Difficult Dialogues

Public Symposium Series Archive

  • Agency: Authenticity, Power, Action
    spring 2011

    In the broadest sense, agency means the capacity to act. Yet many people feel powerless in the face of contemporary political, economic and environmental conditions. Can we have agency amidst these daunting challenges? Can we avoid being paralyzed or overwhelmed, distracted, or in denial? This semester, we will be asking these questions together in our dialogue symposium. First, what is agency? What types of agency are possible at the present moment, and how does that delimit our world? What access to agency do we have, individually and collectively, and how might we use it? Given the realities of our time, can we re-envision what is possible, with creativity and community, and act on it? More »

    • The Corporation (2004)

      The Corporation

      Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, Canadian documentary film The Corporation explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Part film and part movement, The Corporation is transforming audiences and dazzling critics with its insightful and compelling analysis. Taking its status as a legal "person" to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics—including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore—plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change. Winner of 26 international awards, the film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan. (145 minutes)

      Film screenings
      Thursday February 2 @ noon, 3, 6, 9:30pm

      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Conversation cafe
      Thursday February 2 @ 8:30pm

      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Occupy as an American Awakening / Todd Gitlin

      Todd Gitlin

      The initiative of Occupy mushroomed not only because millions of people were, and are, aggrieved about the plutocratic rule and economic travail that has settled upon America, but because hundreds, then thousands, of people took it upon themselves to organize and create new facts. Tactically inventive, spunky, decentralized, humorous, wild and frequently incomprehensible, it represents not only a political revolt but the current incarnation of a tradition of Great Awakenings which punctuate American history and leave major cultural—if not political—changes in their wake. Professor Todd Gitlin will share his thoughts on how Occupy marks a turning point in American activism.

      Thursday February 9 @ 4:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Communication and Culture Program and the Sociology Department.

      Black Is...Complicated / Melissa Harris-Perry

      Melissa Harris-Perry

      Melissa Harris-Perry investigates the challenges facing contemporary black Americans. She works to understand the multiple creative ways that African Americans find agency in response to these challenges. Her latest book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Yale 2011), argues that persistent harmful stereotypes—invisible to many but painfully familiar to black women—profoundly shape black women's politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly, and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena.

      As well as a contribution to the African American Intellectual Culture Series, Melissa Harris-Perry's talk is a Clark Presidential Lecture and part of the university's celebration of Black History Month. The theme for the month's programs—"Black is"—is both a statement and a question. It is designed to explore the complexities, challenges and opportunities of African American identity today.
      This event is part of the African American Intellectual Cultural Series.

      Monday February 13 @ 7pm
      Atwood Hall

      Co-sponsored by Higgins School of Humanities, the Office of the President, the Black Student Union, Dean of the College, the Office of Intercultural Affairs, and the Martin Luther King and Black History Month Program Committee.

      Agency / Occupy Film Fest

      Occupy Film Fest

      A selection of films and shorts related to agency and the Occupy movement will be screened for two days:

      Stages (2009). A vérité exploration of the unexpected power of the simple act of storytelling. A group of older Puerto Rican women and innercity youth come together to create an original play out of the stories of their lives. Weaving together themes of immigration, identity, aging and coming of age, Stages offers an intimate portrait of an unlikely ensemble, transformed by the liberating power of their own stories.

      The Maker Movement. Anil Dash shares his observations and insights into the development of the Maker movement with Dale Dougherty. He sees it as a kind of political movement that is apolitical in nature but also radical and inclusive. This conversation touches on the social context of making, and what it means for individuals, families and communities. How will a "long, slow make" transform our society?

      Capitalism: A Love Story (2009). Written, directed and starred in by Michael Moore. The film centers on the late-2000s financial crisis and the recovery stimulus, while putting forward an indictment of the current economic order in the United States and capitalism in general. Topics include Wall Street's "casino mentality", for-profit prisons, the poverty-level wages, home foreclosures, and corporate-owned life insurance.

      The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity. Jeffrey Sachs of The Earth Institute and Columbia University discusses how economic inequality in the United States has ballooned over the last 30 years in a presentation about his recent book and an October 2011 interview with Dan Rathers on Occupy Wall Street and the U.S. economy.

      Naomi Klein interview at Occupy Wall Street. Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. She is a contributing editor for Harper's and reporter for Rolling Stone, and a regular columnist for The Nation and The Guardian.

      In Depth with Chris Hedges. Chris Hedges is an author and journalist, whose latest book is The World As It is. The Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent speaks on politics, corporate power, terrorism and religion. Hedges has Masters degree in Divinity and is the author of nine books.

      Wednesday and Thursday, February 15 and 16 @ noon to midnight
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      A detailed listing with screening times is available here.

      Voice to Vision / David Feinberg

      David Feinberg

      The Voice to Vision collaborative project captures the extraordinary experiences of genocide survivors from different parts of the world. The stories of the survivors are first shared through dialogue, and then transformed into works of visual art that display sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, and mixed media. Each art piece has been created through collaboration with a team of artists and genocide survivors. As the survivors share their experiences, members of the collaborative team exchange ideas and make creative decisions together to produce a work of art that reflects the convergence of each voice involved in the project. To share the dialogic process of moving from narrative voice to artistic vision, a series of documentary films have been produced that convey the scope of the work.

      We will host an exhibition of the work from the project, a screening of a documentary about it, and a conversation with project director David Feinberg. This project has been developed through the collaboration of an inter-disciplinary visual research team that includes participants from University of Minnesota's Department of Art and Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, as well as participants from surrounding Twin Cities communities.

      The visit of the V2V project to Clark was initiated and organized by Assistant Professor Toby Sisson of the Studio Art Program in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

      Exhibition opening and gallery talk with Holocaust survivor Fred Amram
      February 16 @ 6:30-8:30pm
      Schiltkamp Gallery, Traina Center for the Arts

      Film screening and conversation with David Feinberg
      Thursday February 23 @ 4:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      February 16 to March 1 in Dana Commons, from February 16 to April 8 in the Traina Center and from February 16 to April 16 in the Strassler Center

      Community Conversation: The Occupy Movement

      Occupy Clark and the Difficult Dialogues initiative collaborate to sponsor a community conversation on the Occupy movement.

      Tuesday February 28 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Co-sponsored with Occupy Clark

      Community Conversation: Agency, Clark-Style

      A celebration of activities and projects in which members of the Clark community and others in the local Worcester community are taking agency—in the university, the community, the nation and the world. Please join us for short talks, a panel conversation and a gathering of representatives from current projects.

      Check back here for updates on the schedule and events.

      Wednesday March 21 @ 4-7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge
      Panel conversation @ 5:30pm

      Art and Agency / Lily Yeh and Rob Shetterly

      Rob and Lily

      Through very different artistic practices, both Lily Yeh and Rob Shetterly inspire agency in the lives of those involved with their work. Lily works in collaborative processes to revitalize broken environments and communities through art-making. In striking portraits, Rob shares the lives and words of "Americans Who Tell the Truth", to remind people of the dignity, courage and importance of some of America's truth tellers, our own obligations as citizens, and that the struggle for equality and freedom is on-going. Lily and Rob met when Rob painted her portrait for his series. For this event, they will each share some of their work, and join us in a conversation about agency and art-making.

