Williams names two Gaius Charles Bolin Fellows for 2022-24, honoring the legacy of Williams’ first Black graduate and promoting faculty diversity.

Named in honor of Williams College’s first Black graduate, who was admitted to Williams in 1885, the college awards its Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowships to graduate students from underrepresented groups who are completing their terminal degrees and interested in pursuing a career in college teaching.

Bolin was an active and influential member of his class who went on to a successful career as a lawyer in Poughkeepsie, NY. He also was a founding member of the local branch of the NAACP, and was the first African-American president of the Dutchess County Bar Association. 

These two-year residential fellowships were established in 1985 to honor Gaius Bolin’s legacy and promote diversity on college faculties. Two scholars or artists are appointed each year. Fellows devote the bulk of the first year to the completion of dissertation work—or in the case of MFA applicants, building their professional portfolios—while also teaching one course as a faculty member in one of the College’s academic departments or programs. The second year of residency is spent on academic career development while again teaching just one course.

The Gaius Charles Bolin Fellows for 2022-24 are:

Kamal Abdul Kariem, the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in German and Russian. He received an M.A. in anthropology from Princeton University, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate, also in anthropology. His primary research interests lie at the intersections of Indigeneity, protected areas, Russia, and post-Socialism. More broadly, his research looks at the meaning of environmental governance in Russia in relation to imaginations and representations of nature and Indigenous peoples. He has participated in conferences and symposiums throughout the country, and he is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship. His work has been published in The Territory of New Opportunities. The Herald of Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service and The Russian Review.

Shivani Radhakrishnan, the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in philosophy. She received a B.Phil. from Oxford University and is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at Columbia University. Her academic work focuses on topics in social  philosophy, especially about the psychic and structural conditions on ideology. With an interest in critical theory, as well as promoting a wider conception of philosophy, her work has been published in The Washington Post, n+1, The Point, The Baffler and The Boston Review, among others. A writer and essayist, her recent work explores the politics of representation and self-formation, legal epistemology, and false consciousness. The recipient of a PD Soros Fellowship for New Americans and a Fulbright to Russia, she has also presented at CUNY’s Social and Political Philosophy workshop, Penn’s Reasons and Foundations of Epistemology workshop, and Columbia’s Graduate Philosophy Workshop.

Published March 2, 2022