Professor GU-Q teaches political science through creative crosswords


Crossword researcher and creator, Visiting Professor at QF Partner University Georgetown in Qatar (GU-Q), Dr Leonard Williams, offers a unique way to explore key concepts in political science with the publication of his latest puzzle book, titled Black Blocks, White Squares: Crosswords with an Anarchist Edge (AK Press, 2021).

Offering fifty-one thematic crosswords in a hardcover collection, his book presents the history, philosophy and rise of anarchism, a political ideology that began in 19th century France and continues to have an impact on world events today.
“People often associate the word with the literal definition, meaning chaos, disorder and lawlessness. But as I teach in my political science classes, anarchism is an ideological tradition with deep historical roots, which emphasizes social cooperation and community leadership and care, ”he said.
But puzzle solvers won’t need a Georgetown degree to enjoy the book. Dr. Williams has included the Solutions and “Builder’s Notes” that explain the ideas behind each puzzle.
The evolution of crossword puzzles from a simple grid of squares and word definition clues to a complex and educational art form popular in clubs, conventions and online communities, is why the pass -time that began in his youth has endured, Dr Williams explained. His puzzles have been published by publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and GAMES Magazine.
“Crosswords have become more relevant over time, using contemporary language, references and poetic puns. So combining my academic interests in political ideology with my interest in crossword puzzles for my last post was a natural fit, ”he said. Widely published for his academic work, Dr Williams said his themes and clues are often inspired by his research, conversation pieces or topical articles. “When a word or an idea catches my imagination, I write it down so I can come back to it to see if a puzzle can be built from it.”
Through his crossword puzzle, Dr Williams offers a fascinating study of human society through a medium that also teaches verbal fluency, enhances learning, and encourages community engagement, while welcoming a new audience into the study of international affairs.
Dr Williams obtained his doctorate. from Ohio State University and joined GU-Q from the University of Manchester in Indiana, USA, where he served as Dean Emeritus of the College of Education & Social Sciences and Professor Emeritus of Science policies. His most recent publications include Anarchism: A Conceptual Approach (Routledge) and Political Theory: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press).


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