Speaker to Present “Processing in Public: Facebook as a Site of Ethical Reflection”

Nov 21, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Sara Williams, doctoral candidate in religion at Emory University, will present “Processing in Public: Facebook as a Site of Ethical Reflection” on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 6:00 p.m. in Blades Chapel on the University of Dubuque campus.

The lecture, presented by UD’s Scholar-Leader Honors Program, is free and open to the public.

Williams recently completed eight months of ethnographic fieldwork with alternative Holy Land tours to Palestine and Israel in order to understand the kinds of meaning middle class American Christians make from journeys to the margins and their encounters with structurally marginalized persons. During her lecture, Williams will explore how American Christians who have recently visited the West Bank to learn about the Palestinian experience are making meaning from their trips in the context of everyday life through their posts and interactions on Facebook.

From mission trips to volunteer service, middle class American Christians increasingly travel to marginalized communities seeking to learn from and join in solidarity with ‘the least of the these,’ Williams said. She wondered how encounters with structurally disadvantaged persons impact the ethical lives of relatively privileged middle class American Christians when they return from those trips.

Williams earned a master of religion from Yale Divinity School and a master of social work from the University of Georgia. Her passion for social ethics emerges from several years of domestic and international social justice work with a variety of nonprofits and NGOs.