Juris-Generative Narratives

Talking to Patricia J. Williams Following the Reith Lectures.

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 University of Nottingham sharon.monteith@ntu.ac.uk
  • 2 University of Hertfordshire sharon.monteith@ntu.ac.uk
  • 3 Columbia University williams@law.columbia.edu
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This year’s Reith Lecturer was Patricia J. Williams, a lawyer and Professor of Law at Columbia and author of the award-winning The Alchemy of Race and Rights (1993) and The Rooster’s Egg: The Persistence of Prejudice (1995) as well as numerous essays and articles in law journals and in The Village Voice, The Nation and Ms. Magazine. Professor Williams was invited to speak in this the European Year Against Racism but she found herself and the topic of her lectures the subject of heated media debate in Britain. Tabloids and broadsheets alike reviled her as ‘a militant black feminist who thinks all whites are racist and the family is wrong’ (Daily Mail) and her lectures were even described as ‘mumbo-jumbo’ in the Daily Telegraph. Britain’s newspapers and Melvyn Bragg on Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’ combined to demonise the first black woman speaker in the 49-year history of the Reith Lectures.

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