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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

We dismiss the anti-intellectualism of the right at our own peril.

A manufactured controversy aimed at Elizabeth Warren shows the damaging ways we exploit trivial kerfuffles and pass them off as political stories.

There is a certain kind of madness in peddling guns to Americans while dismantling our mental health system.

People who give DNA samples—and big bucks—to companies in exchange for information on their potential medical risks are handing over more than saliva.

From the ethnic studies ban to firings over Travyon Martin, a strange hostility toward progressive education is emerging.

What makes this case exceptional is neither race nor the politics of self-defense alone but the total failure to investigate it for so long.

Today's “right to life” rhetoric is a bizarre cross between the theological imperative to be fruitful and multiply and the fetishism of microbiological cellular promise.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s ruthless austerity measures have made the state a bleak place to live, work  and go to school.

From Sacco and Vanzetti to Troy Davis, witnesses to crime scenes get it wrong too often. So why did the Supreme Court just make it harder to challenge such evidence in court?

The National Defense Authorization Act would authorize indefinite military detention for US citizens, stripping Americans of their constitutional rights.

Blogs

Romney’s now-infamous “binders full of women” show how little the Republican candidate knows about overcoming structural...
As the state votes on a personhood amendment defending the ‘sanctity of life,’ leadership is measured in executions and...
Selfless, wise and welcoming, Bell was a mentor to legions of law school students without privilege, ultimately changing the way law...
How the media frenzy obliterated the presumption of innocence and relentlessly impugned both Strauss-Kahn and his accuser in vulgar...