Since Spring 2007, the Higgins School has organized a series of public events that address difficult concerns by combining expert knowledge with the skills of dialogue. Initiated with funding from the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues grant, the symposia continue as part of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported New Commons programming. These semester-long symposia include public lectures, screenings, and conversations with connections to classroom work. Past symposia have explored "Race in the Era of Obama," "Slowing in a Wired World," and "Educating…for What?" among other topics.
African American Intellectual Culture Series
More than a decade old, this series brings experts on contemporary African American literature, history, theory, and culture to campus each year to share their research and theoretical perspectives with the Clark community. Past participants include Lee Baker of Columbia University, the poet Derek Walcott, Anita Allen of the Georgetown Law Center, Deborah E. McDowell of the University of Virginia, and Tricia Rose of Brown University.
Frontiers in the Humanities
This series highlights groundbreaking work in the humanities with a special interest in the digital humanities. Past speakers include Caroline Bruzelius on "Revolutionizing Teaching and Learning with Digital Visualizing Technologies: The 'Wired!' Experiment at Duke" and Katherine Hayles on "From Democratic Capitalism to Real Virtualism: Apocalyptic Visions of our Human Future."
Higgins Faculty Series
A showcase for humanities research taking place at Clark, this series presents public lectures by Clark faculty who have been supported by the Higgins School.
Modern Poetry Series
This series was inaugurated in 2003 with a public reading and student workshop by poet Edward Hirsch. Other speakers have included, Robert Cording —James N. and Sara O'Reilly Barrett Chair of Creative Writing at The College of the Holy Cross, and author of four volumes of poetry.