Upcoming Williams events at the Club

All our events require prior registration.  For details on how to do this for these following events, please visit our registration page via this link.

The Williams Jazz Ensemble: Contemporary Big Band

Friday, February 23
8:00-10:00 pm
$10 for Williams Club members, $20 for non-members (includes 1 glass of wine)

Over the past 2+ years, our series of live jazz performances has not only become a Club favorite, but has given a forum for Williams College alumni and faculty to showcase their talents in the city that Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and countless others once called home.  Now, we welcome with great excitement a group of exceptionally talented students from the College, who will be appearing at the Club on February 23 for an evening of “big band” jazz.  Join us as the 18-piece Williams Jazz ensemble presents a program of contemporary works by some of the jazz world’s most exciting composers and arrangers, including Maria Schneider, Ayn Inserto, Darcy James Argue and Jimmy Greene among others.  Directing the band is Williams College’s Lyell B. Clay Artist in Residence and Lecturer in Music Kris Allen.


A Family History of Slavery and Freedom:
Kendra Field’s “Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War”

Wednesday, February 28
6:30 pm
Free for members and guests

Join us as we celebrate Black History Month by welcoming Kendra Field, Williams College class of 1999 and author of Growing Up with the Country, the masterful and poignant story of three African-American families who journeyed west after emancipation.  Drawing on decades of archival research and family lore within and beyond the United States, Field traces the journey of her own ancestors out of the South to Native American Territory, where they participated in the development of black and black Native American towns and settlements.  Field’s epic family history mirrors a larger piece of our national history, chronicling the westward migration of freedom’s first generation in the fifty years after emancipation.

When statehood, oil speculation, and Jim Crow segregation imperiled their lives and livelihoods, these formerly enslaved men and women again chose emigration.  Some migrants launched a powerful back-to-Africa movement, while others moved on to Canada and Mexico.  Their lives and choices deepen and widen the roots of the Great Migration. Drawing upon her own ancestry, interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field’s beautifully wrought narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shaped the pursuit of freedom.

Kendra Field ’99 is Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University.  Field has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, and Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center in American History.  Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University.  She also holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College.


Frozen: From the Silver Screen to Broadway 

Tuesday, April 10
Program: 7:00 pm
Reception: 8:00 pm
$15 for members, $25 for guests (includes wine)

Join us for an evening with Williams College alum Kristen Anderson-Lopez ’94 (Grammy, Oscar) and husband Robert Lopez (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony winning co-creator of Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon). Kristen and Robert are the songwriting team behind the blockbuster smash Frozen – including the Academy and Grammy-award winning song “Let it Go” – and were most recently honored with Academy and Golden Globe nominations for their work in Disney-Pixar’s new animated release Coco.

Williams professor W. Anthony Sheppard (Princeton GS’96) will join them to discuss their magical transformation of Frozen into the new hot ticket musical which opened on Broadway in February. In addition to delving into their creative process and extensive experience in both film and musical theater, Kristen and Bobby will perform examples of songs we already know by heart, as well as new numbers from their Broadway musical. The talk will be followed by a reception including complimentary wine.


Inspiring Hope Through Sports: Reclaim Childhood Empowers Young Women in the Middle East

Tuesday, April 24
Reception: 6:30 pm
Program: 7:00 pm
Free for members, $10 for guests

Join us for the remarkable story of Reclaim Childhood, the organization founded by three Williams College alumni to bring the experience of sports to young women in the Middle East. Founder Anouk Dey will tell us how they addressed the many obstacles involved in bringing their vision to life. We will also learn first hand about the power of sport to inspire confidence, hope, and ambition in young women. Joining her in a conversation will be Reclaim Childhood board member, Robert Jackall, Williams College Professor of Sociology & Public Affairs.

All lifelong athletes themselves, the three founders, Anouk Dey ’09, Molly Hunter ’09, and Katherine Krieg Fischer ’08 were deeply affected by the unequal access to sports equipment and facilities that they saw for refugee girls in Jordan. While boys could play with their friends in the streets, girls had no such opportunities, and were expected to stay home. They started out with no equipment, no players, and no safe places to play. Together with friends in the Iraqi refugee community they built a network of interested coaches and players, and then hosted the first RC summer camp at the Kings Academy School in the summer of 2008. Today, RC serves 400 girls per year across two cities in Jordan and trains its award-winning all-female refugee coaching staff in basketball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee.


Infrastructure Redefined, Part 3: Community & Affordability

Monday, May 14
Reception: 6:30 pm
Program: 7:00 pm
Free for members, $10 for guests

From co-living to micro-apartments and tiny houses, the ways in which we are making housing more accessible in rapidly urbanizing and increasingly dense spaces are ever evolving. This panel will look at the models being developed to redefine affordable housing, moving beyond tax subsidized housing for disadvantaged communities, and towards more proactive choices of lifestyle change. Join us as panelists explore how changes in our values have impacted the private space we occupy.

Moderator: Charles Plaisimond, Williams ’07


Desert Borderland: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya

A conversation with Matthew H. Ellis ’03 and Magnus Bernhardsson, Williams College Professor of History

Monday, May 21
6:30 reception, 7:00 program
Free for members, $10 for guests

How should we think about the politics of national borders in the modern Middle East, especially when that border is made of ever-shifting sands?  Particularly since the emergence of ISIS, it has been all too common in the media to draw attention to the so-called “artificial” and colonial nature of political boundaries in the region.  In his new book, Desert Borderland: The Making of Modern Egypt and Libya, Matthew H. Ellis–Williams ’03 and holder of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs at Sarah Lawrence College–shifts the focus to the complex processes through which the Egyptian-Libyan borderland was constituted in the decades before WWI. 

In his book, Ellis illuminates the little-known history of the Egyptian-Libyan borderland, and challenges prevailing notions of how Egypt and Libya were constituted as modern territorial nation-states, revealing how political identity was transformed in the easternmost reaches of the Sahara Desert. 

Ellis will speak in conversation with Magnus Bernhardsson, Williams College Professor of History and Faculty Affiliate in Arabic Studies, Leadership Studies and Religion.

Books will be available for purchase and signing immediately following the event.