Past Colloquia

Past Colloquia and Lectures


Fall 2022 Events


Screenwriting from the Academy Rebecca Connor & Paul Park

September 19 Monday, 4:30pm | Oakley Center

Rebecca Connor is associate professor of English at the City University of New York Hunter College, where she teaches 18th-century literature, art and material culture, the Gothic, and film studies. Her co-written film The Noel Diary will be released by Netflix in November, and her romantic comedy Paris At Last is in active development with Wild Bunch Productions. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America.

Paul Park is Senior Lecturer in English, Emeritus, at Williams College. His novels, short stories, and poems have been finalists for the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the British Science Fiction Award, the James R. Tiptree Award, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, the Locus Readers’ Award, the Rhysling Poetry Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. He is currently working in collaboration with Arthur Jafa on a screenplay based on his novel A Princess of Roumania.


The Secretive Prisons that Keep Migrants out of Europe Ian Urbina

September 26 Monday, 4:30pm | Online

Tired of migrants arriving from Africa, the E.U. has created a shadow immigration system that captures them before they reach its shores, and sends them to brutal Libyan detention centers run by militias. The story detailing the system was published in more than 50 venues in 11 countries and led to outcry from the UN officials, human rights advocates and parliamentarians. While reporting the piece in Tripoli, Ian Urbina was taken captive and violently abused by a militia.

Ian Urbina is an investigative reporter based in Washington. His most recent series, The Outlaw Ocean, chronicles a diversity of crimes offshore, including the killing of stowaways, sea slavery, intentional dumping, illegal fishing, the stealing of ships, gun running, stranding of crews, and murder with impunity. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East, much of that time spent on fishing ships.


Entwined: Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, African American
Just Futures Roundtable Series

Feb 15, Mar 15, Apr 12, May 10 6-7:30 PM EST | Zoom

The Williams College Spring '22 roundtable series "Entwined: Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, African American" focuses on four themes central to communities: : Spirituality (February 15), Security (March 15), Sovereignties (April 12), and Freedom (May 10). Academics, artists, and activists will discuss communal agency and historical/ contemporary justice. This series is part of the Mellon Foundation's Just Futures initiative, which aims to tell a different, more complete story of New England/Northeast and its global connections–past, present, and future.


Zola, Zola, "Zola"
Namwali Serpell

April 7 Thursday, 4:30pm | Online

Join us for a conversation with Namwali Serpell about adaptation, media, and the figure of the "Whore" in Émile Zola's 1880 novel Nana, Janicza Bravo's 2020 film, Zola, and the 2015 tweets by A'Ziah "Zola" King on which the film is based.

Namwali Serpell's first novel, The Old Drift (2019), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book prize for fiction “that confronts racism and explores diversity,” the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and the Grand Prix des Associations Littéraires Prize for Belles-Lettres. It was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review, one of Time Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of the Year, and a book of the year by New York Times Critics, The Atlantic, NPR, and BuzzFeed. She is Professor of English at Harvard University.


Accompaniment in the Time of Covid: A Comprehensive Public Health Approach
The Annual Weiss Lecture delivered by Ophelia Dahl

April 14 Thursday, 7:30pm | '62 Center Mainstage

Ophelia Dahl co-founded Partners In Health (PIH), a global health non-profit dedicated to delivering high-quality care to the poor. PIH, which began in Haiti’s rural Central Plateau, now serves millions of patients in ten countries on four continents around the world. PIH’s community-based model has helped to redefine what’s possible in health care delivery in settings of poverty, proving that HIV, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and other diseases that stalk the poor can be effectively treated in communities from Peru to Rwanda to West Africa. Ms. Dahl led PIH as Executive Director for 16 years, and now chairs its Board of Directors. She continues to write, teach, and speak about the health and rights of the poor, moral imagination, and accompaniment.

Ms. Dahl also helps to lead the Roald Dahl Literary Estate, which manages the works of her late father, the writer Roald Dahl. She is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, and a Trustee of Wellesley College, her alma mater. Ms. Dahl is a recipient of the Union Theological Seminary’s Union Medal and, together with her PIH colleagues, the Hilton Humanitarian prize.

Sponsored by the Oakley Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, the Andrew B. Weiss, M.D., Lecture on Medicine and Medical Ethics was endowed by the late Andrew B. Weiss ’61 and his wife Madge Weiss.


Thinking Through the Pandemic: A Perspective Through Photographs
Rustom Bharucha

April 27 Wednesday, 4:30pm | Oakley Center

Rustom Bharucha is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies in the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He is the author of several books including Theatre and the World, The Question of Faith, In the Name of the Secular, The Politics of Cultural Practice, Rajasthan: An Oral History, Another Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin and Terror and Performance. A former advisor of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development in the Netherlands, he has served as a consultant for the Arts Council in Ireland and Ford Foundation in the United States. More recently, he was the Project Director of Arna-Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan and the Festival Director of the Inter-Asian Ramayana Festival at the Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Research in Pondicherry.


