MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1997

Brackette F. Williams


Tucson, Arizona

Age: 47 at time of award

Published July 1, 1997

Brackette Williams is an anthropologist who studies cultural identity and social relationships.

In her work, Williams combines detailed ethnography in multiracial communities with fresh insights into perspectives on social conflict.  Her first book, based on her fieldwork in Guyana, is a treatment of ritual and symbolism in the construction of national identity in an ethnically mixed, peripheral society.  Other work explores traditional anthropological concerns about ritual and symbols in the context of historically influential, Western philosophical conceptions of social life, ideology, and consciousness.  In her book E Pluribus White? Essays on the Spirit of Nation, the Virtue of Unity in U.S. Identity Politics, Williams delves into the individual roles and social hierarchies in the United States through her exploration of race and class in the American consciousness.  She is the author of Stains on My Name, War in My Veins: Guyana and the Politics of Cultural Struggle (1991) and After Freedom: A Cultural Study in the Deep South (1993), and the editor of Women Out of Place: The Gender of Agency and the Race of Nationality (1996).

Williams is an independent scholar.  She has taught at Duke University, Queens College, CUNY, and at the University of Arizona.

Williams received a B.S. (1973) from Cornell University, an M.Ed. (1974) from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. (1983) from The Johns Hopkins University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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Brackette F. Williams , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
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