Anna Fett holds an M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School and B.A. degree from Luther College. As an undergraduate, she majored in religion, English, and classics and studied religion and politics in Turkey and Jordan. In her time at Harvard, she studied American religious history, Islam in America, and Islamic Studies. Within these areas, she focused and published on themes pertaining to women, gender, sexuality, and religion. She served as an interfaith intern for a community of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian congregations in Massachusetts. She also worked as a counselor for Kids4Peace Boston, an organization that educates and inspires teenage Muslims, Jews, and Christians from Jerusalem and Boston.
As a Ph.D. student, Anna studies 20th century U.S. history and the modern Middle East. Her current research focuses on American interventions in and discourses about the Middle East, particularly Israel-Palestine, by state and non-state actors. She is interested in the role of third party actors in peacebuilding processes as well as the role of religion and culture. Anna is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow.
As a religious and cultural historian, my dissertation will focus of transnational intersections of religion, society, and culture in the United States and Israel-Palestine by exploring the influence religious belief in person-to-person peacebuilding initiatives and how these organizations influence American, Israeli, and Palestinian non-state narratives and understandings of the peace process. I am particularly interested in issues of narrative and identity in these peacebuilding initiatives as well as the types of spaces they seek to create in civil society and the values they foreground. Religion and culture are intimately interconnected with politics, and thus it is important to also study the role of religious and secular peacebuilding initiatives in influencing public life both within the United States and Israel-Palestine.