Patricia J. Williams is a legal scholar and the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She has published widely in the areas of race, gender, and law. Her books, including The Alchemy of Race and Rights: A Diary of a Law Professor (Harvard University Press, 1991), illustrate some of America’s most complex societal problems and challenge our ideas about cultural constructs of race and gender. She is also a contributing editor and columnist for the Nation.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Williams is examining the intersecting racial, gender, and class formations in Boston and Cambridge by way of her family’s archival narratives and memorabilia, which are housed at the Schlesinger Library. Her project brings together public humanities, archive and genealogy studies, memoir studies, black feminist history, and New England history to illuminate a story of generations of black Boston life from the antebellum period to the present.
Williams has authored hundreds of essays, book reviews, and articles for journals, popular magazines, and newspapers, including the Guardian, Ms., the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Washington Post. She has appeared on such radio and television shows as All Things Considered, Charlie Rose, Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, and Today and in such documentary films as That Rush! (1995), which she wrote and narrated. She has received awards from the American Educational Studies Association and the National Organization for Women, among others, and has been a MacArthur Fellow. Williams earned her JD from Harvard Law School.