAFR governing committees, and I currently serve on the SHAFR Executive Council. I have also spoken in many academic and public settings, and I have written op eds in venues like the Washington Post and have been interviewed by NPR and other media outlets.

I am the winner of the 2019 Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. One of the highest honors in the field of U.S. foreign relations history, the Bernath Lecture Prize recognizes and encourages excellence in research and teaching by a younger historian (under age 41 or within 10 years of earning the Ph.D.). Prior winners have gone on to become leading scholars in the field. As part of the award, I delivered my Bernath Lecture, “Approaching the Islamic World,” at the SHAFR luncheon held at the American Historical Association annual conference in New York City in January 2020, and my lecture was published in the June 2020 issue of Diplomatic History.

Prior to joining the faculty at FAU in 2014, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at La Salle University in Philadelphia (2010-2011) and an Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage (2011-2014). I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and I earned my Ph.D. in History from Temple University, M.A. in History from the University of Connecticut, and A.B. in History from Vassar College.