Dr. Carol Williams is an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in U.S. cultural history of the American West; Women’s Studies, and North American Women’s History including Indigenous Women’s History. Her PhD, completed in 1999, in U.S History and Women’s History is from Rutgers-the State University of New Jersey. She is Professor in the Departiment of Women & Gender Studies and the History Department at the University of Lethbridge in Treaty 7 Territory, Southern Alberta, Canada. She has been on faculty at the University of Lethbridge since 2003. She is currently the Director of the University's Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT).
Williams is the principal investigator on a project titled, “Kainai Women’s Activism in Treaty 7 Territory 1968 to 1990: Contemporary Histories of Social Change” funded by Social Science and Research Humanities Council of Canada Insight Grant (SSHRC). Research collaborators on the three year project are educators, Faye Heavy Shield, Hali Heavy Shield and Linda Weasel Head.
From 2008 till 2011 Williams held a nominated position as a tier II Canada Research Chair in Feminism and Gender Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. From 2001 to 2003 she was a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Houston in Texas. Williams has held research fellowships at Baylor University’s Oral history Institute and at the Montana Historical Society in Helena. The latter fellowship provided the research materials for an article on the labour of Montana women during the “great” depression.
Recent publications include an edited volume titled Indigenous Women’s Work: From Labor to Activism (2012 UIllinois Press) incorporating scholarship on women’s labour and economic citizenship from Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada. Williams’ article, “Economic Necessity, Political Incentive, and International Entrepreneurialism: the “Frontier” Photography of Hannah Maynard” has been published in the recently released, The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada (MQUP 2011). Williams’ first book Framing the West: Race, Gender and the Photographic “Frontier” in the Pacific Northwest (Oxford UP 2003) was awarded the 2004 Carol and Norris Hundley Book Prize from the Association of American Historians.
Williams also has published numerous articles, and conducted interviews with artists, on the contemporary art production of North American women artists including most recently: “Thrift and Drift: Dagmar Dahle’s reveries of nature, culture, class, and loss,”(SAAG 2007) “Muscular tongue, strident assertion: the work of Rebecca Burke,” (Owens Art Gallery 2006); “Nation, identity, periphery, and modernity: synthesizing Canada’s photographic history” on the photographs of Jin-me Yoon and Marian Penner Bancroft (YYZ 2005) and “Interview with Gitksan First Nations Artist and Activist, Doreen Jensen”(BC Studies 1998).
When not teaching, researching or writing Williams is a long distance “ultra” runner who loves running Lethbridge’s coulees along the Oldman River.