Events & exhibitions

Kim and Judy Davis Dean's Lecture in the Social Sciences: Conversation with Tressie McMillan Cottom

Portrait of Tressi Mcmillan Cottom sitting in a chair
Photo By Tausha Dickenson

Tressie McMillan Cottom is a sociologist; public thinker; professor with the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a New York Times columnist; and a 2020 MacArthur Fellow.

Her collection of essays, Thick (The New Press, 2019), investigating how Black women’s lives are deeply shaped by structural racism and inequality, was a National Book Award finalist and named a top book of 2019 by TIME, the New York Times Book Review, New York Public Library, and the Chicago Tribune. Her first book, Lower Ed (The New Press, 2017), examined and critiqued the role of for-profit colleges in the American economic landscape and their contributions to inequality in this country. Cottom’s ongoing New York Times opinion columns offer perspectives on culture, politics, and the economics of our everyday lives, while her podcast with Roxane Gay, “Hear to Slay,” offers a Black feminist perspective on life, money, love, and culture.

Cottom will be joined in conversation by Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean, Harvard Radcliffe Institute; Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School; and professor of history, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The Kim and Judy Davis Dean’s Lecture Series was established through the generosity of Kim G. Davis AB ’76, MBA ’78, and Judith N. Davis, longtime friends and champions of Harvard Radcliffe Institute. This annual lecture series invites leading figures from across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences to share their expertise, ideas, and diverse perspectives with the Harvard community and the broader public.

Here’s a Radical Suggestion: Stop Simplifying Black Women (Harvard Gazette, 4/6/23)

MacArthur "Genius" McMillan Cottom Talks Black Identity, Pop Culture, and Women’s Rights at Radcliffe Lecture (Harvard Crimson, 4/3/23)

We plan to post the recording on our website one week after the event.

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