The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War
Louis Menand

May 3 Tuesday, 4:30pm | Oakley Center

The Cold War was not just a contest of power. It was also about ideas, in the broadest sense―economic and political, artistic and personal. In The Free World, the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize–winning scholar and critic Louis Menand tells the story of American culture in the pivotal years from the end of World War II to Vietnam and shows how changing economic, technological, and social forces put their mark on creations of the mind.

Louis Menand is Professor of English at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. His books include The Metaphysical Club, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history and the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians. In 2016, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.

Ancient Dance Image

Mobilizing Antiquity: Ancient Dance, New Directions

May 20 Friday | Oakley Center

Drawing upon the expertise of scholars working on a range of cultures and contexts, including the Mediterranean, South Asia, and Nubia, this conference will offer a comparative exploration of ancient dance and performance practices. Faculty and staff interested in performance, the premodern world, and/or comparative cultural studies are warmly invited.

Convened by Williams College Assistant Professor of Classics Sarah Olsen with featured speakers Zoa Alonso Fernández (Universidad Autónoma, Madrid), Solange Ashby (UCLA), Anurima Banerji (UCLA) and Felipe Rojas (Brown), and responses from Corinna Campbell (Williams), Guy Hedreen (Williams), Lu Kuo (Bard), and Shanti Pillai (Williams). Full schedule to be announced soon.


New Faculty Salon

Date TBA, 4:30pm | Oakley Center

A new and highly informal series of gatherings this year, the Oakley Salon brings together small groups of faculty to talk about their scholarly and creative work in a casual setting over tasty snacks and drinks. We hope this will be an opportunity to get to know more about the projects of colleagues across disciplines.


Colloquium with Rizvana Bradley

Date TBA, Fall 2022 | Oakley Center

Rizvana Bradley is a scholar of cinema and media studies, and contemporary art, with a specific interest in the development of the moving image, and art installation. Her forthcoming book manuscript is a recipient of a Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and offers a critical examination of the histories and forms of racialized embodiment that move through a range of experimental artistic practices, which integrate film and other media. She is Assistant Professor of Film & Media, UC Berkeley.


October 7 at 4:30, 2021. Oakley Center Colloquium: Susan Choi (Lecturer in English, Creative Writing, Yale University).

October 15 at 4:30, 2021. Oakley Center Colloquium: NEW FACULTY SALON.

October 18 at 4:30, 2021. Oakley Center Colloquium: Joshua Keating (former senior editor at Slate). “Writing for a Public Audience”

October 29 at 11:30 AM, 2021. Oakley Center Colloquium: Aamir Mufti (professor of comparative literature at UCLA) and Joseph Clearly (professor of english at Yale).

November 9 at 4:30, 2021. Akash Kapur (journalist and author) in conversation with Shanti Pillai (Assistant Professor of Theatre at Williams College).

November 16 at 4:30, 2021. Edward P. Jones (Pulitzer Prize for fiction).

December 14 at 4:30, 2021. Gayatri Gopinath (Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University).


October 7, 2020, 5:00-6:30 pm: Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Visiting Professor of English, Williams College), “Living Weapon”

October 9, 2020, Noon-1:30 pm: Pallavi Sen (Art, Williams College), “ A Discussion of Gardening, Practice, and ‘Garden School’”

October 16, 2020, 4:30-6:00 pm: Andrew Miller, “On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of our Unled Lives”

Adam Sitze (Amherst College), two-part series:
October 19, 2020, 4:30-6:00 pm: “Giddy World”
October 26, 2020, 4:30-6:00 pm: “The Loss in Academic Freedom”

October 29, 2020, 7:00-8:30 pm: The Annual Davis Lecture delivered by Ruha Benjamin of Princeton University: “Race and Covid 19”

March 1, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm: Frederic Kaufman (CUNY), “The Money Plot: A History of Currency’s Power to Enchant, Control, and Manipulate”

April 26, 2021, Noon-1:30 pm: Paul Nnodim (MCLA), “Beyond Justice as Fairness: Rethinking Rawls from a Cross-Cultural Perspective”

May 5, 2021, 7:00-8:30 pm: Sianne Ngai (University of Chicago), “ Theory of the Gimmick: Aesthetic Judgement and Capitalist Form”

May 7, 2021, Noon-1:30 pm: Federal Judge James Carr in conversation with Professor of Political Science Justin Crowe, “Pardon Me— Uses and Abuses of Presidential Pardon Power”

May 17, 2021, 7:00-8:30 pm: The Annual Weiss Lecture on Medicine and Medical Ethics delivered by Lauren Smith of the CDC Foundation: “The Ethics of Health Equity: Confronting Structural Racism in Medicine and Research”

May 18, 2021: Michael Thomas, “A Talk about Inspiration and Instruction Across Racial, Cultural, and Economics Lines”

