Tag Archives: Free to all

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.

Main South: Clark University’s fall dialogue symposium to focus on ‘Being Human’


Clark University
950 Main St.

This fall, Clark University’s Higgins School of Humanities will explore the timely and timeless question “What does it mean to be human?”

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

Being Human: A Community Conversation
Wednesday, September 9 @ 7pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
A community conversation facilitated by Clark University professorsJennifer Plante (Academic Advising) and Amy Richter (History) will consider what it means to be human. In what contexts have we tried to define humanity? How do various answers align with or challenge our own experiences and assumptions? When are we aware of our human identity — in moments of danger, frailty, stillness, or triumph — and what does this awareness reveal about our personal definitions? This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and Difficult Dialogues.
Becoming Human: Our Evolutionary Story
Thursday, September 24 @ 7pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings, and human consciousness came to be. In this talk, scholarMary Evelyn Tucker will illustrate how Journey of the Universe, a film, book, and interview series, responds to these questions and asks anew, “How do we, as humans, belong?”

Tucker is a senior lecturer and senior research scholar at Yale University. In 2011, she completed Journey of the Universe with Brian Swimme, which includes a book from Yale University Press, an Emmy award-winning film on PBS and Netflix, and an educational series of 20 interviews.
Attendees are encouraged to screen Journey of the Universe before the discussion. For more information on the project or to watch a trailer of the film, visit www.journeyoftheuniverse.org.
This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities; theDepartment of International Development, Community, and Environment;Graduate School of Geography, and the Environmental Science and Policy Program.
“Across the Table” An Exhibition by Stephen DiRado
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 30 @ 4pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
Stephen DiRado is a Massachusetts-based photographer, and professor of practice in photography in the Studio Arts Program at Clark University. His art is inspired by his captivation with and admiration for the people in his community. While joining family, friends, and acquaintances for dinner or drinks, DiRado takes hundreds of photos, prodigiously documenting every facet of each gathering. DiRado’s photographs portray the underlying intimacy of individual and group dynamics. The debut installation of Across the Table continues to explore this theme in more than one hundred works projected on a large scale. The exhibition will run from September 30 through December 16.
For more on DiRado’s work, visit www.stephendirado.com.
This event is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.
Empathy, Science, and the Pursuit of Peace
Tuesday, October 6 @ 7pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
For over 50 years, the tireless efforts and boundless good will of thousands of people have poured into conflict-resolution programs aimed at decreasing intergroup hostilities. However, mounting evidence shows that these efforts are prone to fall flat or even backfire. Nearly 20 years ago, research scientist Emile Bruneau learned this lesson when he volunteered at a summer camp for Catholic and Protestant children in Ireland. He has since turned to psychology and neuroscience to better understand the often unconscious processes that drive conflict. Bruneau will discuss how the human brain is set up to make “common sense” conflict interventions fail, and how even the most intuitive goals of these programs — empathy, trust, and friendship — can be deeply problematic in the face of social, political, and ideological divisions.

Bruneau is a research scientist in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the recipient of the 2015 Ed Cairns Early Career Award in Peace Psychology.  This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Department of Political Science.
An Extension of Self: The Present and Future of Wearable Computing
Thursday, October 22 @ 7pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
Google’s Glass captured the world’s imagination, perhaps more than any other head-up display. Yet, why would people want a wearable computer in their everyday lives? For over twenty years, Professor Thad Starner and his teams of researchers have been creating living laboratories to discover the most compelling reasons to integrate humans and computers. They have created “wearables” that augment human memory and the senses, focus attention, and assist communication. Is it possible that computers and wearable devices are transforming humans for the better, enhancing key abilities, and leaving more time and space for deeper connections? In this talk, Starner will discuss why wearables, more than any other class of computing to date, have the potential to extend us beyond ourselves.
Starner is a professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Technical Lead on Google Glass. He is an inventor on over 70 United States patents awarded or in process. A wearable computing pioneer, Starner has been wearing a head-up display-based computer as part of his daily life since 1993 — perhaps the longest such experience known. This event is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.

In Conversation with Janet Mock
Tuesday, October 27 @ 7pm
Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320
New York Times bestselling author and advocate for trans women’s rights Janet Mock will engage in a conversation about her memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More (Atria Books, 2014).
A book signing will follow the conversation. Copies of Redefining Realnesswill be available for purchase at the Clark University bookstore and at the event.
Mock is an author and cultural commentator who currently hosts the weekly show So POPular! on MSNBC’s all-digital network Shift and serves as a Contributing Editor for Marie Claire. Mock has been featured in the HBO documentary The Out List and in pieces for The Washington Post, The New York Times, Rookie, Salon, Slate, Feministing, Colorlines, National Public Radio, and more.

This event is part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series and is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of the Provost, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
Not Quite Human: Stories of Monsters, Demons, and the Supernatural
Wednesday, October 28 @ 7pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
Clark University professors Gino DiIorio (Theater), Jay Elliott (English), andJennifer Plante (Academic Advising) will kick off our celebration of Halloween by reading stories of monsters, demons, and the supernatural.   This event is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.
To Be Human is to Be in Dialogue: Celebrating a Decade of Difficult Dialogues at Clark
Thursday, November 5 @ 7pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
Started with a grant from the Ford Foundation in December 2005, the Difficult Dialogues (DD) initiative at Clark has re-envisioned the process of communication in our community, in higher education, and in society by creating more conscious spaces for speaking, listening, and creative insight.
Join us as the Higgins School of Humanities celebrates ten years of DD at Clark with a dialogue facilitated by Professors Barbara Bigelow (Graduate School of Management), Sarah Buie (Visual and Performing Arts), Eric DeMeulenaere (Education), Patricia Ewick (Sociology), and Walter Wright(Philosophy). Together we will ask: Is there something distinctively human about dialogue? If so, why do humans need dialogue and its practices today more than ever?

This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and Difficult Dialogues.
Death and the Spectacle of the Anatomized Woman
Tuesday, November 10 @ 7pm
Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons 2nd Floor
Two centuries ago, the Anatomical Venus was considered a perfect tool to teach human anatomy to general audiences of museums and traveling shows.. This enigmatic artifact, a life-sized wax model of the female body and its internal organs, now seems nearly incomprehensible. The once familiar mingling of beauty and death, medical expertise and spectacle confounds our contemporary expectations. In this talk, artist and curator Joanna Ebenstein will introduce us to the Anatomical Venus — memorably described as an “Enlightenment-era St. Teresa ravished by communion with the invisible forces of science.” Ebenstein will place the anatomized woman and her kin within their historical and cultural context in order to reveal the shifting attitudes towards death and the body that have rendered such spectacles strange.

Ebenstein is a New York-based artist, event producer, curator, and independent scholar. She is the creative director of the new Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn and creator of the Morbid Anatomy Blog and Library. For more, visit http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com.
This event is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.