Melissa Harris-Perry to Speak at Williams as Part of Claiming Williams Day

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 22, 2013—Melissa Harris-Perry, host of the self-titled show on MSNBC and a professor of political science at Tulane University, will present a lecture on politics, activism, and scholarship at Williams College on Thursday, Jan. 31. Harris-Perry’s lecture is free and open to the public and will take place at 9 a.m. in the MainStage of the ’62 Center, following President Adam Falk’s opening remarks for Claiming Williams Day.  There will be a reception prior to the talk, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and a book signing afterward, both in the MainStage lobby.  This event is not ticketed, but seating is first come, first served.

Claiming Williams is a day for the college to reflect on issues of inequality. No classes or athletics events are held, and students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in lectures, performances, and discussion groups intended to provoke individual, institutional, and cultural change in order to build a more inclusive community. For more information about Claiming Williams, please visit http://claiming.williams.edu/ .

Harris-Perry is an author, television host, and political commentator who specializes in African- American politics. She is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South at Tulane University. She has previously served on the faculties of Princeton University and the University of Chicago.

Her latest book is titled Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (2011). Her book Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought won the 2005 W.E.B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Harris-Perry received her B.A. from Wake Forest University in 1994 and her Ph.D. from Duke University in 1999.

The lecture is co-sponsored by Leadership Studies, Africana Studies, Political Science, and the Class of ’71 Public Affairs Forum.

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