Illustrations by Davide Bonazzi
One hundred members of the campus and local communities gathered at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance on Jan. 25 for TEDxWilliamsCollege. The first event of its kind to be held at the college, the half-day program featured six faculty members and two students who each spoke about topics inspired by ideas explored in tutorials. In these signature Williams courses, two students, guided by a professor in an in-depth examination of a subject, develop independent work as they sharpen their critical thinking skills.

Watch videos of their talks at

rhon manigault-bryant
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies

Black women’s bodies and representations of them long have been under the controlof others. Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman, and then her remains, were on view from the 18th century until 1974, and Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait of a Negress (1800) was adopted centuries later in a portrayal of Michelle Obama. Yet it’s possible to reshape understandings of black women’s bodies, evidenced by the science fiction of Octavia E. Butler and the potential of social media.
Watch the video

karen kwitter
Ebenezer Fitch Professorof Astronomy,Department Chairwoman

We are children of the stars,born of seething cauldrons of plasma that convert helium into heavier elements and then explode, sending the elements out into space. These raw ingredients of which we are made require specific conditions to thrive, which the Milky Way currently provides. But research shows that in about 3 billion years, two neighboring galaxies may collide, and Earth will be caught in the crosshairs.
Watch the video

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.