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Williamson Lecture

Robert C. and Virginia L. Williamson Lecture Series

Black and white photo of Robert C. Williamson

Dr. Robert C. Williamson was the founder and first chair of the department of Social Relations, established in 1963. He was the author or co-author of 12 books and 50 professional articles in the fields of sociology and linguistics, including Marriage and Family Relations (1972), Minority Languages and Bilingualism (1991), Latin American Societies in Transition (1997), and Latin America: Cultures in Conflict (2006). He was a professor at Lehigh University for 21 years as well as a Fulbright Professor in Chile, Colombia and El Salvador. He enjoyed travel for research and pleasure and had visited over 95 countries. Dr. Williamson and his wife Virginia generously endowed this lecture series as well as a research prize for faculty. He passed away at age 100 in 2016. 

Upcoming Lecture

Join us September 26, 2024 for “Bridging Divides, Charting Futures: The Transformative Power of Memory from the Civil Rights Movement to Youth Activism Today” with Dr. Hajar Yazdiha, assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. She is also faculty affiliate of the USC Equity Research Institute and the Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Rights and a 2024 Carnegie Fellow and Global Scholar of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (2023-2025). Learn More Here >

Past Lectures

  • 2016 - “Predatory Capitalism, Human Migration and Habitat Loss in the 21st Century” with Dr. Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member of The Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. 
  • 2014 - “Understanding Ferguson: The Crisis of Policing in the Black Community” with Dr. Elijah Anderson, William K. Lanman Jr Professor of Sociology at Yale University. 
  • 2013 - “Will the Second Half of the Gender Revolution Strengthen the Family” Evidence from the US and Sweden” with Dr. Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, professor of Sociology at Brown University.
  • 2009 - “Human Rights and the Struggle for Multicultural Autonomy: Mayas of Chiapas and Guatemala Seek a New Relationship with the State" with Dr. June Nash, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the City College of New York and Graduate Center.  
  • 2010 - “The Civic Impact of Youth Activism: The Curious Contrast between Freedom Summer and Teach for America” with Doug McAdam, professor of Sociology and Director of Urban Studies, Stanford University.
  • 2005 - “Voice and Inequality in America’s New Civic Democracy” with Dr. Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University.
  • 2001 - “Mars and Venus, or Plant Earth: Women and Men in the New Millennium” with Dr. Michael Kimmel, professor of Sociology, University of California at Berkeley.
  • 1998 - “Rambo and the Dalai Lama: The Compulsion to Win and Its Threat to Human Survival” with Professor Gordon Fellman, Cofounder of the Boston Nuclear Study Group and Chair of the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Brandeis University.
  • 1996 - “A Multicultural Way of Life on a College Campus" with Charles V. Willie, sociologist and professor of education and urban studies at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.