This annual lecture honors the late Robin M. Williams Jr. a past president of the American Sociological Association, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophic Society, who was a commanding figure in 20th century Sociology. Williams was for much of his career a named chair at Cornell, then for two decades a Visiting Professor in UCI’s Sociology Department. He died in 2006 at the age of 91, an active teacher and publishing scholar to the very end of his life. Robin was much beloved at UCI. The course he was teaching the quarter he died was “Altruism and Cooperation,” a course whose title was synonymous with his nature. Among his most important professional contributions: The American Soldier: Adjustment During Army Life (1946), of which he was a co-author (with Samuel Stouffer and others), The Reduction of Intergroup Tensions (1947), What College Students Think (1960), and his last and magisterial book, The Wars Within: Peoples and States in Conflict (2006). As chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Status of Black Americans, he coauthored with Gerald Jaynes in 1989 the major report on the NRC’s findings, A Common Destiny. This lecture series brings to campus a very senior academic scholar who is among the world's leading experts on some theme directly related to Robin’s interests in ethnic conflict, race and inequality, and military sociology. The inaugural event in this series took place in academic year 2008-9, a joint lecture on “Race and Inequality” by two of the nation’s leading African-American scholars, a past President of the American Sociological Association, Troy Duster, and Dianne Pinderhughes, a past President of the American Political Science Association.

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