This fall, Clark University’s Higgins School of Humanities dialogue symposium “Common Pursuits/Public Good” will consider how the arts and humanities contribute to the public good through acts of advocacy and teaching; creation and critique; contemplation and scholarship.
“A commitment to the public good premises a system of shared values, even as those values change and, sometimes, come into conflict with each other,” wrote Meredith Neuman, director of the Higgins School of Humanities. “Consensus can be elusive, and compromise difficult, but the pursuit continues.”
The symposium kicked off this week with “ENGAGE: An exhibit by William Chambers” in the Higgins Lounge. A combination of installation, performance and participation, this exhibit features two works – “Service Station” and “Repairs” – that explore the power of socially engaged art objects to foster conversation on important issues. The participatory segment of the exhibit will have Chambers, Visual Arts Chair at the Bancroft School and an artist in residence at Clark this semester, fixing objects for the public from a cart in front of 920 Main St. on Sept. 16, Oct. 21, Nov. 4, and Nov. 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. Those who bring items for repair can leave them for display in the Higgins Lounge exhibit or take them home once fixed.
Sociology Professor Shelly Tenenbaum, former Clark student Claude Kaitare, and Steffen Seitz of the Petey Greene prison tutoring program will discuss the various goals of prison education programs in an Oct. 19 panel “Why get involved in prison education?” During this event, a follow up to the discussion “Why bother with prison education?” on Oct. 5, Tenenbaum, Kaitare and Seitz will offer reflections on their own experiences and discuss volunteer opportunities.
On Oct. 25, Theater Arts Professor Gino DiIorio, English Professor James Elliott, and Writing Center Director Jennifer Plante will participate in “Terror Rising: The Village Mob.” The scary stories they will read turn attention from the fear of the monster to the fear of the mob.