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Native American law expert to speak about human rights at NMSU

The College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University will host a leading expert in Native American law who will talk about the human rights of indigenous peoples. As part of a full day of events, Robert A. Williams Jr., a member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe and a professor of law at the University of Arizona, will discuss his new book, "Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization," at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium. Williams will remain afterward for a book signing.


Headshot of Robert A. Williams Jr.
Robert A. Williams Jr., a member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe and a professor of law at the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, will visit the New Mexico State University campus where he will discuss his new book, "Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization," at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in the Corbett Center Student Union Auditorium. (Courtesy photo)

Williams' book proposes a wide-ranging re-examination of the history of the Western world told from the perspective of civilization's war on tribalism as a way of life. He is the author of the classic work on Indian rights under U.S. law, "The American Indian in Western Legal Thought," which won the Gustavus Meyer human rights award. He is also known for his work defending tribal groups before the United Nations and the Supreme Court.

While on campus, Williams will meet with NMSU's Tribal Voices Working Group, which provides a forum for the university's American Indian employees to discuss issues regarding tribal students, professionals and communities.

"In addition to sharing his perspective with our faculty during the day, our students also will benefit from the opportunity to interact with Rob, one of the top scholars in his field about issues of human rights, social justice and the law," said Christa Slaton, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Williams will meet with 30 students at noon for lunch at NMSU's American Indian Center, hosted by the center's director Justin McHorse. He will share his knowledge with NMSU anthropology students in a class from 2:30-4 p.m. in Breland Hall, Room 189.

In the evening, Williams will discuss his book "Savage Anxieties," where he illustrates how the language of savagery used by the West to talk about the human rights of the world's indigenous peoples is in dire need of reappraisal. Copies of the book will be on sale.

The evening lecture is free and open to the public. For more information contact Ken Van Winkle, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at 575-646-2003.