Syracuse University

SU News

'Citizen writer' Terry Tempest Williams will close out 2011-12 University Lectures season

March 26, 2012

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Conservationist, free speech advocate and author Terry Tempest Williams will be the final guest of the University Lectures 2011-12 season on Thursday, March 29.

tempestwilliamsWilliams will speak on “The Writer as Witness” during a conversation with Don Mitchell, Distinguished Professor of Geography in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public; reduced-rate parking is available in the Irving Garage.

The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. CART and sign language interpretation will be available.

Tempest Williams’ latest book, “Why Women Were Birds” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) will be in stores on April 24. The SU Bookstore will have a limited number for sale at the event.

Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.

Like her writing, Williams cannot be categorized. She has testified before Congress on women’s health issues, been a guest at the White House, has camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses and worked as “a barefoot artist” in Rwanda. She is known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, and is the author of numerous environmental literature classics.

Williams is currently the Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change.

The University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s trustees, alumni and friends. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or to receive additional information about the University Lectures series, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at 443-2941 or More information can be found at or on Facebook at

The University Lectures 2012-13 season will be announced in late April.

Recent News