Leading Scholar of Africana Studies and Political Theory to Discuss Freedom and Moving Forward in an Age of Pessimism

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 1, 2019— Neil Roberts, associate professor of Africana studies and the W. Ford Schumann Faculty Fellow in Democratic Studies, will present “How to Live Free in an Age of Pessimism” as part of the Williams College faculty lecture series. His talk features pieces of his latest book project that discusses what it means to live free, the challenges of pessimism, and finally provides a way forward for the pessimistic. The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 7, at 4:15 p.m. in Wege Auditorium, with a reception to follow in the Schow Atrium. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition to Africana studies, Roberts is a professor in political theory and the philosophy of religion at Williams. His current writings explore the intersections of Caribbean, continental, and North American political theory with respect to theorizing the concepts of freedom and agency. Roberts is co-editor of both the CAS Working Papers in Africana Studies Series (with Ben Vinson) and a collection of essays (with Jane Anna Gordon) on the theme Creolizing Rousseau (2015), and he is the guest editor of a Theory & Event symposium on the Trayvon Martin case. Roberts is on the executive editorial board of the journal Political Theory and former chair of CPA Publishing Partnerships that includes The C.L.R. James Journal and books with Rowman and Littlefield International, and he is author of the award-winning book Freedom as Marronage (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and the collaborative work Journeys in Caribbean Thought (2016). His most recent book is A Political Companion to Frederick Douglass (The University Press of Kentucky, 2018). Roberts is president of the Caribbean Philosophical Association and the recipient of fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Roberts received a B.A. in Afro-American studies and law & public policy from Brown University and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago with a specialization in political theory.

About the Faculty Lecture Series

The Faculty Lecture Series was founded in 1911 by Catherine Mariotti Pratt, the spouse of a faculty member who wanted to “relieve the tedium of long New England winters with an opportunity to hear Williams professors talk about issues that really mattered to them.” From these humble and lighthearted beginnings, the Faculty Lecture Series has grown to become an important forum for tenured professors to share their latest research with the larger intellectual community of the college.

The lecture series will conclude on March 14 with Alison Case on “Authorizing Nelly: Female Narrative Authority, Wuthering Heights, and Me”.

For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications 413-597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map