Pandemic Series

October 21, 2020, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “The Last Pandemic: Temporalities of Race and Disease,” a discussion with Ahmed Ragab (Richmond Visiting Professor)

November 4, 2020, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “Isolation, Emergency and Surveillance,” a discussion with Sherine Hamdy (University of California Irvine) and Soha Bayoumi (Harvard University)

November 6, 2020, Noon-1:30 pm: Pandemic@Williams “The Pandemic and Pedagogy,” a panel discussion with Kelsey Jones (Africana Studies), Jan Padios (American Studies), Laura Ephraim (Political Science), Jose Constantin (Geosciences), Kaylen Smith ‘21

November 13, 2020, Noon-1:30 pm: Pandemic@Williams “Disease, Activism, and Student Life,” a panel discussion with Aseel Abulhad (Davis Center), Bilal Ansari (OIDEI), Audrey Koh ‘21, and Adna Mohamed ‘21

November 18, 2020, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “Racism and Disease,” a conversation with Alexandre White (Johns Hopkins University)

December 2, 2020, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “Loss and Trauma,” a discussion with Projit Mukharji (University of Pennsylvania) and Dora Vargha (University of Exeter)

December 11, 2020, Noon-1:30 pm: Pandemic@Williams “A Semester in Pandemic,” a panel discussion with Rashida Braggs (Africana Studies), Jacqueline Hidalgo (Latina/o Studies), Tim Lebestky (Biology), Julius Dodson ‘21, and Andre Hui ‘21

February 2, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “Epidemic Empire: Colonialism, Contagion, and Terror,” a discussion with Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb (University of Toronto)

February 26, 2021, Noon-1:30 pm: Pandemic@Williams “Pandemic Sciences,” a panel discussion with Matt Carter (Biology), Eliza Congdon (Psychology), Joan Edwards (Biology), Sonia Nyarko ‘21, and George Yacoub ‘21

March 3, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “Drugs and Medications,” a discussion with Jeremy Greene (Johns Hopkins University)

March 19, 2021, Noon-1:30 pm: Pandemic@Williams “Pandemic Inequalities,” a panel discussion with Temesgen Araya (Dining Services), Gretchen Long (History), Ngonidzashe Munemo (Political Science and OIDEI), Jan Padios (American Studies), Lydia Duan ‘21, and Kevin Yang ‘21

March 31, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “Global Health,” a discussion with Jennifer Johnson (Brown University) and Gabriela Soto Laveaga (Harvard University)

April 29, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm: Corona Time “Masks and Vaccines,” a discussion with Julie Livingston (NYU)

May 14, 2021, Noon-1:30 pm: Pandemic@Williams “The Way Forward,” a discussion with President Maud Mandel


9/26-28. Conference: Alexander Bevilacqua (History, Williams College).

9/30. Colloquium: Darby English (Art History, U Chicago)

9/19. Colloquium: Maud Mandel (History, Williams College)

10/10. Colloquium: Jared Sexton (Film and Media Studies, UC Irvine)

10/2. Colloquium: Ned Blackhawk (History, Yale)

10/24. Davis Lecture: New Blackhawk.

11/7. Colloquium: Nicholas Carr (Richmond Visiting Professor in Science & Technology Studies, Williams College)

5/11. Colloquium: Jeff Dolven (English, Princeton)

6/3. Colloquium: Jeff Israel (Religion and Jewish Studies, Williams)


Sept 13, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Susan Slymovics (Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA). "Dismantling a World: Algeria's French Colonial Monumental Heritage"

Oct 5, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Paul Muldoon (poet). "An Evening of Poetry with Paul Muldoon"

Oct 26, 2018. Davis Lecture breakfast colloquium with Beverly Wright (Professor of Sociology and founding director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice). "Environmental Justice and Equity in the Face of Climate Change"

Nov 1, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Amy Allen (Professor of Philosophy and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University). "Psychoanalysis and the Critique of Progress"

Nov 29, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Edward Harcourt (Professor of Philosophy, Oxford University). "'Mental Health' and Human Excellence"

Feb 11, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Nico Baumbach (Assistant Professor of Film Theory, Columbia University). "Cinema/Politics/Philosophy"

Feb 12, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Masha Gessen (Journalist). "Recent and Forthcoming Work"

March 1, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Eileen Myles (Poet and Author). "A Conversation with Eileen Myles"

March 5, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Joseph Drury (Assistant Professor of English, Villanova University). "Novel Machines: Technology and Narrative Form in Enlightment Britain"

March 8, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Maggie Nelson (Author). "The Feeling of Freedom"

April, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Brian Copenhaver (Professor of Philosophy, UCLA). "The Famous Oration by Gionvanni Pico della Mirandola: What's Dignity Got To Do With It?

