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Certified Geniuses.

The MacArthur Foundation has spoken: Patricia J. Williams and Deborah Willis are geniuses. The ultra-prestigious MacArthur Fellows Program, nicknamed the Genius Grant, has inducted into its 2000 class Williams, 48, a professor at Columbia University Law School, and Willis, 52, curator for Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Museum and Center for African-American History and Culture Exhibitions. The unrestricted fellowships, which include a $500,000 stipend and health insurance, are awarded to "talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits, and a marked capacity for self-direction."

The MacArthur program lauds Williams for creating "a new form of legal writing and scholarship that integrates personal narrative, critical and literary theory, traditional legal doctrine, and empirical and sociological research." Her most recent work is Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, April 1998).

Lauded as "a leading scholar in the investigation and recovery of the rich legacy of African-American photography," Willis, who once taught at New York University, has edited a number of books, the most recent of which was featured in our July-August issue. Other recent works include Picturing Us: African-American Identity in Photography (New Press, March 1996); Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America (Abradale Press, March 1994); and Visual Journal: Harlem and DC in the '30s and '40s (Smithsonian Institute Press, June 1996). BIBR extends its congratulations and looks forward to the future work these fellowships will inspire.
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Author:Cook, Dara
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2000
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