The Lawrence Willson Memorial Lectureship

The Lawrence Willson Memorial Lectureship was established in 1996 by the California Lambda chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to commemorate a founding member and longtime secretary of the chapter. Known nationally as an expert on the life and work of Henry David Thoreau, "Double-L Willson" was a force in the intellectual life of the UCSB campus from the day he arrived in 1947. Jovian in manner, acerbic in tone, witty and insightful, he enchanted generations of students and colleagues, and was the only member of the UCSB faculty to be honored with Distinguished Teaching Awards by both the Academic Senate (1979) and the Alumni Association (1995). His favorite quotation from his favorite author catches the spirit of this quintessential New Englander, and of the Willson Lectureship:

 Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.
- Henry D. Thoreau, "Walking" (1862)

The following people have been awarded the Lawrence Willson Memorial Lectureship:

2014-2015 - Ed Linenthal (History, Indiana University)

"The Predicament of Aftermath: Memorializing Landscapes of Violence"

2013-14 - Eileen Boris (Feminist Studies, UCSB)

"Fifty Years Later: Women's Rights, Title VII and the Struggle for Workplace Justice"

2012 - Tommaso Treu (Physics, UCSB)
"What is the Universe Made of?"

2011 - Ronald J. Mellor (History, UCLA)
"Encounters Along the Silk Road"

2010 - JoAnn Kuchera-Morin (Music, UCSB)
"Using the Creative Process to Map N-Dimensions: Quantum Information at Your Fingertips"

2009 - Harold Drake (History, UCSB)
"Martyrs and Terrorists"

2008 - Herbert Kroemer (Electrical and Computer Engineering, UCSB)
"Semiconductors Everywhere -- What is All the Fuss About?"

2007 - Anabel Ford (MesoAmerican Research Center, UCSB)
"Adapting to Climate Change: The Ancient Mayan Forest Garden"

2006 - Evelyn Hu (California NanoSystems Institute, UCSB)
"Avian Flu, Silver Band-Aids and the Promises of Nanotechnology for Society"

2005 - Luann Becker (Geological Sciences, UCSB)
"When Life Almost Perished From the Earth"

2004 - Joseph Polchinski (Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UCSB)
"Nature's Ultimate Building Blocks"

2003 - R. Stephan Humphreys (History, UCSB)
"Is the Middle East a Bottomless Pit?"

2002 - Alan Liu (English, UCSB)
"Lessons for the Cool"

2001 - Giles Gunn (English, UCSB)
"Rethinking Human Solidarity: The Difference that Difference Makes in a Globalized World"

2000 - Tanya Atwater (Geological Sciences, UCSB)
"Plate Tectonic Origins of the Western Northern American Landscape"

1999 - Benjamin J. Cohen (Political Science, UCSB)
"The Globalization of Money"

1998 - Ramon Guiterrez (History, UCSD)
"Beyond Black and White: New Models of Race in the United States"

1997 - Richard Hecht (Religious Studies, UCSB)
"The Moral Life"

1996 - Leda Cosmides (Psychology, UCSB)
"Evolutionary Psychology"