April 11, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Amanda Anderson (Professor English and Humanities, Brown University). "Rumination and Moral Time"

April 18, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Nicole Mellow & Jeffrey Tulis (Professor of Political Science, Williams College (Mellow); Professor of Government, UT Austin (Tulis)). "Legacies of Losing in American Politics"

April 25, 2019. Oakley Center Colloquium: Ella Shohat (Professor of Cultural Studies, NYU). "On Orientalist Genealogies"


September 14, 2017. Oakley Center Colloquium: Bryan Stevenson (Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and Professor of Law, New York University). "A Presumption of Guilt."

September 26, 2017. Oakley Center Colloquium: Roderick Ferguson (Professor of Africana Studies and co-director of Racialized Body research cluster, University of Illinois at Chicago). "We Demand: The University and Student Protests."

October 5, 2017. Oakley Center Colloquium: Peter Galison (University Professor and Faculty Director of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University). "Filming and Writing Science & Technology Studies."

October 26, 2017. Davis Lecture delivered by Monique Morris (Co-Founder/President, National Black Women’s Justice Institute). "Social Justice is a Verb! Working the Margins to Advance an Equity Agenda."

November 14, 2017. Oakley Center Colloquium: Jamil Ragep (Richmond Visiting Professor; Canada Research Chair in the History of Science in Islamic Societies and co-Director of the Centre for Islam and Science, McGill University). "The Clash of Civilzations: Evidence from Premodern Science."

December 1, 2017. Oakley Center Colloquium: Sheila Jasanoff (Professor of Science and Technology Studies, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University). "Torquing the Disciplines: STS and Global Governance."

Feb 1, 2018. Claiming Williams luncheon discussion with keynote speaker Julissa Arce (Author, speaker, and social justice advocate). "Stand with Us Now."

Feb 13, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Gregory Mitchell (Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies). "Tourist Attractions: Performing Race & Masculinity in Brazil's Sexual Economy."

April 10, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Stephen Metcalf (critic, essayist, podcaster, and screenwriter). "Enlightment Now?: Steven Pinker's New Culture Wars."

April 19, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Lynne Huffer (Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emory University). "Wanton Extinction: An Ethics for the Anthropocene."

April 24, 2018. Oakley Center Colloquium: Bernard Harcourt (Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, Columbia University). "Modes of Governing: How the Expository Society Enabled the Counterrevolution."

May 5, 2018. Weiss Lecture on Medicine and Medical Ethics delivered by Anita Allen (Vice Provost for Faculty and Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania). "The Female Patient: Privacy, Risk and Professional Ethics."

May 8, 2018. Served panel discussion with Allison Orr (Forklift Danceworks Artistic Director) and Krissie Marty (Associate Choreographer), and Munjulika Tarah (Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance History and Theory). "The Creative Process of Creating Served."


September 29, 2016: Eva Illouz (Professor of Sociology, Hebrew University of
Jerusalem), “Unloving: A Sociology of Negative Relations.”

October 13, 2016: Jafari Allen (Professor of Anthropology, University of Miami),
“There is a Disco Ball Between Us: The Ethnography of an Idea.”

October 27, 2016: Davis Lecture (co-sponsored with Davis Center), delivered by
Sonia Sanchez, “Push-Ups for Peace.” Oakley Center hosted post-lecture breakfast
on October 28.

November 3, 2016: Avinoam Shalem (Clark Visiting Professor at Williams and
Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University), “Resisting
Time: Against Metamorphosis.”

December 12, 2016: Robin Marasco (Associate Professor of Political Science, Hunter
College), “The Birth of Homo Ludens: Anthropology, Politics, and Play.”

February 2, 2017: Claiming Williams faculty-staff lunch colloquium with author,
activist and scholar Barbara Smith, “Moral Courage.”

February 14, 2017: Guy Hedreen (Professor of Art History, Williams College), “The
Image of the Artist in Archaic and Classical Greece: Art, Poetry, and

March 1, 2017: Weiss Lecture delivered by S. Matthew Liao, “Tackling Climate Change Through Human Engineering.” Also hosted pre-lecture student discussion.

March 10, 2017: Juliet Johnson (Professor of Political Science at McGill University),
“Priests of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist

April 4, 2017: George Shulman (Professor of Political Theory and American Studies,
Gallatin School of New York University), “Impasse and Genre: American
Politics and the Political Theory of Thomas Pynchon.”

May 4, 2017: Rita Felski (Professor of English, University of Virginia), “The Limits of

May 10, 2017: Natasha Schull (Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and
Communication, New York University), “Abiding Chance: Online Poker and
the Software of Self-Discipline.”

