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Samuel H. Shannon Distinguished Lecture Series

Expanding Our Intellectual Community

The Shannon Lecture Series is named in honor of Dr. Samuel H. Shannon (1934-2003), who served on the TSU history faculty for over 30 years. Dr. Shannon was an accomplished scholar and contributed to the intellectual life of the university by regularly inviting distinguished colleagues to campus to provide guest lectures for students and faculty. Under his leadership, the department's lecture series evolved from a voluntary effort to a funded program of the university.

The goal of the Lecture Series is to bring to the university scholars who exemplify excellence in teaching and scholarship in the fields of history, geography, and political science. The series supports students by enriching classroom learning, connects faculty members with colleagues in their disciplines, and serves the local community by bringing speakers of national renown to Nashville.

In each of these goals, the lecture series strives to realize the vision of Dr. Shannon that the university becomes an inquiring, creative, and collaborative community of student and faculty scholars.


“Refugee and Immigrant Resettlement Strategies in Nashville’s Burgeoning Ethnic Mosaic”
Dr. James Chaney, Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Human Geography, Middle Tennessee State University, November 8, 2018.

"Teacher Education, Brown and Educational Experiences of Black Students" 
Dr. Richard Milner, Professor of Education and Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University (Peabody College), February 13, 2019.

“Revising the Narrative: Exploring the lives and impact of two Syrian women on the emergence of Protestantism in Ottoman Syria.”
Dr. Christine Lindner, Assistant Professor of History, Murray State University, March 14, 2019.

“Exploring American Social Movements, 1820s-1970s”
Dr. Nancy Hewitt, Emeritus Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Rutgers University, March 22, 2019.


“Constructing Meaning in Performances of Black Gospel Music on the Global Stage”
Dr. Portia Maultsby, Professor Emerita of Ethnomusicology, Indiana University, November 9, 2017.

“Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in 21st-Century America”
Dr. David Ikard, Professor and Director of African American and Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University, February 22, 2018.

“Diplomacy in Action:  Frederick Douglass, U.S. Minister to Haiti”
Dr. Alison Mann, Public Historian at the U.S. Diplomacy Center, U.S. Department of State, March 1, 2018 .

“Africa: The Political Ecology of Sustainable Development”
Dr. Tadesse Kidane-Mariam, retired Emeritus Professor of Geography, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, April 6, 2018.


“Rendered Invisible: Hidden Histories in Culture and Film”
Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr., Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, Vanderbilt University, February 15, 2017.

"Felon Disfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship"
Pippa Holloway, Associate Professor of History, Middle Tennessee State University, March 21, 2017.

“Gentrification and the Politics of Inclusion in Nashville”
James Fraser, Associate Professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University (Peabody College) March 30, 2017.

“Why Africology?”
Victor Okafor, Head of the Department of Africology and African American Studies, Eastern Michigan University, April 7, 2017.


"'Whither Now and Why?' Taking Up W.E.B. Du Bois' Poignant Queries"
Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw (Jr.), Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, February 24, 2016.

"Dreaming Up the Blues: The Birth of Transatlantic Blues Scholarship"
Dr. Christian O'Connell, Senior Lecturer in American History, University of Gloucestershire, March 24, 2016.

"Black Youth Activism and the Reconstruction of America: Leaders, Organization, and Tactics in the 20th Century and Beyond"
Dr. Sekou Franklin, Associate Professor of Political Science, Middle Tennessee State University, April 6, 2016.

"The Strangest Tribe: U.S. Soldiers and Iraqi Culture on the Battlefield"
Katherine B. Carroll, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University, April 26, 2016.