      Before and after the conversation, we will be joined in performance by Mary Anne Driscoll, improvisational jazz pianist and vocalist, who is composing a song cycle based on quotes from Rob's portraits.

      Tuesday March 27 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Engaging Haiti : Trauma, Narrative, Agency / Elizabeth Maddock Dillon


      In the wake of earthquake of January 2010, the country of Haiti faced an unprecedented crisis as buildings, lives, and infrastructure were destroyed on a massive scale. However, the crisis in Haiti today has deep historical roots, stretching back to a history of colonialism, slavery, and revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries. Engaging Haiti today, from the position of a scholar or an activist in the U.S., requires attention to the complex nature of the trauma of the past and the trauma of the present. How does trauma destroy possibilities of narrating the past, present, and future? And how might new forms of narrative enable agency in the face of trauma? Elizabeth Maddock Dillon will share from her experiences working in Haiti, where she has recently taught seminars to teachers in Croix-des-Bouquets, and to students at Universite Caraibe in Port-au-Prince.

      Tuesday April 3 @ 4:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Part of the Frontiers in the Humanities Series.

      Adding More Black Space: Agency and Representation in Design / John Jennings

      John Jennings

      It would be an ideal situation if there were only one totally inclusive documentation of the history of our society. However, there are many stories, histories and perspectives, some of which have traditionally been considered more valid than others; some of which have been aggressively enforced and propagated as absolute truth. How have designers participated in the shaping of these narratives? Where, perhaps, have they been apathetic? And where have they enacted their agency to actively re-shape the stories that define American culture?

      James Baldwin argued that "Artists are here to disturb the peace". Designer, graphic novelist and educator John Jennings aims to do just this in his work, and to bring that same sense of agency to his students. He will speak with us about his current projects—including his award winning graphic novel, The Hole, the influence of hip-hop methodology on his teaching—as well as share work from other artists and designers who are working to bring a greater understanding of African American cultural experiences and histories into the context of their practice.

      Thursday April 12 @ 4:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series. Co-sponsored with the Office of the Provost.

      Keep on Pushing: Black Agency in The Spook Who Sat by the Door / Christine Acham


      Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door is an independent documentary on the controversial and FBI-repressed 1973 black film The Spook Who Sat by the Door. Widely hailed as a cult classic, The Spook Who Sat by the Door is one of the most important underground black productions of the era.

      Infiltrating Hollywood reclaims the lost history of the film and the people behind its powerful story, from its inception as a novel to its release and repression. It does so through archival footage, production documents, and interviews with author Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon, widow of director Ivan Dixon, Academy Award winning editor Michael Kahn, Melvin Van Peebles, several actors from the film, investors, academics, Todd Boyd, Ed Guerrero, and Eric Pierson. Infiltrating Hollywood was co-directed, edited and produced by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward. Christine Acham will join us to talk about the original film and her documentary, and the questions of agency in both.

      Conversation with Christine Acham and screening of Infiltrating Hollywood
      Tuesday April 17 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Screening of Infiltrating Hollywood
      Monday April 16 @ 9pm
      Razzo Hall

      Screenings of The Spook Who Sat by the Door
      Monday April 16 @ 7pm
      Razzo Hall

      Tuesday April 17 @ 5pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series. Co-sponsored with the Office of the Provost.

  • Who Cares? Religion and Compassion, spring 2011

    A concern for compassion is at the heart of every major religion and of many secular spiritual, philosophical or humanistic pursuits. In Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism it is an attribute of God or certain Gods; in Buddhism it is the path and practice above all others. However, religious intolerance, rampant consumerism, ethnic division, and individualism pose severe challenges to compassion — even as the world’s suffering is made more vivid by our ever present media and interconnectedness.

    What is compassion? How is it fulfilled and denied in the current practices of religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions? What are its biological and psychological roots? To whom do we extend it, what nourishes it, and why is it so often occluded? In this semester’s dialogue symposium we ask “who cares?” and turn the lens on ourselves — how is our own compassion nourished, challenged, and in what ways might that call us to action? <More »

    • The Centrality of Compassion in Human Life and Society His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

      His Holiness the Dalai Lama

      In the fall of 2010, His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke at Stanford University in a series of events on Compassion, Science and Society. In this screened talk on compassion and altruism, which he sees as core to the survival of humanity, he asks in what practical ways we can enhance their presence in such settings as our schools, hospitals and prisons and in society as a whole. He speaks on the centrality of compassion in human life and society from the perspectives of such wide-ranging disciplines as education, social psychology and the neurosciences. (60 minutes)

      Tuesday January 25 @ 7 and 9pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge
      (two showings with a Conversation Café between)

      Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003) — film screening

      Spring Summer Fall Winter and Spring

      With only a single set and a handful of characters, Korean director Kim Ki-Duk creates a wise gem of a movie. The action takes place in five distinct episodes, but sometimes many years separate the seasons. The setting is a floating monastery in a pristine mountain lake, where an elderly monk teaches a boy the lessons of life; when the boy grows to manhood, he inevitably learns a few hard lessons for himself. By the end, you have witnessed the arc of existence — not one person’s life, but everyone’s. (103 minutes)

      Tuesday February 1 @ 7 and 10pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge
      (two showings with a Conversation Café between)

      Earth (1998) — film screening


      Directed by Deepa Mehta, Earth tells the harrowing story of a diverse group of friends — Parsis, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians — trying to maintain friendships and love as their city is being torn apart. Set in Lahore in 1947 on the eve of Indian independence from the British and the imminent partition of Pakistan, we witness compassion and pluralism in a time of extremism and brutality. (110 minutes)

      Tuesday February 8 @ 7 and 10pmm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge
      (two showings with a Conversation Café between)

      A Deeper Look at Challenge Convention, Change Our World

      What’s behind the slogan? Chosen many years ago and used extensively in promoting Clark and its values, the Clark slogan can be invisible for lack of meaning. In this community conversation, we ask ourselves what we mean by “challenge convention, change our world” and how the concept of compassion can relate to the slogan and the mission of the university. Professor James Cordova (Psychology), and others will help facilitate the conversation.

      Thursday February 17 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Portraits of the Human Heart — Paintings by Deanna Leamon

      In order to invent heaven and hell, a person would need to know nothing except the human body.
      — José Saramago, Blindness

      Inspired by her study of human anatomy, Deanna Leamon creates large figurative mixed-media drawings that explore the relationships between physicality, metaphor, and humanity in the modern world. “Our body is that junction where all that is good or evil, lovely or ugly, can be focused, felt and acted on. Working with the human heart, I aim to display our humanity in our decaying biology.”

      Recently arrived in Worcester from South Carolina, Deanna Leamon is a figurative artist now working from a studio space in the Sprinkler Factory. She was a professor in the Department of Art at University of South Carolina for sixteen years. Her work has been exhibited widely in both solo and groups shows, including at George Mason University, University of Wisconsin, College of Charleston and many more.

