DR. Kelly Shannon

Ph.D., Temple University
Associate Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • U.S. Foreign Relations
  • 20th Century U.S.
  • Human Rights
  • Modern Islamic World
  • Modern Iran

Email: shannonk@fau.edu
Office Phone: (561) 297-1329

Dr. Kelly J. Shannon is Associate Professor of History and the Chastain-Johnston Middle Eastern Studies Distinguished Professor of Peace Studies at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Since July 2020, she is also the Director of FAU’s Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Initiative (PJHR). As articulated in the University Strategic Plan, PJHR’s mission is to work toward “developing and sharing the best practices for promoting tolerance and understanding of diverse cultures.” One of nine University-level platforms, PJHR offers a unique multidisciplinary framework operating across the university to invite engagement by all members of the university community and its external partners in research, scholarship, creative activities, and applied practices that realize a more just and peaceful world. PJHR works to facilitate dialogue and involvement in public affairs through research, workshops, forums, artistic experiences, and community engagement.

Shannon specializes in the history of U.S. foreign relations, with particular attention to the 20th century. Her research focuses on U.S. relations with the Islamic world, U.S. relations with Iran, Muslim women’s human rights, transnational history, and human rights and U.S. foreign policy. Her first book, U.S. Foreign Policy and Muslim Women’s Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) explores the integration of American concerns for women’s human rights into U.S. policy towards the Islamic world since the Iranian Revolution. Her 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. She has also authored essays for Passport and Town Square 49, as well as several book reviews.

Shannon has been involved with PJHR since its inception in 2014 and was an inaugural faculty fellow. She is also affiliated with FAU’s Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program. She is the recipient of several grants and honors, including a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, Rockefeller Archive Center 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.  She is an active member of SHAFR, as well as several other scholarly organizations.

Shannon is the winner of the 2019 Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. 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.), and prior winners have gone on to become leading scholars in the field. As part of the award, Shannon delivered her 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 her lecture was published in Diplomatic History in June 2020.

Shannon has given presentations at numerous scholarly venues, including the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Association for Iranian Studies, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University, the Center for Cold War Studies and International History at the University of California-Santa Barbara, the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Nichols College, the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, the British Academy in London, the New England Historical Association, and the Temple University International History Workshop. Her expertise has been called upon by the media, and she has given many public lectures and authored op eds in news outlets such as The Washington Post.

Prior to joining the faculty at FAU in 2014, Shannon 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). She earned her Ph.D. in History at Temple University, her M.A. in History at the University of Connecticut, and her A.B. in History from Vassar College.

Shannon is currently working on two new 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.




Undergraduate Courses

  • U.S. History since 1877
  • Introduction to Historical Study
  • History of Human Rights
  • U.S. since 1945
  • Diplomatic History of the U.S.
  • History of U.S. Women
  • Special Topics in American History: American Perceptions of Muslims in Historical Perspective
  • Senior Seminar

Graduate Courses

  • Readings in U.S. History:  Readings in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations
  • Seminar in U.S. History:  The Problem of Empire in American Foreign Relations
  • Teaching Practicum

Curriculum Vitae (Available upon request)