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Beth Ann Williams, Winner of the 2019 Penny Schwartz Travel Grant

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Beth Ann Williams researches gender, social change, community building, and religious practices in modern East Africa. Focused on Protestant communities in Kenya and Tanzania, her current project argues that spiritual discourses served as key resources for Christian women as they negotiated changing gender norms across the second half of the twentieth century. Beth Ann uses oral interviews and ethnographic methods to bring local, embodied knowledge into conversation with academic scholarship. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

A member of the Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH) as well as the ASA Women’s Caucus, Beth Ann believes in the importance of building networks through which scholars and teachers can support each other in their work. As a teacher, she loves introducing American students to non-Western concepts, histories, and values. Before starting her graduate work at the University of Illinois, Beth Ann taught English in Korea and served as a Presidential Fellow at her undergraduate alma mater, Wake Forest University. Outside of work, Beth Ann enjoys cooking for friends, hiking, traveling, and running.

Beth Ann will present a paper at this year's conference: “Prayer and Vulnerability: Exploring Christian Women’s Spirituality and Empowerment in Twentieth-Century East Africa.” Her paper will be on the following panel: VIII-T-10 Women’s Spirituality: Negotiating Authority, Society, and Well-being through Religion. Beth Ann will present her work on Friday, November 22, 2019, at 4:00 pm.

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