Spring 2016

Feb 24: Fredrika Spindler (Richmond Visiting Professor, Philosophy, Södertörn
University): “After the Subject, Who Comes?”
March 2: Susan Engel (Psychology, Williams): “The End of the Rainbow: How
Educating for Happiness (Not Money) Would Transform Our Schools”

March 15: Sadia Abbas (English, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Rutgers): “How
Injury Travels”

April 7: Jeff Nunokawa (English, Princeton University): “The Life You Write May
Save Your Own”

April 12: Weiss Lecture delivered by Udo Schuklenk (Philosophy and Bioethics,
Queens University): “Catastrophic Illness and Access to Experimental
Medical Interventions: Revisiting the 2015 Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak”

April 15: Amir Mufti (Comparative Literature and Global Critical Humanities, UCLA):
“Forget English!”

May 9: Alice Goffman (Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison): “The Lasting
Impact of Fleeting Experience”

Fall 2015

Sept 19: Laura Kipnis (Film, Northwestern University): “Sexual Politics on Campus”

Sept 29: Leo Bersani (French Studies, Literary Theory, University of California
Berkeley Emeritus Professor): “Sociable Bodies”

Oct 20: Michael Pollan (Journalism, University of California Berkeley): “The Future
of Food”

Oct 22: Davis Lecture delivered by Donna Murch (History, Rutgers University):
“Transcending Punishment: Black Liberation, Resistance and the
Criminalization of America’s Most Vulnerable”

Nov 19: Cristina Alavarez Millan (History of Medieval Islamic Medicine, UNED,
Madrid): “From Medical Story-Telling to History of Medicine: Recent
Research on Medieval Islamic Medicine”

Dec 3: Colin Dayan (English, Humanities and Law, Vanderbilt University): “With
Dogs at the Edge of Life”


September 18, 2014. Oakley Center Colloquium:Jamal J. Elias (Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania), ""Heaven is for Children: Childhood Innocence, Piety and Adult Anxiety." View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 16, 2014. Oakley Center Colloquium: Richard Valelly (Political Science, Swarthmore College), "Uncle Sam's Closets: Party, State and Sexual Orientation During the Cold War." View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 16, 2014, 7:30 pm, ’62 Center Mainstage. W. ALLISON DAVIS 1924 AND JOHN A. DAVIS 1933 LECTURE. Theodor Shaw (Director, Center for Civil Rights, UNC Chapel Hill). “A New Paradigm: Race and Poverty in the Twenty-First Century”

October 23, 2014. Oakley Center Colloquium with filmmaker Kimberly Peirce. View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 30, 2014. Oakley Center Colloquium: Jonathan Crary (Art History, Columbia University), "24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep." View guest bio and event invitation here.

December 2, 2014: LIESBETH KOENEN (Dutch linguist, author and science writer), “Nature’s Laboratory: A Talk about Talk and the Case with Cases.”

February 18, 2015: LYDIA DAVIS (SUNY Albany), “Thoughts on Translation and Fiction.”

March 2, 2015: FUCHSIA DUNLOP (chef and food writer), “Translating Chinese Gastronomy.”

March 17, 2015: SUSAN LEIGH FOSTER (UCLA), “Dance as/and Competition.”

April 9, 2015: ROGER CHARTIER (Directeur d'Études at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Professor in the Collège de France, and Annenberg Visiting Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania), “The Author’s Hand.”

April 14, 2015, 6:30 pm, Griffin #3. ANNUAL RICHMOND LECTURE. F. Jamil Ragep (Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University). “Continuity, Contiguity, Contingency: Islam and Copernicus Reconsidered”

April 29, 2015: CHITRA GANESH (artist), “Knowing ‘The Unknowns’: A Discussion with Artist Chitra Ganesh.” (Emphasis on contemporary Indian art)

May 4, 2015, 6:30 pm, Bronfman Auditorium (#002). ANNUAL WEISS LECTURE. Dr. Otis Brawley (Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society). “How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America”


September 19, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: Abou Farman (Anthropology, Princeton University), "Spiritual and Medical Tourism." View guest bio and event invitation here.

September 26, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: María Mercedes Carrión (Emory University and University of Puerto Rico) and Jacques Lezra (NYU), "Methodology and the Reading of Early Modern Texts." View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 9, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: Adina Hoffman (essayist, critic, and literary biographer), "Map of a Vanished Town." View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 17, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: discussion with Ugandan Sex Right Activists Flavia Kyomukama (Global Coalition of Women Against AIDS, Uganda) and Beyonce Karungi (Transgender Equality Uganda), "Being Rescued, Being 'Saved':
A Conversation with Ugandan Sexual Rights Activists on U.S. Intervention." View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 24, 2013. The annual W. Allison Davis 1924 and John A. Davis 1933 Lecture: Khalil Muhammad (Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL), "Children of Statistical Bondage: The Punitive Legacy of Racial Quantification in Modern America." View guest bio and event invitation here.

Ocotber 30, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: Mats Rosengren (Professor of Rhetoric at Södertörn University, Sweden), "Seeing What is There: Cave Art and Doxa." View guest bio and event invitation here.

November 7, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: Marjorie Garber (Professor of English and Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard), "Whose Shakespeare? Whose Humanities? Speculations on Culture, Context and Curriculum." View guest bio and event invitation here.