      Thursday February 24 @ 4pm
      Conversation with the artist 4pm
      Reception and exhibition opening 5pm
      The exhibition will run until April 30.

      The Evolution of Compassion: A View from Primates and Prehistory

      Barbara King

      From an evolutionary perspective, what are the deepest roots of human compassion? Can a focus on the prehistory of the human religious impulse help us understand patterns in, and limits of, the expression of compassion in the world today? Drawing on the evidence from primatology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and psychology, Barbara J. King considers these questions in an illustrated talk that ranges from empathetic chimpanzees in West Africa to ancient burial practices in Europe.

      King’s most recent books are Being With Animals (2010), Evolving God (2007), and The Dynamic Dance (2004). More information and for her Friday Animal Blog can be found here.

      A biological anthropologist who has studied nonhuman primates in the wild and captivity, Barbara J. King is Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary.

      Monday February 28 @ 4:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      What’s Faith Got To Do With It Social Change and Interfaith Action at Clark

      Clark students from a number of faith traditions have joined together this year in a group called Interfaith Action for a major social action project. They join with thousands of students throughout the country in this effort, coordinated through the Inter Faith Youth Corps (IFYC) Better Together campaign. IFYC and DD Fellow Tanya D’Lima will facilitate this conversation about the project, and the possibilities and challenges of social change in interfaith efforts.

      Wednesday March 2 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      The First American Bible / The Worst American War How Religious Compassion Made and Destroyed Our Best Beginnings

      Robert Strong

      As schoolchildren we were taught that America’s earliest New England colonists were driven to this coast in search of “freedom of religion.” However, we now see the disconnect between the Puritans’ earnest desire to save all mankind and their particular methods for spreading the freedom of their own religion. Using America’s first printed bible (1663, a collaborative translation into the native Algonquian) and King Philip’s War as his backdrop, poet Robert Strong — currently the editor of the Poetic Research column at Commonplace.org and professor at Bates College — asks how the Puritans might have kept the more humane impulses of their religious values from shattering under the intensity of worldly pressures. And how might we today?

      Robert Strong has conducted poetic research as a Mellon fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society and a Hearst fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. He is working on a new manuscript, Bright Advent, a finalist for the Dorset prize for poetry from Tupelo Press and the Graywolf Press nonfiction prize.

      Robert Strong is the author of the poetry collection Puritan Spectacle (Elixir Press) and editor of Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry (Autumn House Press).

      Wednesday March 16 @ 4:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      What Do We Know? — Student Voices on Religion

      Based on interviews by Clark students and with Clark students, this multi-media performance explores the ways in which we understand (and don’t understand) the beliefs of our neighbors and, sometimes, ourselves. Weaving together voices from throughout the Clark community, this “spoken word chorus” explores what is inspiring, alienating, funny, and compelling about religious difference.

      Friday March 25 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Black, Baptist and Buddhist — An Illustrated Conversation

      Join with Professor Jan Willis, Wesleyan University, for an evening’s conversation about growing up in the Jim Crow South, the Birmingham Civil Rights campaign and journeying East to Nepal and the Buddhism of Tibet.

      One of the earliest American scholar-practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, Willis has published numerous essays and articles on Buddhist meditation, hagiography, women and Buddhism, and Buddhism and race. Her latest book was Dreaming Me: An African American Woman’s Spiritual Journey (2001).

      Part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series

      Wednesday March 30 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge
      Co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost

      A Land Twice Promised

      Noa Baum

      Israeli storyteller Noa Baum began a heartfelt dialogue with a Palestinian woman while living in the United States. She weaves together their memories, and their mothers’ stories, to create a moving testimony that illuminates the complex and contradictory history and emotions surrounding Jerusalem, for Israelis and Palestinians alike. She takes us behind the rhetoric and headlines to hear the true stories of four women, 2 Israelis and 2 Palestinians. In the process, we experience the most precious ingredient for the resolution of any major conflict: mutual compassion.

      Thursday March 31 @ 7:30pm
      Little Center

      Co-sponsored by Difficult Dialogues, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Department of Political Science

      Creating New Space for Compassion in a Conservative Religious Tradition — Mormonism, LGBT Equality, and the Digital Age

      Joanna Brooks

      Mormonism is among the most conservative religious traditions in America. In recent years, the LDS Church has also emerged as a major force in the political opposition to same-sex marriage. Even as the fight against same-sex marriage has intensified, for LGBT Mormons and their allies, the internet has been a game-changer, creating new spaces of understanding, support, and compassion within a religious tradition that has at times been hard on its liberal members. Joanna Brooks will explore the new opportunities for compassion created by progressive LDS activists and bloggers.

      Joanna Brooks is a scholar of American literature, religion, and culture. Her first book American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures (Oxford University Press, 2003) was awarded the Modern Language Association William Sanders Scarborough Prize. She is associate professor and interim chair of the department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. She is a blogger for Religion Dispatches, a progressive on-line religion magazine.

      Thursday April 7 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      TED talks on compassion

      The TED talks offer insight and inspiration from leading figures on the issues of our time. TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) is a small non-profit committed to Ideas Worth Spreading and “the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.” In this lunchtime series, we screen five short talks on compassion (eighteen minutes or less). The talks will be followed by conversation cafés. Bring lunch and a friend!
      Wednesdays @ noon
      Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      Karen Armstrong Establishing the Charter for Compassion
      People want to be religious, says scholar Karen Armstrong; we should help make religion a force for harmony.
      Wednesday January 26

      Swami Dayananda Saraswati The Profound Journey of Compassion
      Swami Saraswati unravels the parallel paths of personal development and attaining true compassion.
      Wednesday February 9

      Robert Thurman Expanding Your Circle of Compassion
      It’s hard to always show compassion — even to the people we love, but Tibetan Buddhism scholar Robert Thurman (Columbia) asks that we develop compassion for our enemies.
      Wednesday February 23

      Robert Wright The Evolution of Compassion
      Author Robert Wright uses evolutionary biology and game theory to explain why we appreciate the Golden Rule (“Do unto others...”), why we sometimes ignore it and why there’s hope that, in the near future, we might all have the compassion to follow it...
      Wednesday March 16

      Daniel Goleman On Compassion
      Psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, asks why we aren’t more compassionate more of the time.
      Wednesday March 30

  • Slowing in a Wired World, fall 2010

    We live in a world of information overload, constant connectivity, work pressures and personal responsibilities, all of which are increasing and accelerating. The ways we read, learn and think have been altered by our use of the Internet; our ways of relating to people, work and recreation are transformed as they are channeled through e-mail, texting and tweeting.

