Tag Archives: 950 Main St.

Tomorrow! Thursday, Feb. 16: Talk at Clark U to explore dark humor in contemporary African American art

Barber, Tiffany
Tiffany E. Barber

Absolutely Hilarious, 1997. Peter Williams (born 1952). Oil on canvas.

Clark University
950 Main St.


Clark University will host “Dark Humor and the African Image,” a lecture by curator Tiffany E. Barber, at 7 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 16, in the Higgins Lounge in Dana Commons.

This free, public event is part of the Higgins School of Humanities’ spring symposium, “What’s So Funny?” as well as the on-going African American Intellectual Culture Series.

Barber will talk about how African American artists use satire, visual puns, farce, absurdity, kitsch, and the bizarre to present reverent, positive images of blackness in order to counteract the experience of slavery and racism.

She will draw upon her recent exhibition, “Dark Humor: African American Art from the University of Delaware,” to consider the significance of humor in contemporary art. She will discuss how black artists such as Camille Billops, David Hammons, Barkley Hendricks, and Peter Williams employ subversive humor to question the currency of cultural and racial stereotypes.

Barber is a scholar, curator, and writer of twentieth and twenty-first century visual art and performance with a focus on artists of the black diaspora living and working in the United States.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Office of the Provost, and the Department of Visual Performing Arts.

Clark University’s fall dialogue symposium to focus on ‘home’

“Deek” creates artistic and functional micro-shelters! Meet him at Clark U!

This fall, Clark University’s Higgins School of Humanities’ dialogue symposium, “Home (De)Constructed,” will consider the fluid meanings of home. Lectures, community conversations and exhibits will focus on how we define home’s boundaries, and what makes a particular structure, community, city or nation feel like home.

“Together we will explore our assumptions about domestic goods and spaces, ask how the meaning of home is transformed by forced and free migrations, and reckon the economic, political, and environmental risks and rewards of maintaining our individual and collective domesticity,” writes Amy Richter, director of the Higgins School of Humanities.

All events listed below are FREE, open to the public, and will be held on the Clark University campus.

Community Conversation

“No Place Like It? A Community Conversation about Home”
Thursday, September 15

Higgins Lounge, 2nd Floor, Dana Commons
Home may refer to a space, a community, a city, or nation. It can be a respite from the demands of school and work or a site of tremendous responsibility. For some, the experience of home is elusive or even aspirational. For others, it is a feeling that we carry with us wherever we go. Where do you feel “at home” and what does that truly mean? Higgins School Director Amy Richter will facilitate this dialogue of the many meanings of home. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and Difficult Dialogues.


“Think Small”
Thursday, September 22

Higgins Lounge, 2nd floor, Dana Commons
Is the American dream house shrinking? If so, designer and builder Derek “Deek” Diedricksen is helping to lead the way. His artistic and functional micro-shelters — with names like “Hicksaw,” “Boxy Lady,” and “Gypsy Junker” — challenge conventional assumptions about the American home and consumerism with humor, thrift, and imagination.

Diedricksen will share examples of his work and discuss how living small and “building outside the box” save money and time, especially when you use salvaged and recycled materials. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Graduate School of Geography, Sustainable Clark, and the Urban Development and Social Change Program.

**One of Diedricksen’s micro-shelters will be located on the Alden Quad at Clark University for the 2016-17 academic year. Contact the Higgins School of Humanities for a showing.

