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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

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

Recently it seems discussion on culture goes well beyond careless epithet and into a land with no common ground.

There is no specific genetic marker that distinguishes one race from another.

Why is The New York Times Magazine floating an unsubstantiated theory of genetic determinism?

A closer look at sexual abuse cases makes the questions surrounding them even murkier.

While Michael Jackson's 2005 trial was appalling, it was not the stuff of ordinary tabloid catharsis; there was not an unsullied soul within fifty miles of the courthouse.

The notion of a moral compass is so politically vexed that it ought to be depicted with its little needle spinning.

There was an article in The New York Times Magazine not long ago about people who collect hyperrealistic "reborn" dolls.

It seemed too bizarre to be anything but apocryphal, but, hey, I heard it on NPR: William Poole, a high school junior from Kentucky, was taken into custody and charged with threatening to commit

My friend L., a magistrate in Britain, is appalled by American-style
sentencing, which has taken hold there recently.

Blogs

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