November 22, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: A conversation with Kameron Steele (Director, The South Wing Theatre Company), "The Cross-Cultural Significance of Japanese Theatre" View guest bio and event invitation here.

April 10, 2014. The annual Richmond Lecture: Daniel Healey (Professor of Modern Russian History, Oxford University), "'Send Me as Far Away As Possible!': The Gulag Doctor's Notebook as Heroic Genre."

April 22, 2014. Oakley Center Colloquium: A conversation with Diana Taylor (New York University), "Rethinking the Archive."

April 30, 2014. Oakley Center Colloquium: A conversation with Brian Edwards (sociate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies and founding Director of the Program in Middle East and North African Studies, Northwestern University), "Comics in Cairo, Shrek in Tehran."

May 2, 2014. The annual Weiss Lecture: Martin Wilkinson (Professor of Political Studies, University of Auckland), "Ethics and the Allocation of Organs."


September 25, 2012. Oakley Center Conversation with Persian classical vocalist and musician Sepideh Raissadat. View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 11, 2012. Oakley Center Colloquium: Navina Najat Haidar (Curator of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art), "Islamic Art at the Met." View guest bio and event invitation here.

October 19, 2012. The annual W. Allison Davis 1924 and John A. Davis 1933 Lecture: Danielle Allen (UPS Foundation Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University), "Education and Equality." View guest bio and event announcement here.

October 25, 2012. Oakley Center Conversation with author and telenovela headwriter José Ignacio Valenzuela. View guest bio and event invitation here.

November 10, 2012. Oakley Center Panel Discussion: "The Other Side of the Tapestry: Two Panels On Translation." Panelists included Matthew Fraleigh (Assistant Professor of East Asian Literature and Culture, Brandeis University), Aurora Lauzardo (Professor of Humanities, University of Puerto Rico), Vicente Rafael (Professor of History, University of Washington), Na'ama Rokem (Assistant Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature), Sarah Ruden (Independent Translator), and Shawkat Toorawa (Associate Professor of Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies). View event invitation here, and panelists' bios and topics here.

November 29, 2012. Oakley Center Colloquium: Frank Mangan (Extension Associate Professor of Agriculture, UMass Amherst), "Language, Culture and Agriculture in Massachusetts." View guest bio and event invitation here.

February 26, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: Eliot Borenstein (Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, NYU), "'Our Home is Russia': Global Russians, Moving Bodies and Post-Soviet Entropy." View guest bio and event invitation here.

April 8, 2013. The annual Richmond Lecture: Lawrence Principe (Drew Professor of the Humanities in the Department of History of Science and Technology and the Department of Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University), "Alchemy's Secrets Revealed."

April 12, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: Lennard Davis (Distinguished Professor of English at the Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago, School of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Disability and Human Development in the School of Applied Health Sciences and Professor of Medical Education in the University of Illinois College of Medicine), "'The End of Normal: Diversity and Disability." View guest bio and event invitation here. (This event was rescheduled from its original date, March 8, due to inclement weather.)

February 26, 2013. Oakley Center Colloquium: Tarell Alvin McCraney (Playwright and Actor), "Discussion of Choir Boy." View guest bio and event invitation here.

May 2, 2013. The annual Weiss Lecture: Maggie Little (Professor Philosphy and Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University), "Abortion, Conscience, and the Ethics of Provision." View guest bio and event announcement here.


October 11, 2011. Oakley Center Conversation with author and humorist Firoozeh Dumas.

October 12-13, 2011. "An Exploration of the Work of Iranian Filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei." Events organized by Oakley Center; film screenings held at Images Cinema.

November 15, 2011. The annual W. Allison Davis 1924 and John A. Davis 1933 Lecture: Pedro Noguera (Professor of Education, NYU), "Not Waiting for Superman: Lessons from School Community Transformation Efforts in Newark, Pittsburgh, Houston and the Eastern Cape of South Africa."

December 6, 2011. Oakley Center Colloquium: Tom Cohen (Professor of English, SUNY Albany), "'Theory' and the Humanities in the late Anthropocene Era."

February 6, 2012. Oakley Center Colloquium: Joy Gordon (Professor of Philosophy, Fairfield University), "Inside the U.N. Security Council: How the U.S. Shaped the Sanctions on Iraq."

March 5, 2012. Oakley Center Colloquium: Kristen Brustad (Professor of Arabic, University of Texas at Austin), "A Revolution in Language: Practice and Ideology in Arabic."

March 13, 2012. The Richmond Lecture: Daniel Everett (Bentley University), "Cognitive Fire: How Language Emerges to Serve Human Needs." Screening of "The Grammar of Happiness," a documentary film about Everett's life and work, 4:00 pm in the Oakley Center Living Room.

March 14, 2012. Oakley Center Conversation with author Nicholas Carr. "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains."