Dialogues with Mother Earth: The Murals”

Opening Reception and Gallery Dialogue:
Wednesday, September 28

Schiltkamp Gallery, Traina Center for the Arts, 92 Downing Street

Artist Presentation:

Thursday, September 29

Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
In her monumental mural cycle, artist Erica Daborn explores our interconnectedness and mutual fate as citizens of a shared planet — a finite, fragile, and ever-changing “home” whose sanctity has never felt more threatened. These cautionary images illustrate the potentially apocalyptic results of human activity, consumption, growth, and conflict. Presented as a joint exhibition by the Schiltkamp Gallery and the Higgins School of Humanities, Daborn’s work will be on display in both the Traina Center for the Arts and the Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons through November 17. This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Schiltkamp Gallery, and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Reading and conversation

“Lose Your Mother: A Reading and Conversation”
Tuesday, October 4

Higgins Lounge, 2nd floor, Dana Commons
In “Lose Your Mother” (2008), Columbia University professor Saidiya Hartman traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade and recounts her own journey along a slave route in Ghana. Following the trail of captives from the hinterland to the Atlantic coast, she reckons with the blank slate of her own genealogy and vividly dramatizes the effects of slavery on three centuries of African and African American history. Combining scholarship and memoir, Hartman asks, “What place in the world could sate four hundred years of yearning for a home?”
This event is part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series and is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Office of the Provost, the Department of History, and the Africana Studies Program.


“Mobilizing Home to Rethink Refugee Exile”
Tuesday, October 25

Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
In this talk, research partners Anita Fábos (IDCE) and Cathrine Brun (Oxford Brookes University) will unsettle mainstream understandings of both refugees and home by rethinking common notions of home and home-making, mobility, displacement and belonging. Drawing upon feminist theory and refugee studies, they will discuss the concept of “home” for people “out of place” as involving constellations of sites, relations of power, and discourses, connected through the small-scale daily practices of refugees themselves. By proposing that refugees are themselves unrecognized makers of history through their strategies of mobility and home-making, Fábos and Brun challenge the notion that exile and home-making are mutually exclusive and that refugee exile constitutes a “limbo” resolved by “going home.”

This event is part of the Higgins Faculty Series sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.


“Architecture of Fear: Readings in the Higgins Lounge”
Wednesday, October 26

Higgins Lounge, 2nd floor, Dana Commons
In celebration of Halloween, Professors Gino DiIorio (Theater), James (Jay) Elliott (English), and Jennifer Plante (The Writing Center) will read stories of haunted houses and domestic horror. This event is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.


“Home in the ‘Exceptional’ American Security State”
Tuesday, November 1

Higgins Lounge, 2nd floor, Dana Commons
What is the work of American “exceptionalism” in maintaining US power? This familiar question gains fresh urgency as neoliberal capitalism is increasingly naturalized across the world and Wars on Terror generate global reverberations and instabilities. In this talk, Yale University Professor Inderpal Grewal will examine “advanced neoliberalism” in its American specificities. How are American imperial subjects constituted by the production of “home” and “away,” “immigrant” and “native”? What is the relationship between these constructs and the making and marketing of digital technologies of surveillance and insecurity? Using a postcolonial and feminist approach, Grewal will call out the interplay between militarized surveillance and humanitarian projects in the new century. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Bland Fund of the Department of Political Science.


“Home Grown: Cultivating the Next Generation of Urban Farmers”
Wednesday, November 9

Higgins Lounge, 2nd floor, Dana Commons
Demand for fresh, locally-grown food close to urban centers is increasing. Training limited-resource individuals in small-scale commercial agriculture preserves farmland and expands consumer access to locally-grown foods. Jennifer Hashley, director of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, will present strategies for raising the next generation of environmentally responsible farmers. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Department of Economics, and the George Perkins Marsh Institute.


“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”
Wednesday, November 30

Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320
Today eviction has become a way of life for many poor Americans. Sociologist Matthew Desmond’s groundbreaking book “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” (2016) follows tenants and landlords swept up in the process of eviction. Affirming the centrality of home, his work offers new insights into the fundamental role housing plays in deepening inequality in America. Desmond, associate professor of the social sciences at Harvard University, will draw on urban reportage and original statistical data to show that eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty and that the faces of America’s eviction epidemic belong to mothers and children. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies, the Department of Sociology, International Development, Community and Environment, the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance.