Provost’s Distinguished Women Lecturers

Designed to bring extraordinary women to campus to interact with faculty, students, and administrators, the Provost’s Distinguished Women Lecturers Program facilitates visits of four to six days (consecutively or otherwise) during which the host unit sponsors a variety of events featuring the guest lecturer. While many of the women who have visited Notre Dame through this program are members of the academy, that is not a requirement.


Some 30 scholars, authors, poets, and others have visited the Notre Dame campus with support from the Provost’s Distinguished Women Lecturers Program since its inauguration in 2003–04.

Below is a year-by-year listing of these visits, with links to read more about the women it has been our privilege to host.

*Note: The titles listed here reflect the lecturers’ positions at the time of their visits and may no longer be current. However, to the extent possible, links to their websites are updated as needed.



  • No lectures (The 2016–17 visits by Helen King and Claudia Rankine were originally scheduled for 2015–16.)


  • Helene Foley, Professor of Classics at Columbia University
  • Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley




  • Ellen Laipson, President of the Stimson Center (nonpartisan policy research center)


  • Caryl Emerson, A. Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University 
  • Edith Hall, Research Professor of Classics and Drama at Royal Holloway University 
  • Evelyn Welch, Professor of Renaissance Studies and Vice-Principal for Research and International Affairs at Queen Mary, University of London


  • Marjorie Garber, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University 
  • Debbie Millman, President of the Design Division at Sterling Brands
  • Cindy Williams, Principal Research Scientist in the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Laura Mary Alice Mulvey, Professor in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago 
  • Yoko Tawada, Author


  • Christine Stansell, Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor in United States History at the University of Chicago 
  • Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies and Director of The Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University


  • Hortense Spillers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University
  • Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School
  • Stephanie Coontz, Author and Member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College


  • Naomi Chazan, Professor of Political Science and African Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Cecilia Rouse, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University



  • Nancy Folbre, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Ruth Kluger, Professor Emerita of German at the University of California, Irvine
  • Robin Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley


  • Cathy Cohen, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago
  • Maryse Condé, Novelist and Professor of French at Columbia University 
  • Susan McClary, Professor of Musicology at UCLA

Hosting a Lecturer

Notre Dame faculty interested in hosting a speaker through the Provost’s Distinguished Women Lecturers Program should contact Laura Carlson, vice president and associate provost and dean of the Graduate School.