Anita Hill to Discuss Peril and Promise for Feminism May 9

Anita Hill

Thirty-three years ago, Professor Anita Hill started a national conversation on sexual harassment in testifying against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. On May 9, she visits the University of Oregon to discuss the ongoing fight against gender-based violence in this year’s Lorwin Lecture on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Professor Hill’s talk will explore what this committed feminist fighter has learned from her advocacy around issues of gender violence and the perils and promises our current moment holds for “feminist futures”—the theme of this year’s fiftieth anniversary for the Center for the Study of Women in Society. 

The talk will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in the Erb Memorial Union, 1395 University Street, Eugene. Free tickets are available now through the UO Ticket Office

Professor Hill is an award-winning author and a professor of Law, Social Policy, and Women’s & Gender Studies at Brandeis University. She is a fierce advocate for equality and civil rights and believes it is our communal duty to end gender violence. She discusses this journey with Oregon Quarterly in their current online issue.

The youngest of 13 children from a farm in rural Oklahoma, Professor Hill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980 and began her career in private practice in Washington, D.C. Before becoming a law professor, she worked at the U.S. Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, she became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, where she taught contracts and commercial law. 

Professor Hill is credited with bringing the discussion of workplace sexual harassment into public consciousness with her landmark testimony against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. Since then, she has dedicated her career to increasing awareness of and bringing an end to gender-based violence. Her most recent book, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence (2021), is the winner of the 2022 ABA Silver Gavel Award, the American Bar Association’s highest honor for works that foster the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. The book offers a new manifesto about the origins and course of gender violence in our society; a combination of memoir, personal accounts, law, and social analysis; and a powerful call to action from one of our most prominent and poised survivors.

Professor Hill’s previous books include Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (2011), as well as the autobiography Speaking Truth to Power (1997). She also co-edited the volume Race, Gender and Power in America: The Legacy of the Hill-Thomas Hearings (1995).

Professor Hill has received numerous honorary degrees and civic awards. She has chaired the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association. She also is on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center and the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. She received the 2019 PEN Courage Award and was named TIME magazine’s 100 Women of the Year for 1991. 

The Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is funded by a gift from Val and Madge Lorwin to the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences and School of Law. It is a concluding event to the year-long 50th anniversary celebrations of CSWS and is presented in partnership with the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. It is cosponsored by the UO Division of Equity and InclusionOregon Humanities Center, and Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.