last updated Mon, Feb 8, 2016
Diana Williams is an Assistant Professor of History and Law at USC. She is a distinguished expert in history, English and law and holds numerous awards in the fields of gender studies, civil rights, minority research and American and legal history.
Williams’ work has been instrumental in the research and documentation of critical historical and legal issues. Her dissertation, “They Call It Marriage: the Louisiana Interracial Family and the Making of American Legitimacy,” won the 2008 William Nelson Cromwell Dissertation Prize in Legal History.
Before coming to USC, she served as an Assistant Professor of History from 2008-9 and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Legal History from 2007-8 at Wellesley College. In 2006, she was a Raoul Berger Fellow in Legal History from Harvard Law School.
Williams has received numerous grants, including the Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund in Civil Rights from Harvard Law School, a writing grant from Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History from Boston Athenaeum, a summer writing grant from the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the Mellon Minority Research Grant from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and a research grant from the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism from Notre Dame University.
In 2015, Williams was a signatory to the American Historical Association (AHA)’s brief submitted in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case establishing marriage equality for same-sex couples as a federal constitutional right in all 50 states (see link).
Williams received her doctorate in the History of American Civilization, a masters in English and an A.B. in history from Harvard University. Additionally, she holds a masters in history from the University of California, Berkeley.