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Patricia J. Williams | The Nation

Patricia J. Williams

Author Bios

Patricia J. Williams

Patricia J. Williams

Columnist

Patricia J. Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University, was born in Boston in 1951 and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Harvard Law School.

She was a fellow in the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College and has been an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School Law School and its department of women's studies. Williams also worked as a consumer advocate in the office of the City Attorney in Los Angeles.

A member of the State Bar of California and the Federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Williams has served on the advisory council for the Medgar Evers Center for Law and Social Justice of the City University of New York and on the board of governors for the Society of American Law Teachers, among others.

Her publications include Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave, On Being the Object of Property, The Electronic Transformation of Law and And We Are Not Married: A Journal of Musings on Legal Language and the Ideology of Style. In 1993, Harvard University Press published Williams's The Alchemy of Race & Rights to widespread critical acclaim. She is also author of The Rooster's Egg (Harvard, 1995), Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race (Reith Lectures, 1997) (Noonday Press, 1998) and, most recently, Open House: On Family Food, Friends, Piano Lessons and The Search for a Room of My Own (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2004.)

Articles

News and Features

A deep planetary insecurity has fostered a rush to build boundaries
around ourselves--psychic green zones--no matter how irrational,
separating white from black or brown, Christian from Muslim, European from Arab.

It's one thing for our State Department to plant phony stories in the
media or jam broadcasts in Cuba. It's quite another for conservative
policy analyst Frank Gaffney bolster's George Bush's grudge against Al
Jazeera by arguing that it was "imperative that enemy media be taken
down."

The conduct of the war in Iraq has embarrassed us, lowered us, endangered us and betrayed our best ideals. The debasement of our soldiers and the lawlessness of our leaders is shocking, merciless and infinitely destabilizing.

The right has ushered in a moment of cult celebrity for the pre-born.
But let's not be seduced by this idea of personhood. Remember the poor
and not-so-perfect post-born children of America? Aren't they persons,
too?

Follow a mythical voyage through America's nightmare, on a
ship with an uncaring captain, a subsequent shipwreck, and the poor are
left behind to perish.

The Wicked Witch stomps in his defense and the wise old tortoise
explains his reasoning. But Mother Courage knows the truth behind
William Bennett's racist comments.

Some storm victims evacuated from New Orleans were
"sorted" by age, race or gender. Is breaking up families and
prioritizing by race any way to deal with disaster?

A midsummer nightmare of the shiny-eyed zealots who would protect us from terror. Plus, summer reading for the President.

If we're going to have a society surveilled 24/7, let's begin at the top.

The Klan was willing to risk that their victims
were innocent; we can't take that risk today with accused terrorists.

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