American Philosophical Society
Member History

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504. Scholars in the Professions[X]
1Name:  Professor Patricia J. Williams
 Institution:  Northeastern University; Columbia University
 Year Elected:  2019
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  504. Scholars in the Professions
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1951
Patricia Williams is currently James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University as well as Columnist for The Nation. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1975. Prior to moving to Columbia, she worked in the Office of the City Attorney of Los Angeles, for the Western Center on Law and Poverty of Golden Gate University School of Law, at the City University of New York Law School at Queens College, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Patricia Williams is a preeminent theorist of race in relation to law in modern American public life, an esteemed scholar and celebrated public intellectual. Her first book was an immediate classic, not only for her penetrating insights at the intersection of race, gender and rights consciousness, but also for her analysis of everyday life as the setting where equality’s vexed and contradictory lifeworlds matter and are worked out – if they are. She is highly regarded as a critical race theorist, feminist theorist, and civil rights scholar; her influence makes these veins of scholarship necessary and accessible to each other. She also brought a new voice to scholarship and journalism – immersed in observed experience, yielding evidence unseen in the more filtered formality of conventional academic writing. Signs of her stature include her many awards, the Reith Lectures (BBC), and her place in Columbia’s oral history archive. Her awards include the Pioneer of Civil and Human Rights Award of the National Conference of Black Lawyers in 1990 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000. She is on the board of advisors at the Center of Constitutional Rights and the board of directors at the National Organization for Women. She is the author of The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor (1991), The Rooster's Egg: On the Persistence of Prejudice (1995), and The Blind Goddess: A Reader on Race and Justice (2011). Patricia Williams was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.
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