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WVU Political Science Department to host John R. Williams Memorial Lecture

Renowned United States political behavior scholar Ismail White, Associate Professor of Political Science at The George Washington University, will be delivering the John R. Williams Lectureship in Political Science on April 29.

Hosted by the West Virginia University Department of Political Science, the lecture, “Black by Popular Demand: A Social Accountability Explanation of Black Political Unity,” will be held at 4 p.m. in Ming Hsieh Hall room G21.

White’s lecture will address the societal basis for the forums of political action that black Americans take.

“Given so much that’s going on from the Black Lives Matter movement, to Hillary Clinton’s likely nomination coming down to a very high level of support from African-American voters, it seemed timely to bring in someone who could speak on race and politics issues,” Scott Crichlow, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science said. “The lecture is going to give a more detailed, empirically informed take on what’s motivating this kind of political action today.”

A question and answer segment will follow the lecture. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The John R. Williams Lectureship in Political Science was created in 1998 in honor of Williams’ devotion to WVU, the study of political science, and his students. He was a recognized specialist in British Commonwealth studies and a researcher in Canadian and Australian politics. In 1949, he became a professor in WVU’s Department of Political Science where he taught for nearly four decades. During that time, he also became department chair in 1961 and director of the University Honors Program in 1973.

Williams was known for challenging generations of students to think critically about political philosophy, the politics of the British Commonwealth of nations, and Western European politics, and became one of WVU’s most popular teachers. For his service to the University, he received the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award, the Pi Sigma Alpha Outstanding Teacher Award, and the WVU Outstanding Teacher Award.

He was author of “The Conservative Party of Canada,” and “John Latham and the Conservative Recovery from Defeat,” as well as other works published in professional journals. He was also appointed as a Fellow at the Duke University Commonwealth Studies Center, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, and an Academic Visitor at the London School of Economics.

Williams graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence College in 1944. He earned a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1947, and a doctoral degree from Duke University in 1951. He also studied government at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics.

For more information, contact Crichlow at 304.293.9535