April 19, 2012. Oakley Center Panel Discussion: "The Skin We Live In: Making and Assessing Portraits," led by Clark-Oakley Humanities Fellow Bruce Redford (Professor of English and Art History, Boston University), with panelists Kevin Bubriski (photographer and professor of photography, Green Mountain College), Bernard Rhie (Williams College Professor of English), and portrait painter Matthew Watson.

April 30, 2012. Oakley Center Colloquium: Michael Cooperson (Professor of Arabic, UCLA.) "Post-Islamic Historical Fantasies."

May 2, 2012. The Wiess Lecture: Susan Reverby (Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Wellesley College), "Beyond Apologies and Melodramas: The U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Diseases Studies in Tuskegee and Guatemala."


October 2, 2010. "The Place of Taste: An Exploration of Food Culture, and Community." Event organized by the Williams College Museum of Art and co-sponsored by the Oakley Center, among other Williams departments and centers, and Gastronomica.

November 11, 2010. Prof. Robin D. G. Kelley (USC), "Thelonious Monk: A Love Story." Special guest appearance by Freddie Bryant, guitar. The annual W. Allison Davis 1924 and John A. Davis 1933 Lecture.

November 15, 2010. Oakley Center Colloquium: John Kamm (Executive Director, Dui Hua Foundation, and 2004 MacArthur Fellow), "The Business of Human Rights: 20 Years of Dialogue with the Chinese Government." Co-sponsored with International Studies

November 30, 2010. Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD (Columbia and CU/NYU Presbyterian Hospital), "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer." The annual Andrew B. Weiss, MD, Lecture on Medicine & Medical Ethics.

January 20, 2011. Oakley Center Colloquium: Robert B. Pippin (U Chicago), "Agency and Fate in Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai." Colloquium in the Oakley Center living room.

March 3, 2011. Sherry Turkle (MIT), "Alone Together: The New Intimacies and Solitudes of the Digital Age." The Richmond Lecture, Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. Free and open to the public.

April 12, 2011. Oakley Center Colloquium: Peter Suber (Senior research professor, Philosophy, Earlham College; Fellow, Berkman Center, Harvard). "Open Access to Research: What? Why? How?"

April 14, 2010. Oakley Center Colloquium: Toril Moi (Duke), author of Sex, Gender and the Body, Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman, and other works; "Something that might resemble a kind of love: Fantasy and Realism in Henrik Ibsen's Little Eyolf."


September 24, 2009, Daniel Dennett (Tufts). The Richmond Lecture: "Darwin and the Evolution of Reasons."

September 30, 2009, Poetry reading by Kieron Winn (Oxford). Additional examples of Winn's work here and here. Co-sponsored by the English Department.

October 1, 2009, ColloquiumRichard Sennett (NYU/LSE), "On Craftsmanship."

October 19, 2009, Colloquium, Steve Feld, (UNM/Univ. of Oslo), "Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: A New Series of African Documentaries." Feld discography here. Booklet for Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra DVD here. Co-sponsored by the Williams College Music Department.

November 2, 2009, Weiss Lecture on Medicine and Medical Ethics: Harold Varmus, M.D. (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), “Health and Science in the Developing World.”

November 5, 2009, W. Allison Davis 1924 and John A. Davis 1933 Lecture: Angela Riley (Southwestern Law School; Visiting Prof., UCLA Law), "Indigenous Peoples in a Multicultural World."

January 21, 2010, Pepón Osorio, artist, "A Methodology for Creating Art in the Community."

February 23, 2010, Margaret Graver (Classics, Dartmouth), "Anatomies of Joy: Seneca, Claranus, and the Gaudium Tradition."

March 2,2010, Nicholas Dawidoff, "Getting a Life: Notes on Biography and Autobiography." Dawidoff is the author of The Catcher was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg (1994) and In the Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music (1998), among other works of non-fiction. March 1 addendum: Dawidoff's article, "Race in the South in the Age of Obama," appeared in the February 28 issue of the New York Times Magazine.

April 8, 2010, Sianne Ngai (UCLA), "The Zany Science: Post-Taylorist Performance, Gender, and the Problem of Fun."

April 12, 2010, Seyla Benhabib (Yale), "Cosmopolitanism After Kant: Claiming Rights Across Borders in a New Century."


September 23, 2008, Claudia Stevens (independent actor and playwright) presented her one-woman play Blue Lias, or the Fish Lizard's Whore, at the Centerstage, '62 Center for Theatre and Dance.

September 25, 2008, David Armitage (Harvard), "Civil War from Rome to Iraq: A History in Ideas." Co-sponsored by the History Department, Williams College.

October 2, 2008, Susan Neiman (Philosophy, Einstein Forum, Germany), "What about evil?"

November 6, 2008, Richard Thompson Ford, Stanford Law School. Annual W. Allison Davis '24 and John Davis '33 Lecture, "Race Relations in the USA."

