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Shannon, Magdaline W., 1914-2001



  • Existence: 1914 - 2001


Magdaline Wilhemine Eckes Shannon was born in 1914 in Breckenridge, Minnesota, to William Francis Eckes and Mary Magdaline (Pahl) Eckes. She completed her bachelor's degree in French at the College of St. Benedict in 1936, and, following some graduate work at other schools, taught at St. Benedict the Moor in Milwaukee at the beginning of World War II. She credited this experience teaching history in a historically black high school with sparking her interest in African-American culture and the wider African diaspora. She married Lyle Shannon in 1943, and gave birth to four children: Mary Shannon Will, Susan Michelle Shannon, Robert William Shannon, and John Thomas Shannon. Magdaline Shannon began visiting Haiti with her husband in 1968, an experience that would form a major part of both her personal and professional life. Shannon began doctoral study in history at the University of Iowa (where her husband was a professor of sociology) in 1972. During the period of her doctoral work, she also published a translation of Haitian scholar Jean Price-Mars' 1928 volume Ainsi Parla l’Oncle (So Spoke the Uncle). This translation was well received, and was credited by critics not only for its accuracy but for the social importance of introducing Price-Mars, sometimes described as the "father of Negritude," to English-speaking audiences. Shannon earned her Ph.D. in 1989 with a dissertation on Price-Mars, and published Jean Price-Mars, the Haitian Elite and the American Occupation, 1915-1935 in 1996. Over the course of Shannon's travel and research, she developed relationships with members of the Price-Mars family; her papers reflect the Shannons' frequent correspondence with Price-Mars' son Louis Mars. Magdaline Shannon died in 2001 at the age of eighty-six.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Magdaline Shannon papers

Identifier: IWA0902

Scholar and translator whose work focused on Haitian intellectual Jean Price-Mars.

Dates: 1936-2001