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Dr. Claire Phelan

Associate Professor
History and Political Science Department
Office: Heard 304
UMHB Mail Box:UMHB Box 8014A900 College St, Box 8014ABeltonTX76513
Phone: (254) 295-5085(254) 295-5085
Subjects Taught: American History, World Civilizations, Asian History, Women's History, Naval History
Degrees Earned: B.A., La Trobe University; Grad. Dip. Ed., University of Canberra; Grad. Dip. Rel. Ed., Signa Du; Master Defence Studies, University of New South Wales; Master of Arts, Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, Ph.D., TCU


Claire Phelan completed a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in American History from Texas Christian University, where she also gained a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. Originally from Australia, she earned a B.A. in History and a Graduate Diploma in Education in History and English.  She then completed a Graduate Diploma in Religious Education and a Master's in Defense Studies from the Australian Defense Force Academy. Dr. Phelan spent the early part of her career as a teacher of A.P. U.S. History, A.P. U.S. Government, and A.P. English in various countries, including Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, and India. 

Dr. Phelan's main area of research examines the naval history of the Early Republic, specifically as it relates to impressment, the naval history of the suppression of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the establishment of a naval base in nineteenth-century New Orleans. She regularly presents papers at professional conferences including the McMullen Naval History Symposium at Annapolis, and those operated by institutions such as the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Her recent scholarship as author and co-editor resulted in the 2014 publication by Palgrave Macmillan of Motherhood and War: International Perspectives. Dr. Phelan and her co-editor Dr. Dana Cooper presented a seminar based on this work at the invitation of the University of Cambridge. Palgrave Macmillan published their second edited collection, entitled Motherhood in Antiquity, in 2017. Dr. Phelan is now in the final stages of revising her next book project, a monograph, focusing on impressment during the Colonial Era and the Early Republic. 

Dr. Phelan has two sons, five grandchildren, two sausage-dogs, and a very demanding Chihuahua.