November 17, 2008, Aamir Mufti, Clark-Oakley Fellow, "The missing homeland of Edward Said."

January 14, 2009, Ian Tattersall (Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History), The Richmond Lecture, "Becoming Human: Patterns of Innovation in Human Evolution."

February 24, 2009, Michael Bérubé (English, Penn State), "The Left at War."

March 4, 2009, Ellen Greene (Classics, Univ. of Oklahoma), “Love and War, Ethics and Erotics, in Sappho's Poetic Texts.”

April 14, 2009, Ronald M. Green (Religion, Dartmouth). Annual Weiss Lecture on Medicine & Medical Ethics. "Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Code." Lecture open to the public.

April 23, 2009, Michael Walzer (Institute for Advanced Study), "On just and unjust wars, with particular attention to terrorism and counterinsurgency warfare."


September 20, 2007, Margaret Urban Walker (Philosopher, Arizona State),"Truth as Reparations."

October 16, 2007, Clark Art Institute, Jonathan Katz, Clark-Oakley Humanities Fellow, "Cross (Un)dressing: Art and Eros in the Sixties."

October 17, 2007, Nathan Englander (Writer). Will discuss his recent work, including The Ministry of Special Cases.

October 18, 2007, David Lowenthal (University College, London), "Heritage struggles and ironies of defending imagined pasts."

October 25, 2007, Gerard Aching, NYU, "Liberalisms, Moralizing Literature, and Other Colonial Traps."

November 1, 2007, Simon Doubleday, Hofstra, "In the Light of Medieval Spain: Rethinking 'Relevance' and Ethical Commitment.

November 8, 2007, Charles H. Long, W. Allison Davis '24 and John Davis '33 Lecture, "Religion and the Sociological Imagination of African American Social Scientists."

November 13, 2007, Kai Erikson, Yale, "Reflections on Katrina: A Report from the Field."

January 8, 2008, Lisa Randall (Physics, Harvard), The Richmond Lecture, "Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions."

January 17, 2008, 4 pm, Siva Vaidhyanathan, UVA, "Technofundamentalism." Also at 8 pm, Griffin 3, a lecture, "The Googlization of Everything."

January 23, 2008, Marni Sandweiss (History and American Studies, Amherst), "Passing Strange: The Secret Life of Clarence King."

February 19, 2008, Christopher Kelty (Rice), "Quality, Authority, and Peer Review After the Internet."

April 8, 2008, Helen Epstein, "The Invisible Cure: Africa, The West, and the Fight Against AIDS" (Annual Weiss Lecture).

April 30, 2008, Colin G. Calloway (Dartmouth), "White People, Indians, and Highlanders."

May 1, 2008, Madhavi Sunder (Yale/UC-Davis Law), "The New Enlightenment: How Muslim Women are Bringing Religion Out of the Dark Ages"


September 14, 2006, Adam Phillips, "On What is Fundamental: Psychoanalysis and Fundamentalism."

September 15, 2006, Adam Phillips (This colloquium was based on a selection from Phillips's forthcoming collection of essays, Side Effects.)

October 5, 2006, Margaret Livingstone, Harvard Medical School, "A Conversation on Art and the Biology of Vision"

October 17, 2006, Graham Hammill, Notre Dame, "A Poetics of Political Theology: Harrington with Marvell"

October 30, 2006, Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam, "Re-reading Rembrandt for Our Time: Painting, Philosophy, and the Relation to Sources "

November 2, 2006, Griffin Hall, Saidiya Hartman, Columbia University, "Dead Book"

November 14, 2006, Matt Houlbrook, University of Liverpool, "The Man with the Powderpuff in Interwar London"

November 16, 2006, Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam, "Double Mobility: Toward a Migratory Aesthetics of Video "

November 8, 2006, Dr. Mitch Besser, Founder and Medical Director of mothers2mothers, South Africa- Annual Weiss Lecture: "AIDS in Africa: Simple Answers to Complicated Questions"

December 4, 2006, Philip Bohlman, University of Chicago, "Johann Gottfried Herder and the Ownership of History"

January 10, 2007, Jared Diamond, UCLA - Annual Richmond Lecture

January 11, 2007, Jared Diamond, UCLA, colloquium

February 8, 2007, Pedro Noguera, NYU - Annual W. Allison Davis 1924 and John A. Davis 1933 Lecture

February 19, 2007, K. Anthony Appiah, Princeton University, "Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of Strangers"

February 20, 2007, K. Anthony Appiah, Princeton University, colloquium on the reception of African Art

April 3, 2007, Jacques Rancière, University of Paris-VIII (St. Denis), "The Misadventures of Critical Thinking"

April 4, 2007, Jacques Rancière, University of Paris-VIII (St. Denis) "The Aesthetic Dimension: Aesthetics, Politics, Knowledge"

April 10 , 2007, William Kentridge, artist (South Africa).