    How has time and the acceleration of life been seen historically and philosophically? How do our technologies affect our health, our relationships and the ways we learn? Do we want to change our relationship to these forces, and how? The symposium raises these questions in a film series, exhibitions, talks and panels, and a number of community conversations. Meditation, yoga and qigong practicegroups will also be held. More »

    • Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier — PBS Frontline film screening

      Digital Nation

      Within a single generation, digital media and the World Wide Web have transformed virtually every aspect of modern culture, from the way we learn and work to the ways in which we socialize and even conduct war. But is the technology moving faster than we can adapt to it? And is our 24/7 wired world causing us to lose as much as we've gained? In Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier, Frontline presents an in-depth exploration of what it means to be human in a 21st-century digital world. (90 minutes)

      Tuesday September 7 @ 7 and 9:30 pm *
      Dana Commons second floor lounge
      *two screenings with a Conversation Café between

      Time:Daytime — BBC Series film screening


      Humans seem to run to the beat of time, often without being aware of how or why our perception of it may differ from nature's rhythms or from our own internal clock. We have a unique knowledge of time. We 'know' past and future. But, where does our sense of time passing come from? In the BBC's Time: Daytime, String theory pioneer Michio Kaku goes on an extraordinary exploration of the world in search of time. This special awareness of time raises some of the most important questions about time itself: Why does it only flow in one direction? Why can't we stop it, see it or hold it? And if it is so elusive, then is it real or just a figment of our minds? (60 minutes)

      Monday September 13 — noon to midnight*
      Dana Commons second floor lounge
      *The episode starts on the hour for twelve consecutive hours;
      We will hold a conversation café from 8 to 9 pm.

      Fragmented — exhibition and conversation with the artist

      Alex White

      A group of mixed media paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Alex White Mazzarella communicate (and in some cases transcend) the complexity of existence within a context that is increasingly virtual and scattered in nature. He asks how human consciousness can be activated to balance an increasingly technologically based existence. His work is inspired by street art and Kirchner, Appel, Miro, Basquiat, Avery, Pollock, Tapies and William Blake. His work is in private collections in the United States, France, Denmark and Norway.

      Alex White Mazzarella graduated from Clark University with a degree in economics and studied city planning in graduate school.

      Thursday September 16
      Conversation with the artist 4pm
      Reception and exhibition opening 5pm

      the exhibition runs until October 22

      Brazil (1985) — film screening


      A commentary on the "absurdity of the anonymous, ritualized, and soulless machinery that make up the necessities of adult life in modern society", the film centers on Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) as a young man trying to find a woman who appears in his dreams. He is working in a mind-numbing job and living in a small apartment set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. Written by Terry Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard, and starring Jonathan Pryce, Robert DeNiro and Michael Palin. (132 minutes)

      Professor Betsy Huang of the English Department will introduce the film, and help facilitate the post-viewing conversation.

      Wednesday September 22 @ 7 pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Slow Food Worcester

      As technology and the industrialization of food takes us further away from its source and origins, a burgeoning group of committed growers, activists, restaurateurs and consumers are trying to bring us back to our sustainable, local, healthy and delicious roots. The Slow Food movement was "founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world". The movement has now made its way to central Massachusetts.

      Casey Burns (Regional Environmental Council), Alec Lopez (Armsby Abbey), Julius Jones (REC YouthGrow), Marty Dudek (College of the Holy Cross), Paul Booras (Flats Pizza) and others have been engaged with this effort for years and will join us to share their experience and wisdom. The evening will include reports from the field, dialogue circles, resources on how to "slow" your food and a tasting of what Worcester has to offer.

      Tuesday September 28 @ 7 pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      The Sabbath Advantage

      Judith Shulevitz

      In a world of brightness and portability and instantaneous intimacy, the Sabbath foists on the consciousness the blackness of night, the heaviness of objects, the miles that keep us apart. The Sabbath prefers natural to artificial light. If we want to travel, it would make us walk, though not too far. If we long for social interaction, it would have us meet our fellow man and woman face-to-face. This timely examination of an ancient ritual will include dialogue circles where we share our own experiences of Sabbath.

      Author Judith Shulevitz thinks about what rituals of time do for us and why we still need some. She is the author of The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time (Random House, 2010) and columnist for Slate and The New Republic.

      Tuesday October 5 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Day of Slowing

      We invite the Clark community to heighten awareness of our relationship to the technologies in our lives through a campus wide voluntary fast from technology. We encourage everyone to refrain from use of the Internet, email, cellphones and iPods, and experience a shift of pace and focus. Look around campus for opportunities to engage in meditation, qigong, live music, yoga, conversation, drawing sessions, labyrinth walking, slow food. There will be a number of dialogue circles around campus on topics arising from the experiences of the day.
      Wednesday October 6
      sunrise to sunset

      The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains — President's Lecture

      Nicholas Carr

      The technologies we use to think with — to gather, store, share, and analyze information — influence the way that we think, says
      Nicholas Carr. The course of this influence can be traced back throughout humankind's intellectual history, and it forms the context for understanding how the Internet is reshaping our minds. Whereas the printed page shielded us from distractions, encouraging deep
      attentiveness, the Internet inundates us with distractions. It promotes fast-paced skimming and scanning,but provides little opportunity or
      encouragement for quieter, more solitary modes of thinking, such as reflection, introspection, and contemplation. The price we're paying
      for the many benefits of the Net is an erosion in the depth of our intellectual lives and even our culture.

      Nicholas Carr is the author of The Big Switch and Does IT Matter? He has written for the New York Times, New Republic, Wired, and
      other periodicals.

      Monday October 18 @ 4:30pm
      Tilton Hall
      , Higgins University Center

      Faculty conversation on the relationship between technology and pedagogy
      Wednesday October 20 @ 3:30 pm
      (following the Faculty Assembly)

      Moving Beyond Fear: Creating Clarity and Dialogue in Difficult Times

      Paige Marrs

      Fear can, and has, become a prominent player in our lives. Feelings of trepidation, uncertainty, and confusion are a given in our current environment. We want to respond creatively and positively, but we can't do that if we are quietly (or openly) quaking in our boots! This seminar, led by Paige Marrs, draws on the neurosciences and cutting-edge communication theory to offer fresh perspectives on neutralizing the unwitting presence and influence of fear. You'll gain actionable insights for creating clarity and dialogue in difficult times.

      Paige Marrs is a scholar/practitioner, consultant and executive coach in business and academic settings. Her work with individuals and organizations draws on 25 years professional experience. She is a founding member of the Transforming Communication Project, an international consortium of scholars and practitioners dedicated to reducing conflict and creating better social worlds through transformed communication, and is on the Board of Directors of the Public Dialogue Consortium. Paige holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University, and lives in Los Angeles.

      Thursday October 28 @ noon
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      All the Time in the World — exhibition opening

      All the Time in the World

      All the Time in the World is a visual dialogue between Toby Sisson and Cheryl Wilgren Clyne, two artists that use divergent media to explore time as both subject and object. Generated from a shared desire to "make" time and presented through the depiction of oppositional forces — stillness/movement, space/form, natural/artificial and past/future, these meditative works create an environment for contemplation and reflection.

      Toby Sisson is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Clark University. Her creative research examines organic and land-based art forms, the hybridization of indigenous and immigrant artistic traditions, as well as public art and community-based service learning. Cheryl Wilgren Clyne is an Adjunct Instructor of Experimental and Media Art at the University of Minnesota. Her specializations include drawing, digital photography, video, exhibit design and installation, and the educational uses of technology and social networking tools.

