Colloquia and Lectures in the Recent Past


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 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.


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, Colloquium, Richard 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).