Anna Fett

Peace Studies & History

Anna Fett (peace studies and history) holds an M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School and a B.A. degree from Luther College. As an undergraduate, she was shaped by a multi-disciplinary liberal arts education where she majored in Classics, English, and Religion and studied in Turkey and Jordan. In her master's program, she focused on the topic of “Islam in America” from the perspectives of religious studies and women and gender studies. In her dual-degree doctoral program, Anna has benefitted from studying history among a multi-disciplinary cohort of peers, making her a more self-reflective historian and peace studies scholar.

Anna is trained within the history sub-field of “U.S. in the world.” Her scholarly work highlights issues of culture, religion, and imperialism within the study of U.S. foreign policy and foreign relations in the 20th century. Her research also contributes to peace studies by contextualizing the dominant motives, values, and history of this multi-disciplinary field, especially as it has developed within the United States. Her dissertation, “Peace Education for the World: People-to-People Programs, American Youth, & U.S. Power, 1946-1991,” examines the history of one common peacebuilding method favored by the U.S. government and many American non-governmental organizations: people-to-people programs—programs focused on intergroup dialogues and other cooperative projects for adversaries undergoing violent conflict. Her dissertation analyzes the complexities, controversies and impacts of these programs from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Her research also demonstrates how certain essentializing discourses about youth, as threatening “troublemakers” and potential “peacebuilders,” have led to the expansion of particular kinds of programming for youth as well as how these programs have reinforced these problematic characterizations, with serious repercussions for young people both at home and abroad.

Anna was a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow from 2015-2019 and a 2019-2020 Pepe Fellow. In 2017, she was awarded the University of Notre Dame “Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award” in her department. She also completed the University of Notre Dame “Community Engagement Faculty Institute” certification where she deepened her knowledge, skills, and passion for community-based research and teaching.

Anna has served as an outside research consultant for the literature review section of the most recent evaluation of the U.S. People-to-People Reconciliation Fund prepared for Congress in 2019. This year, she has been invited to contribute to an edited volume on the state of the field of research and advocacy regarding youth and peacebuilding.


  • Fett, Anna (Peace Studies and History Ph.D. student) Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations. By Daniel G. HummelJournal of Church and State, Volume 62, Issue 3, Summer 2020, Pages 569–571,
  • Fett, Anna. (Peace Studies and History Ph.D. student) “U.S. People-to-People Programs: Cold War Cultural Diplomacy to Conflict Resolution.” Diplomatic History (Accepted for publication July 2, 2020, forthcoming 2020).
  • Fett, Anna. (Peace Studies and History Ph.D. student) “Why All the ‘Emphasis on Youth’? Youth Bulge Talk, 1961 & 2020.” In Building Sustainable Peace with and for Young People: Examining Evidence, Trends, and Challenges, ed. Helen Berents, Catherine Bolten, and Siobhán McEvoy-Levy. (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2021).