      Tuesday November 2 @ 4 pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Conversation with the artists @ 4pm;
      Reception and exhibition opening @ 5pm

      the exhibition runs until December 10

      Keeping Quiet

      Pablo Neruda

      "Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still" begins Pablo Neruda's poem Keeping Quiet. In this call for a "moment without hurry, without locomotives" when "perhaps a great silence would interrupt this sadness, this never understanding ourselves" Neruda longs for a world that does less harm to itself, asking us to walk side-by-side "without doing anything."

      Professor Maria Acosta Cruz of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature will facilitate an informal conversation about the poet, the poem, and what it evokes for us in our present circumstances.

      Thursday November 11 @ 4pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Slowing to the Pace of Nature: Lessons from the Human Embryo

      Michael Dunning

      Thinking, acting and living at high speed has disconnected us from the slow endogenous tempo of Nature; the loss of this connection has led to an epidemic of stress-related illnesses. Today we face an instinctual crisis — we seek to re-engage with nature's healing presence but often don't know how. What nature is it that we seek to return to? Does this slow endogenous tempo even exist in our manipulated, altered and commodified biosphere? Michael Dunning suggests that to answer some of these questions we must turn to the human embryo, not in an anatomy book but rather in our adult body; that we slow down enough to maintain and stabilize our perception of our body and its inner rhythms. When we can achieve this, nature will enter our perception and enliven our world.

      Michael Dunning is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, musician, writer and artist from Scotland. He is the founder and director of the "The Sacred Yew Institute" which teaches an experiential embryology and offers a Foundation Training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.

      Saturday November 13 –10 to 12 am
      This workshop is by registration only.
      Please contact Lisa Gillingham at 508 793 7479 to reserve a place.

      The Floor of the World

      This lecture by Harvard professor Elaine Scarry is about the possibility of vast injury to the world posed by nuclear weapons and simultaneously, about the way such weaponry nullifies the one potential brake on warmaking: democratic citizenship. The claim that modern warfare requires instantaneous decision-making by one person eliminates the democratic processes of deliberation and broad participation.

      Elaine Scarry, a professor of English and American Literature and Language, is the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University. Her publications include On Beauty and Being Just (1999) and The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (1985).

      Thursday, November 18 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Exploring the Israeli—Palestinian Conflict through Dialogue — film screening and workshop

      For almost three years, the Difficult Dialogues initiative has sought to increase understanding by creating conversations about the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. We continue this semester with a two-part dialogue held on consecutive Wednesdays in November. A new documentary about the struggle of peace-movements in Israel and Palestine will set a context for these conversations. We invite you to join us and to bring your own stories and insights.

      Little Town of Bethlehem Little Town of Bethlehem (2010)
      Sami (a Palestinian Christian), Ahmad (a Palestinian Muslim), and Yonatan (an Israeli Jew and former Air Force pilot) come from radically different backgrounds in a land of unending war. Yet, against all odds, including some within their Israeli and Palestinian communities,
      they are able to find common ground. This documentary from writer/director Jim Hanon tells us the story of peace activists who rarely make the headlines but are making a difference. (75 minutes)

      Wednesday September 29 @ 7 pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Co-sponsored with the Center for Non-Violent Solutions

      Exploring the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through Dialogue
      Two day workshop

      Drawing on people and resources within our community, we will meet to consider different aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a two-day intensive workshop
      format including dialogue. Each afternoon will include two sessions, with a supper break between them; supper will be provided for attendees.
      Please note that the workshops require registration in advance (see below).

      Wednesdays November 10 and 17 – 4 to 7:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      To attend these workshops, please register with Lisa Gillingham at 508 793 7479.

      Wednesday November 10
      4 pm Role of Identity: Understanding identity in the context of conflict
      6 pm Telling Our Stories: Perspectives on the conflict

      Wednesday November 17
      4 pm Bridging the Divide: Seeking a Third Way
      6 pm U.S. Role and Responsibilities

      Practices of Slowing

      A sitting meditation practice group based on Buddhist principles is held on Thursdays @ 8:30am in the second floor lounge at Dana Commons. Instruction is available for beginners, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please contact Professor Sarah Buie. Sponsored by the Difficult Dialogues Initiative.

      Thursdays @ 8:30am // Dana Commons, 2nd floor

      Yoga is an ancient practice which promotes physical fitness, flexibility, mental wellness and more. Yoga @ ClarkU offers a wide variety of classes and welcomes students, staff, faculty and the community to join in at their convenience: once, twice or every class! Yoga @ ClarkU is based on the principles of vinyasa, or flow- style yoga, connecting the body with the breath to bring calm to the mind. Participants can expect to be challenged in a productive way, find relaxation and work the body while clearing the mind.

      Qigong /Tai Chi
      Thursdays @ noon // Dana Commons, 2nd floor

  • Considering Gender, spring 2010

    Our culture is saturated with and shaped by issues and images of gender, often in its polarized forms. This semester we ask what gender is, and explore both its biology and the ways we construct it. We engage the volatile and painful concerns that arise in its wake — violence, inequity, intolerance — as well as the subtlety of gendered assumptions. We consider gender in pop culture, its increasingly fluid and ambiguous definition, the questions of power that surround it, both the “hysterical” and the sacred dimensions of sexuality, and ask how we might become more conscious and intentional about its role in our own lives and community. More »

    • Codes of Gender — Identity and Performance in Pop Culture

      Codes of Gender applies Erving Goffman’s groundbreaking analysis of advertising to the contemporary commercial landscape, showing how one of American popular culture’s most influential forms communicates normative ideas about masculinity and femininity. Written and directed by Sut Jhally, it focuses on how our perceptions of what it means to be a man or a woman get reproduced and reinforced on the level of culture in our everyday lives.

      Tuesday January 26 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Guilty Pleasures

      Sometimes (perhaps too often) the same gender stereotypes that we study, deconstruct, and resist also entertain and seduce. What are we to make of the books, movies, and television shows that we love despite their reliance on limiting gendered notions? Come explore the appeal of these “guilty pleasures” at a screening of an episode of Sex and the City. We’ll supply the popcorn.

      Wednesday February 3 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      XXY (2007)

      XXY tells the story of a 15-year-old intersex person, the way her family copes with her condition and the ultimate decision that she must eventually make as she explores her sexuality. Made in Argentina, and directed by Lucia Puenzo, it has received wide acclaim at Cannes and other film festivals.

      Tuesday February 9 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Take Gender, Add Curiosity About Power, You've Got Feminism

      Cynthia Enloe

      Professor Cynthia Enloe talks about how feminist looking, thinking and digging makes us all smarter and considers both the causes and consequences of gendered assumptions and gendered actions. Oh, and the risks of not trying to BE smart!

      Cynthia Enloe has worked on the interactions of feminism, women, militarized culture, war, politics and globalized economics. Racial, class, ethnic, and national identities and pressures shaping ideas about femininities and masculinities have been common threads throughout her studies. Her twelve books include Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (2000), Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives (2004), and Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link (2007). Her newest book is Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War (forthcoming from University of California Press, spring, 2010).

      Cythia Enloe initiated Women’s Studies at Clark. She is now Research Professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment and Women’s Studies.

