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Public Programming

higgins events - speaker speaking to audience

At the Higgins School, you will find a welcoming space in which to explore important and complex ideas with award-winning experts and emergent scholars, all transforming their fields. Our programming highlights a broad range of academic disciplines, creative practices, and lived expertise.

Come and join the conversation. Admission to our events is always free and open to the public.

Each year, the Higgins School presents public programming focused on a specific topic for sustained consideration. These symposia began in spring 2007 and include public lectures, screenings, performances, and conversations with connections to classroom work. Recent symposia have explored narrative, failure, humor, evidence, and the public good. Our themes highlight humanistic practices and concepts that cross disciplinary boundaries and shape our everyday lives, underscoring the significance of the humanities.

For more than two decades, the Higgins School’s African American Intellectual Culture Series (AAICS) has brought experts on contemporary African American literature, history, theory, and culture to campus each semester to share their research and theoretical perspectives with the Clark community. With support from the Office of the Provost and other University partners, we have welcomed guests, such as Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; author and trans women’s rights activist Janet Mock; cultural historian and architectural scholar Mabel O. Wilson; and author and digital sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom.

The African American Intellectual Culture Series Committee is comprised of Clark University faculty members from across disciplines. Current members include:

For more information or to become involved in the AAICS, please contact the Higgins School of Humanities.

The Roots of Everything is a lecture series sponsored by Early Modernists Unite (EMU)—a faculty collaborative bringing together scholars of medieval and early modern Europe and America—in conjunction with the Higgins School of Humanities. Inaugurated in Fall 2012 with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the series highlights various aspects of modern existence originating in the early modern world by connecting past and present knowledge. Recent topics have included ongoing debates about gun control; our fascination with zombies and the undead; and the long history of self-portraiture and the selfie.

Early Modernists Unite is comprised of Clark University faculty members from across disciplines. Current members include:

For more information or to become involved in EMU, please contact the Higgins School of Humanities.

Since 2003, the Higgins School’s Modern Poetry Series has brought emerging and established poets to the Clark campus for public readings, classroom engagement, and student workshops. American poet and critic Edward Hirsch opened the series with a reading and workshop. Other featured writers have included Robert Cording, Marilyn Nelson, and Katha Pollitt. Most recently, Pushcart Prize-winner Jill McDonough (UMass-Boston) read from her collection titled “Reaper” as part of our spring 2018 symposium, Analog & Digital Technologies.

The Higgins Faculty Series showcases humanities research taking place at Clark through public lectures presented by our faculty. Speakers have included: Asha Best (Geography) on how Black urban women script livable urban worlds;  Raphael Rogers (Education) on the representation of slavery in children’s picture books; Ousmane Power-Greene (History) on activism among professional athletes; and Robert J.S. Ross (Sociology) on the injustices of the global apparel industry.

Contact Information

Higgins School of Humanities

Mailing Address
Location & Hours
  • Dana Commons, Second Floor
    36 Maywood Street
    Worcester, MA 01603

  • Tuesday through Friday
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    August to mid-June only