Williams Thinking: Faculty Lecture Series Presents Ideas that Matter
Modeled after the Technology, Entertainment, Design lecture series, Williams Thinking shares some of the ideas and research of the faculty. These short talks are aimed at exploring ideas that matter in today's world - from storytelling to sound perception to molecular fossils - in a way that accessible and appealing to audience members of all ages and backgrounds.
The program features faculty members representing the humanities, social sciences, and science and mathematics. Each evening is comprised of three 20-minute lectures, which will be videotaped live and later presented as a collection on the college's website.
Williams Thinking will take place over two consecutive Mondays - July 18 and July 25, at 7 p.m. in Paresky Auditorium.
Monday, July 18 features talks from English professor and incoming Dean of the Faculty Peter Murphy, psychology professor Susan Engel, and physics professor Protik Majumder. The evening will be emceed by physics professor and Dean of the College Sarah Bolton.
Murphy will discuss daily culture and storytelling. He has taught a variety of English course at Williams College since 1986. His area of specialty is British literature of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
His other interests include literary history, lyric poetry, the history of everyday literary culture, and storytelling in pictures, from early comic strips to the graphic novel. Murphy received his Bachelor's degree from Yale University and his Doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. In July, he will become the new Dead of the Faculty.
Engel's interests are in narrative development, autobiographical memory, children's play, teaching and learning in schools, and the development of curiosity. She will present ideas from a new book she is writing.
Engel is a senior lecturer in psychology and director of the Program in Teaching. This year she published her book Red Flags or Red Herrings: Predicting Who Your Child Will Become.
Engel has her Bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College and her doctorate from CUNY Graduate Center in Developmental Psychology. She has been at Williams since 1990.
Majumder will discuss musical acoustics and sound perception. He has taught courses throughout the physics curriculum.
He received his Bachelor's degree from Yale College and his Doctorate from Harvard University. Majumder is the director of the Williams’ Science Center and chairman of its science executive committee. He has been at Williams since 1994.
Monday, July 25 features talks from art history professor Michael Lewis, history professor Leslie Brown, and biology professor Wendy Raymond. The evening will be emceed by President Falk.
Lewis is the Faison-Pierson-Stoddard Professor of Art History and teaches American art and architecture. He has written and contributed to many books.
Lewis received his Bachelor's degree from Haverford College, studied at the University of Hannover in Germany and received his Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been teaching at Williams since 1993.
Brown is the author of "Upbuilding Black Durham: Gender, Class, and Black Community Development in the Urban South." She won the 2009 Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians for the best book in U.S. History written by a first time author.
She will present a provocative lecture that uses chronology to investigate the historical intersections between African American and American history.
She received her Bachelor's degree from Tufts University and her Doctorate from Duke University. She has been at Williams since 2008.
Raymond will discuss the insights that genetic material can reveal about the shift in the history of life on Earth. Her research focuses on cell mitosis - specifically cloning and molecular characterization - as well as cell-cycle regulation.
She received her Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and her Doctorate from Harvard University. She has been at Williams since 1994.
Williams Thinking is presented by the Office of Communications and the Office of Information Technology. Please note: these events will be recorded for distribution on the college's website.