      Tuesday february 16 @ 6:30pm
      Tilton Hall

      Engendering Ourselves — A Conversation about Gender on Campus

      What happens when we turn a gendered lens on our own campus? How does gender shape the structures of the university, the public and private spaces of campus life, the problems and opportunities that we face as a community?

      We will raise these questions together, and then engage them in a Conversation Café. Professor Amy Richter (History) and Associate Dean of Students Jason Zelesky will facilitate this event.

      Wednesday February 24 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Hardwiring and Soft Science — Rethinking Sex in the Brain

      Rebecca Jordan-Young

      Female brains, male brains, pink and blue brains. A familiar story about hormones coursing through the brain before birth is used to explain everything from sexual orientation to gender identity, to why there aren’t more women physicists or more stay-at-home dads. But it turns out that this theory doesn’t fit well with the evidence, and is out of sync with current thinking in biology.

      In her forthcoming book, Rebecca Jordan-Young looks at the evidence that sex differences are “hardwired” into the brain. Analyzing virtually every published, human study that supports the claims of “brain organization theory,” Jordan-Young reveals that much it fails the standards of science — and the rest of it just doesn’t fit together.

      Rebecca Jordan-young is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Barnard College and a faculty affiliate with the Program in Sexuality, Gender, and Health at the the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

      Tuesday March 2 @ 4:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      The Hysterical Alphabet — A Live Audio-Visual Performance produced by Theater Oobleck

      The ABCs are seized by a convulsive fit in Terri Kapsalis’ The Hysterical Alphabet, each letter introducing an episode direct from the annals of medical lore. Backed by Danny Thompson’s disquieting film collages and John Corbett’s vinyl manipulations, The Hysterical Alphabet tracks centuries of female malady, disproving the theory that time heals all wombs. Hysteria has an under-recognized four-thousand-year history that deeply inflects our contemporary ideas about gender and illness. Drawn from primary medical writings from ancient Egypt to the present, The Hysterical Alphabet is a condensed history of hysteria that considers it with levity, playfulness, and critical insight.

      John Corbett (sound) is a writer, sound-artist, and curator, who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the co-director of the art gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey.

      Terri Kapsalis (voice/sound) is a founding member of Theater Oobleck and has performed in 15 Oobleck productions. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

      Danny Thompson (video/voice) is a playwright and founding member of Theater Oobleck.

      Thursday March 18 @ 7pm
      Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

      Body and Spirit — Paintings by Elli Crocker

      Elli Crocker

      As a painter, Elli Crocker engages issues of the body, gender, sexuality, and the relationship of humans to and within the natural world.

      While celebrating the physicality of the body, I also strive to confront the metaphysical in my work. As adults in contemporary western society, we often live more comfortably in the mind than in the body. However, the erotic insistence of the life force (including ultimately, death) impels us back into our corporeal form and into the animal kingdom. Yet there is more than the carnal in our experience of our bodies. I seek to portray that which is sensual, mortal, and animal within us, as well as that which is divine — and these may be inextricably entwined. — ELLI CROCKER

      Exhibition March 23 through May 23
      Conversation with the artist and others

      Tuesday March 30 @ 4:30pm
      opening reception @ 5:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Ida B. Wells and the Beginning of the Modern Civil Rights Movement

      Paula Giddings

      The anti-lynching campaign of Ida B. Wells in the late nineteenth century created the foundation of the modern civil rights movement. Professor Paula Giddings of Smith College will discuss how this happened. Her recent book Ida: A Sword Among Lions is a sweeping narrative about a country and a crusader embroiled in the struggle against lynching: a practice that imperiled not only the lives of black men and women, but also a nation based on law and riven by race.

      Paula J. Giddings is the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor in Afro-American Studies at Smith College and the author of When and Where I Enter and In Search of Sisterhood.

      Part of the African American Intellectual Cultural Series

      Thursday March 25 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Pain, Passion and Possibility — Inspired Teaching and Difficult Subjects

      Tricia Rose

      How do we have difficult conversations on painful subjects such as gender, racial and sexual inequality, discrimination and oppression in ways that enable, connect and empower students and ourselves? Professor Tricia Rose of Brown University will address this issue with particular attention to race and gender by drawing on Rose’s own scholarship, life and sixteen years of university teaching.

      Tricia Rose, PhD, specializes in 20th century African-American culture and politics, social history, popular culture, gender and sexuality.

      Part of the African American Intellectual Cultural Series

      Thursday, April 8 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Community Brown Bag Lunches

      Join us for community dialogues over lunch on issues of gender in relationship to parenting, workplace issues and power dynamics, LGBT issues on campus and more. Timing of topics to be announced. Bring your bag lunch with you; drinks and chips will be provided.

      Thursday february 4 @ noon
      Thursday March 4 @ noon
      Thursday April 1 @ noon
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Word Wide Views Special Climate Change event

      Roughly 4,000 global citizens gathered in 38 countries in the first-ever global, democratic deliberation in September 2009 to discuss the central issues of the UN Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen. Come meet with nora oliver ’10 and lila Trowbridge ’12, (both current DD fellows) who served as facilitators at the Boston, USA site, and explore the results from this citizen deliberation from around the world and talk about the outcomes of Copenhagen, its predicted repercussions in both the long and short term.

      Wednesday January 27 @ 4pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Difficult Dialogues through Movies

      In this series of recent international films, themes of women, food security, education and activism are explored. All films are screened on Monday evenings starting at 7pm in Dana Commons in the second floor lounge; conversations about the film will follow each screening.

      This series is co-sponsored by IDCE (International Development, Community and Environment), Women and Gender Studies, the Clark University Film Society and the Higgins School. It has been curated by Izzet Sengel, IDCE graduate student, in conjunction with John Sarrouf, Assistant Director of the DD project.

      January 25, Flow: For Love of Water(2008)
      Director Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into the world water crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. (93 minutes)

      February 8, Food, Inc. (2008)
      Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, safety of workers and our own environment. (94 minutes)

      February 15, Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
      In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback. Directed by Phillip Noyce. (94 minutes)

      May 1, Die Welle (The Wave) (2008)
      A high school teacher’s unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own. Directed by Dennis Gansel. (107 minutes)

      March 15, Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority
      In 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first woman of color in the U.S. Congress. Seven years later, she ran for the U.S. presidency and co-authored Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened up higher education and athletics to America’s women. This documentary (Kimberlee Basford, director) is the story of this dynamic trailblazer who, battling racism and sexism, redefined American politics. (56 minutes)

      March 29, Arranged (2007) Arranged centers on a growing friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Syrian Muslim woman, both teachers at a public school in Brooklyn, as they go through the process of getting “arranged marriages.” Their struggle is to become strong women in charge of their own happiness while keeping their deep religious and cultural convictions. Directed by Diane Crespo and Stephan C. Schaefer. (89 minutes)

      April 12, Salt of the Earth (1954)
      Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. The film includes early feminist themes, as the wives of the miners play a pivotal role in the strike against their husband’s wishes. Written, directed and produced by members of the original “Hollywood Ten,” blacklisted for refusing to answer Congressional inquiries on First Amendment grounds. Directed by Herbert J. Biberman. (94 minutes)

      April 26, The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)
      Troublemaking duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, posing as their industrious alter-egos, expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina, the faces behind the environmental disaster in Bhopal, and other shocking events. (87 minutes)

      Dialogue — Why It Matters Now!

