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Fall 2014 Calendar of Events

Higgins Fall 2014 Calendar [PDF]

Tell Me a Story: Exploring the Power of Narrative

This fall, our dialogue symposium explores storytelling as a form of personal and artistic expression, as a scholarly methodology that crosses and connects disciplines, and as an act of social and political empowerment. Whose stories get told and who gets to tell their stories under what circumstances? Why do some stories (true or untrue) hold sway at particular moments or among specific audiences? What is the relationship between different styles or modes of narrative? What hierarchies exist? How does storytelling create, reflect, and confound existing structures?

We hope you will join us at the events listed below to examine these and other questions.

Narrative and the Storyteller Within: A Community Conversation

Tuesday, September 9 @ 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Narratives start with the self – the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we tell others, and the stories others tell about us. Tap into the storyteller within during a discussion and writing exercise facilitated by Jessica Bane Robert, Assistant Director of the Writing Center and Writing Program at Clark University.


Stories for Hot Weather: In Between Impossible and Easy, Between Despair and Denial

Thursday, September 18 @ 7:30pm

Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320

Climate change is here. We're not going to prevent it, but we are going to choose how severe it gets and how we respond. Writer, historian and activist Rebecca Solnit suggests that in between despair and denial, there is a lot of space for thought and action, and what we do depends in part on how we tell our stories. This event is part of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future (UHF), a year-long conversation among thirteen women on the implications of climate change for our world. A dialogue between Solnit and members of the Council will follow the talk. Co-sponsored with the UHF Council and supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Two Women Talking: RESTOR(Y)ING Culture, Gender, Sexuality and Tradition

Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons 

In this live unscripted performance, storytellers Benaifer Bhadha and Monsoon Bissell weave their life narratives together — stories that take place between western and eastern worlds, touching on issues of personal identity, culture, gender, sexuality, violence, illness, and tradition. They invite others into the sacred space between listener and teller, moving away from shame and fragmentation to a place of strength and integration. Co-sponsored with the Department of Political Science and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Clark University.


Narrating Race: A Community Conversation

Tuesday, October 7 @ 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Enter into the space where words, images, and stories of race intersect to explore the role of narrative in the way we talk about race. Betsy Huang, Associate Professor of English and Chief Officer of Diversity and Inclusion at Clark University, will facilitate the discussion.

What Do You See? An Artist Talk and Exhibition Opening

Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons 

Photographer Wing Young Huie’s images capture the dizzying socioeconomic and cultural realities of American society as documented over his 35-year career. By exploring and juxtaposing “authentic selves” and “idealized realities,” each photograph tells multiple stories about the subject, the artist, and the viewer. What stories do the photographs tell? The answer depends upon what you see. The exhibition will run from October 15 through December 17. 


Caregiving as Moral Experience

Monday, October 20 @ 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Dr. Arthur Kleinman, Professor of Medical Anthropology and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, will discuss the primacy of the patient’s lived experience of illness, the relationship between narrative and caregiving, and the ways in which the humanities and interpretive social sciences matter for doctors and other caregivers. Co-sponsored with the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University.

Fright Night in the Higgins Lounge

Wednesday, October 29 @ 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Clark University Professors Gino DiIorio, Jay Elliott, and Jennifer Plante will offer readings of their favorite scary stories and explore the power of narratives that play upon our most basic fears and vulnerabilities.


Poetry and History: An Evening with Natasha Trethewey

Tuesday, November 4 @ 7pm

Atwood Hall

United States Poet Laureate (2012-2014) and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey will read poems from ThrallNative GuardBellocq’s Ophelia, and other works. In May 2014, Trethewey concluded two terms as the nineteenth Poet Laureate of the United States. She is currently the State Poet Laureate of Mississippi. She is the author of four collections of poetry and the recipient of numerous fellowships. Trethewey also contributed to “Where Poetry Lives,” a feature on the PBS NewsHour. This event is part of the Higgins School’s African American Intellectual Culture Series and is co-sponsored with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of the Provost at Clark University.

Fragile Fatherhood: What Being a Daddy Means in the Lives of Low-Income Men

Wednesday, November 19 @ 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the defining social problems of today. But does the narrative of the “deadbeat dad” tell the whole story? Professor Kathryn Edin, one of the nation’s leading poverty researchers, uses ethnographic observations, in-depth interviews and mixed-method approaches to go beyond quantitative research and uncover deeper truths. Co-sponsored by the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and the Urban Development and Social Change Program at Clark University.

Additional Fall 2014 Events

In the Workshop of the Mind: The Hidden Helpers of Early Modern Authors and Scholars

Wednesday, October 22 @ 4:30pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Using examples from paintings, manuscripts, and printed books, Ann Blair, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History at Harvard University, will explore how collaboration was just as (and perhaps even more) widespread and essential to scholarship during the early modern period than it is in current times. Clark University Provost and Professor of Philosophy Davis Baird will offer commentary. This event is part of the Roots of Everything lecture series and is sponsored by Early Modernists Unite (EMU) — a faculty collaborative bringing together scholars of medieval and early modern England and America — in conjunction with the Higgins School of Humanities. It is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

DEFAMATION: A Play by Clark Alumnus Todd Logan ‘75

Tuesday, November 11 @ 7pm

Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

Race, class, religion, and law collide when an African American businesswoman from Chicago’s South Side sues a Jewish real estate developer from the North Shore for defamation in this thought-provoking courtroom drama by playwright and author Todd Logan. With the audience serving as jury, the play offers a fresh means of generating constructive dialogue about the ways in which deeply personal, highly-charged issues continue to divide us. A case without a smoking gun, DEFAMATION challenges our preconceptions and invites self-examination that can be at once unsettling and revelatory. Co-sponsored with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Clark University.


Slavery on their Minds: Representing the Peculiar Institution in Contemporary Children’s Picture Books

Thursday, November 13 @ 4pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

A growing number of children's picture books recount the history of American slavery and are making their way into classrooms and libraries. Raphael Rogers, Visiting Assistant Professor of Education at Clark University, will explore the connection between these texts and the historical scholarship about the “peculiar institution.” This event is part of the Higgins Faculty Series.