Hall Center For The Humanities


Patricia Williams
Law, Columbia University

"Toward a Theory of Grace"
Humanities Lecture Series

Mon., Mar. 15, 1999, 12:00am
Patricia William's lecture explored the metaphors and cultural images of race. It examined the perceptual split between an officially "colorblind" world and the lived experience of so many for whom race determines so much.

Law professor, writer, and social critic Patricia Williams's groundbreaking first collection of essays, The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor (1991), has been influential to leading scholars, critics, and civil rights advocates such as Dr. Henry Louis Gates. As a populist academic writer and a lawyer, Wiliams's interdisciplinary, daring, and highly accessible work has had wide and far-reaching importance both in academic circles and in the country at large.

As well as earning national respect as an author and critic, Williams is also Professor of Law at Columbia University, and is in the forefront of scholars in the growing Critical Race Theory movement, an outgrowth of the Critical Legal Studies movement in law. Though voices such as her own (African American, woman, single mother) have often been excluded from the canon of jurisprudence, Williams, through her writing, teaching, and lecturing, strives to gain a platform for those frequently marginalized in American culture. Williams has also been a visiting professor at several universities, including Duke, Harvard, Stanford, and Dartmouth. She has published widely in both scholarly journals and in the press in the areas of race, gender, and law, as well as legal theory. Furthermore, Williams is a contributing editor of The Nation, and serves on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers. Williams has been named the Horowitz lecturer for 1999.

March 15, 1999
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