      Patricia Romney

      Please join us for a University-wide conversation on why dialogue matters — in our own community and in relationship to the challenges of our world.

      Patricia Romney of Romney Associates, well-known psychologist and dialogue consultant, will speak, following brief comments by Sarah Buie of the Difficult Dialogues initiative and Dave Joseph, Vice-President (Program) of the Public Conversations Project.

      This event also launches an invitation-only conference: Inviting Dialogue Renewing the Deep Purposes of Higher Education, to be held Friday February 12.

      Thursday February 11 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      A conversation cafe will follow.

      Individuals with Disabilities: The Next Civil Rights Movement

      Steven Rothstein

      The last half century has witnessed a succession of social movements in the United States aimed at securing equal rights for African-Americans, women, and gays and lesbians. Individuals with disabilities, argues Steven Rothstein, must be the next to claim full equality under law and in society. Rothstein, the President of the Perkins School for the Blind, one of the world’s leading institutions for educating the blind and deafblind, will trace the progress that has been made in the twenty years since the enactment of the Americans With Disabilities Act and set out an agenda for future action.

      Steven Rothstein was previously Assistant Commissioner of the State of Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation, and has served on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Education and a variety of local and regional community, non-profit and education organizations.

      Wednesday March 3 @ 4pm
      Tilton Hall, Higgins University Center

      A faculty conversation on the challenges and opportunities of teaching students with disabilities will be held in advance of the talk.

      Wednesday March 3 @ 1:30pm
      Dana Commons second floor lounge

      Co-sponsored with the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise.

  • Old Forms Give Way/Visioning the New, fall 2009

    Simply put, we live in a time of unprecedented change. The financial crisis of the
    last year is just one of many disruptions and challenges to existing social constructs –
    the economy, governance, technology, media, and education – and to the environment.
    These challenges ask that we radically reassess the nature and scale of human activity
    on the planet; the possibilities for moving forward with creativity and wisdom are great,
    and the stakes are high. This fall, we "vision the new" together, in local forms of
    governance, agriculture, energy, green economy, the health of neighborhoods.
    We also consider the processes by which we can move toward those more resilient
    ways of life – through collaboration, democratic workplaces and dialogue. More »

    • Oscillating Topographies — artist talk


      In her densely layered abstract paintings,
      Sarah Walker insets intricate patterns and evocative structures within what seem to be sinking archipelagos and dissolving perspectival systems. A succession of spaces emerge, transform and decay; each state remaining visible in the final painting. With this strategy Walker proposes that the capacity to envision and experience simultaneous, contradictory spaces and states of being is a necessary next step in human perception.

      Tuesday, September 15 @ 4pm
      Exhibition opening @ 5pm

      Gallery Exhibition — Continua


      In this exhibition of new paintings on paper by
      Sarah Walker, the viewer is invited to operate in the space between building and unbuilding, erosion and accumulation, serenity and super—saturation. These works come about through a process where all layers are interwoven and a series of cancellations and resurrections offer a way of thinking about complex realities where multiple narratives of destruction and regeneration operate through and across one another.

      September 15 through December 10
      Opening Reception September 15 @ 5pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Carbon and Energy Neutrality in Buildings: A Practical Proposition?

      Cathal Stephens is an architect who has spent 25 years designing major academic buildings throughout the US. He has now designed a renovation/addition to his own house in North West Ireland to be carbon neutral and to generate surplus renewable energy. In his presentation, he will describe this project and its sustainable design features in relation to the climate and to European and Irish energy policy. He will also discuss lessons that can be learned from this small project and whether they might be applied to larger buildings.

      Monday, September 21 @ 4pm
      Jonas Clark Hall, room 206

      Presented by the Environmental Science and Policy Speaker Series / The Department of International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

      Visioning the New Film Series

      In this film series, we look at the specific challenges of peak oil, and visions for more resilient communities with local economies and alternative energy. All screenings in Dana Commons, second floor.

      Escape from Suburbia (2007)

      Escape from Suburbia

      In Escape From Suburbia, director Greg Greene once again takes us “through the looking glassé on a journey of discovery — a sobering yet vital and ultimately positive exploration of what the second half of the Oil Age has in store for us. Through personal stories and interviews, we examine how declining world oil production has already begun to affect modern life in North America. Expert scientific opinion is balanced with "on the street" portraits from an emerging global movement of citizen's groups who are confronting the challenges of Peak Oil in extraordinary ways.

      Wednesday, September 23 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      A Farm for the Future (2009)

      Farm for the Future

      Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking returns to her family's wildlife—friendly farm in Devon, to become the next generation to farm the land. Realizing that all food production in the UK is completely dependent on abundant cheap fossil fuel, particularly oil, she explores ways of farming without it. With the help of pioneering farmers and growers, Rebecca learns that it is actually nature that holds the key to farming in a low—energy future.

      Wednesday, September 30 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      In Transition (2009)

      In Transition

      A film about change and about hope, 'In Transition' shows a practical vision for creating a post—consumer society, where ordinary
      people make a difference. It is the story of the Transition Movement, a vibrant, international grassroots effort to build community resilience in response to the challenges of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis.

      Tuesday, October 6 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Moving Beyond Fear — Creating Clarity and Dialogue in Difficult Times

      Paige Marrs

      In the face of great change, fear can (and has) become a prominent player in our lives. Feelings of trepidation, uncertainty, and confusion are a given in our current environment. We want to respond creatively and positively, but we can't do that if we are quietly (or openly) quaking in our boots!

      This seminar, led by Paige Marrs, draws on the neurosciences and cutting—edge communication theory to offer fresh perspectives on neutralizing the unwitting presence and influence of fear. You'll gain actionable insights for creating clarity and dialogue in difficult times. Marrs is a founding member of the Transforming Communication Project, an international consortium of scholars and practitioners dedicated to reducing conflict and creating better social worlds through transformed communication, and is on the Board of Directors of the Public Dialogue Consortium. Paige holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University, and lives in Los Angeles.

      Thursday, October 15 @ noon
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Contemplating a Steady—State Economy

      Peter Victor

      At certain times a steady state economy has been at the forefront of issues examined by economists; mostly it has received limited attention in the economics literature and curricula. With the world's economies struggling to grow and natural systems coming under increasing pressure from human activities, the prospect of a steady state economy has again emerged as something to consider as we move further into the 21st century.

      Following a short history of the steady—state economy, Professor Peter Victor will present and discuss a long term simulation of a steady—state economy in the USA, focusing on energy, and a more comprehensive and detailed simulation of transition to a steady state in the Canadian economy. Peter Victor is an economist and has worked on environmental issues for 40 years as an academic, public servant and consultant. He is Professor in Environmental Studies at York University. His formal training in economics was at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and the University of British Columbia. He considers himself an ecological economist, identifying with many others who have come to understand economies as subsystems of the biosphere.

