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Diana Williams

Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-9325
Office: SOS 277

Personal Website


M.A. English, Harvard University
Ph.D. History of American Civilization, Harvard University
M.A. History, University of California at Berkeley

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Diana Williams writes on the relationship of law (particularly civil law) and culture in North America; her work focuses on race, gender, and sexuality. She is completing a book that links the history of interracial marriage to changing definitions of U.S. citizenship in the nineteenth century. Her next project studies the relationship between history and legitimacy in the administration of Civil War Widows' Pensions at the turn of the century.

Research Keywords

Legal history, Marriage, Reconstruction, African American history, History of Women and Gender, New Orleans, Louisiana

Research Specialties

19th Century North America; law; race; gender; sexuality

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

American Studies and Ethnicity, Affiliate faculty,
Center for Law, History, and Culture, Steering Committee,

Honors and Awards

Professor of Color Recognition Award, Spring 2014   

Service to the University


Member, Gender Studies Advisory Board, 2010-  
Member, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program Steering Committee, 2009-  
Member, Steering Committee, Center for Law, History, and Culture, 2009-  
Co-Chair, Library and Technology Committee, History Department, 2009-2011  

Service to the Profession

Other Service to the Profession

One of 26 historians of marriage in the U.S. to sign onto an amicus curiae brief cited prominently by Justice Kennedy in the June 2015 US Supreme Court Marriage Equality Case (Obergefell). The Council of the American Historical Association also signed onto this brief., Spring 2015   
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