Higgins series “Framing Freedom” continues to inspire - Next: Jazz Ambassadors lecture Oct. 23

The Higgins School of Humanities Fall Dialogue Symposium  is under way at Clark University, offering lectures, screenings, conversations and exhibits that explore the theme “Framing Freedom.”

Coming next in this series, which is free and open to the public, is “Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War,” a talk by Penny M. Von Eschen, professor of history and American culture at the University of Michigan. She is the author of “Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (2004).” The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons.

In “Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War,” part of the Higgins’ African American Intellectual Culture Series, Von Eschen will relate how, from 1956 through the late 1970s, America dispatched its finest jazz musicians abroad  in order to win the hearts and minds of developing nations and to counter perceptions of American racism. She will focus on the early years of the tours, as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and other jazz luminaries spread their music and their ideas further than the State Department anticipated. Her talk explores the freedom afforded by creativity, music, and mobility and how jazz both served and challenged political notions of freedom.

“Freedom and liberty are regular topics in public discourse, and people usually assume that they are well understood. However, big questions surrounding these terms suggest that this may not be true,” writes Amy Richter, director of the Higgins School of Humanities and associate professor of history.

For more information as well as a comprehensive calendar of events including Clark Arts, the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Friends of the Goddard Library, please visit the Higgins School of Humanities website: http://www.clarku.edu/higgins/.

Here are brief highlights of events coming up in the series:

“Savage Portrayals: Media Representations and the Lives of African-American Males”
Talk by Natalie Byfield
7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons
“The Central Park Five” (2013) film screening
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 and 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons
“Dream Nation: Puerto Rican Culture & the Fictions of Independence”
Talk by Clark University Professor María Acosta Cruz
4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons
“Firearms and Freedom: Stories of Guns and American Life”
Community conversation, with John Sarrouf
7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons
“Funky Junk and Frugality”
Talk by Derek Diedricksen,
7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons
“The Mind-Body Problem: A Poetry Reading”
Talk by Katha Pollitt,
7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Founded in 1986, the Higgins School of Humanities works to enhance the intellectual and cultural life of Clark University by fostering connection between the humanities disciplines (English, Foreign Languages, Visual and Performing Arts, Philosophy, and History), by supporting humanities faculty research, and by offering public events to the community. The Higgins School of Humanities affirms the centrality of the arts and humanities to our lives, and the values of a liberal arts education. It supports teaching and research through its grant programs, and sponsors public events and campus initiatives, enhancing the intellectual and cultural life of the Clark community.

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a small, liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world. www.clarku.edu