|October 25, 2019
Gerlinger Lounge, 1468 University St.
Lorwin Lectureship Series
Rhaisa Kameela Williams is assistant professor of Theater and Performance Studies in the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis. Williams’ research uses mixed-archive methods—spanning across literature, family history, archives, and public policy—to focus on the intersections of blackness, motherhood, affect, and disquieting modes of freedom.
Currently, she is writing a manuscript, Mama, Don’t You Weep: Motherhood, Blackness, and Performances of Grief, that traces the intimate relationship between grief and black motherhood from the civil rights movement to the present. Offering discontinuous readings of grief, the book asserts that black women, no matter their personal relationship to offspring or othermothering, have specifically mobilized grief inherent to black motherhood as a tactic to perform, remake, and critique forms of citizenship.
Williams earned her Ph.D and M.A. in Performance Studies at Northwestern University and a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been supported by the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, and the Mellon, Woodrow Wilson, and Ford foundations; and has appeared in Transforming Anthropology, Callaloo, andBiography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly.
This year’s Lorwin Lecture series is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society.
The Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is funded by a gift from Val and Madge Lorwin to the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences and School of Law.