From the beauty and euphoria of math research to American Yiddishkayt—and lots of subjects in between—six professors participating in the Faculty Lecture Series will share their research over the course of six Thursdays from February through April.

Williams has launched its annual Faculty Lecture Series, which runs each Thursday from Feb. 23 through April 13. The series aims to present big ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries. The lectures, which start at 4:15 p.m., are free and open to the public in the Thompson Chemistry building’s Wege Auditorium. View the entire 2023 lecture playlist on YouTube.

The speakers are:

Feb. 23: Leo Goldmakher, associate professor of mathematics, presents “Primes I have enjoy’d.”

View Goldmakher’s lecture on YouTube

March 2: Julie Cassiday, the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, presents “Julie Cassiday on Russian Style, or What Twerking Air Cadets and ‘Gay’ Propaganda Tell Us About Putin’s War in Ukraine.”

View Cassiday’s lecture on YouTube.

March 9: Greg Mitchell, chair and associate professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies, presents “Panics without Borders: How Global Sporting Events Drive Myths about Sex Trafficking.”

View Mitchell’s lecture on YouTube.

March 16: Brahim El Guabli, assistant professor of Arabic studies and comparative literature, presents “Saharanism: Genealogies and Manifestations of a Desert-Focused Imaginary.”

View El Guabli’s lecture on YouTube.

April 6: Charlie Doret, associate professor of physics, presents “Learning Something from Measuring Nothing: Probing the Deepest Puzzles of the Universe, One Atom at a Time.”

          View Doret’s lecture on YouTube.

April 13: Jeff Israel, associate professor of religion and Jewish studies, presents “American Yiddishkayt: The Good, the True, and the Beautiful.”

View Israel’s lecture on YouTube.

Organized by the faculty members of the Lecture Committee, 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.

Published February 16, 2023


Seven professors will share their latest research on biodiversity, team building, chivalry and many other subjects during the six-week Faculty Lecture Series in February and March.

Williams College senior Cole Mason is named a Rhodes Scholar for 2024.

Lara Shore-Sheppard, Dean of the Faculty and economics professor, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association.

Kate Jensen, assistant professor of physics, has been selected as the winner of the 2023 Adhesion Society Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award in recognition for “accomplishments and leadership to adhesion science.”

Lara Shore-Sheppard, the Kimberly A. ’96 and Robert R. ‘62 Henry Professor of Economics, has been named the new dean of the faculty.

Sam Crane, political science professor, has been named the next director of the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University, where he will be the primary academic and personal advisor for the 26 juniors who enroll in the program each year. 

Safa Zaki, Williams’ Dean of Faculty and the John B. McCoy and John T. McCoy Professor of Psychology, has been elected as the 16th president of Bowdoin College beginning July 1, 2023.

Magnús T. Bernhardsson, Brown Professor of History, has won a prestigious grant from the Icelandic Research Fund to research 40 families from Iraq and Syria that have arrived as refugees in Iceland since 2014.

Physics professor Graham Giovanetti has received a 2023 Cottrell Scholar Award, which includes $100,000 to support his research and efforts to help prepare prospective physics majors at Williams.

Geosciences professor Rónadh Cox has been named to the 2022 class of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows, in recognition for “scientific and socially notable achievements spanning their careers.”