      Thursday, October 15 @ 4pm
      Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

      This is a George Perkins Marsh Institute Distinguished Lecture, in conjunction with a conference on sustainable consumption.

      Considering the Second Coming

      Steve Levin

      "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold" wrote W.B. Yeats after WW I. The famous poem The Second Coming by Yeats holds haunting images of unraveling and uncertainty in the face of massive change. Professor Steve Levin of the English Department will facilitate an informal conversation about the poem, the context in which it was written, and what it stirs for us in our contemporary circumstances.

      Wednesday, October 21 @ 4pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Envisioning Resilient Communities — The Transition Towns Initiative

      The Transition Handbook

      How can we increase our community resiliency in the face of the triple challenges of Energy, Climate Change and Economic Instability? Learn about the coming changes to our society and what these communities are doing to increase their sustainability, both in process and action. We will see a brief video by founder Rob Hopkins, hear from Tina Clarke and Transition Towns organizers in New England, and then join them in a conversation about the resiliency issue.

      Tina Clarke is a Transitions Initiative trainer, and a consultant with the Sustainability Institute. She has been an advocate, educator, consultant, and director of nonprofit programs since 1985. Recently, as a Campaign Director for Clean Water Action, she initiated and helped lead coalitions on environmental justice, toxins and energy.

      Wednesday, October 21 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Visioning Peace in Worcester — a public forum

      Women Together

      How can we envision and achieve peace in Worcester? Too often a cycle of violence damages lives within our community. Citizens of Worcester and members of the Clark community are invited to envision a peaceful city in a daylong forum. Community groups will come together to vision collectively, create conversations, and strategize around creating a culture of peace in the city of Worcester. Participants will learn skills and leave the workshop with a knowledge of action steps. Facilitated by Virginia Swain, founder of the Institute for Global Leadership and Tina Chery, founder of the Louis D. Brown Institute for Peace, and co—organized with Women Together and the Human Rights Office of the City of Worcester.


      This event, originaly scheduled for November 14th, has been cancelled.
      For more information, please contact Lisa Gillingham, 508 793 7479

      Shaping a Local Green Economy — a dialogue for the future of Worcester

      What can and will a local, green economy look like? Many social change organizations, institutions and individuals in Worcester are committed to creating a green economy here. Concerns include the importance of green job creation and the potential for environmental work to promote social equity and a more dependable economic system; the application of research models for energy innovation; and the economic and political benefits of Worcester and central Massachusetts as a green cluster.

      Members of various local initiatives will share their perspectives in a conversation about the common goal of shaping a local green economy here in Worcester. Visionary entrepreneur Omar Freilla of Green Worker Co—ops in the Bronx (invited) will discuss his work promoting environmental justice and workplace democracy. Comments from Sarah Assefa of the Green Jobs Coalition, members of the new Institute for Energy Innovation and Sustainability (IEIS), and others from government and business will follow. There will be an opportunities for dialogue in small groups, and in the group as a whole, with light food provided.

      Wednesday, November 18 @ 7pm
      Tilton Hall, Higgins University Center

      Dialogue as Effective Practice — Building Creativity and Resilience in Higher Education

      Dialogic practices are vital tools in developing genuine civic engagement, and in building resilient new economic and governance models. In addition, dialogue fosters critical thinking, attentive listening, and effective collaboration. More than ever, dialogue is a fundamental skill for citizens of the twenty—first century, and thus for our institutions of higher learning. Faculty, staff, students and administrators (from Clark and other institutions) and dialogue practitioners will participate in this conference on the role of dialogue in higher education.

      February 4 & 5, 2010

      This conference, originally scheduled for December 4, 2009,
      will now take place February 4 & 5, 2010.

      Attendance is by invitation only (proceedings will be available after the conference).
      For more information, please email John Sarrouf.

      Co—sponsored by the Public Conversations Project, in Watertown MA
      and the Difficult Dialogues Initiative at Clark.

      Difficult Dialogues through Movies

      In this series of recent international films, themes of being the "other", immigration and boundaries, as well as the Israeli—Palestinian conflict, are considered; conversations about the film will follow each screening. This program is co—sponsored by IDCE (International Development, Community and Environment) and the Higgins School of Humanities. Thanks to Izzet Sengel of IDCE for curating the series.
      Open to the Clark community only.

      September through December
      Monday nights @ 7pm
      Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      Va, vis et diviensBEING "THE OTHER"
      September 7, Quinceanera (2006)
      September 14, Go West (2005)
      September 21, Va, vis et deviens (2005)
      September 28, Unknown Code

      October 5, Etz Limon (2008)
      October 19, Vals Im Bashir (2008)
      October 26, Strangers (2007)
      November 2, Paradise Now (2005)

      Sin NombreIMMIGRATION
      November 9, Reise der Hoffnung (1990)
      November 16, Sin Nombre (2009)
      November 23, God Grew Tired of Us: The Story of Lost Boys of Sudan (2006)
      November 30, It's a Free World... (2007)

      December 7, No Man's Land (2001)
      December 14, Propaganda (1999)

  • Where do we go from Here? Race in the Era of Obama, spring 2009

    Race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now...[there are] complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through — a part of our union that we have yet to perfect.

    — Barack Obama, from his speech 'A More Perfect Union', March 2008

    Our American experience is intertwined with the legacy of slavery and the discrimination it fostered. Barack Obama's election in 2008 sets the struggles and abuses of this legacy into fresh relief – giving us an opportunity for new conversations. There is much to learn, to acknowledge, and to heal. Our public programs this semester offered some places from which to begin. More »

    • Barack Obama, "A More Perfect Union"
      Martin Luther King Jr. Day event

      Martin Luther King Jr.

      In commemoration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we offer a public screening of President—elect Barack Obama's seminal speech (originally delivered in March of 2008) on race and the American experience — A More Perfect Union. We revisit this speech as a catalyst for conversation. How have issues of race changed, or remained the same, since Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech? What does this moment mean for our collective American experience, especially in the context of Dr. King's legacy?

      The screening will be followed by facilitated conversation. The entire campus is encouraged to participate.
      Cosponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College.

      Monday, January 19 @ 3pm

      Inauguration Day, television screening

      Barack Obama

      Join us as we watch the inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States; big screen coverage, comfortable chairs and quiet conversation. Refreshments provided.

      Tuesday, January 20, beginning at 11am
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Race: The Power of an Illusion | Part 1 of 3


      Ask 10 people to define race or name 'the races', and you're likely to get 10 different answers. Few issues are characterized by more contradictory assumptions and myths. Race: The Power of an Illusion, is a three—part documentary that examines the myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that we hold surrounding issues of race. It attempts to shift the conversation from discussing diversity and respecting cultural difference, to building a more just and equitable society.

      Part one, The Difference Between Us: Everyone can tell a Nubian from a Norwegian, so why not divide people into different races? That's the question explored in part one of this series. This episode shows that despite what we've always believed, the world's peoples simply don't come bundled into distinct biological groups. The film begins by following a dozen students, including Black athletes and Asian string players, who sequence and compare their own DNA to see who is more genetically similar. The results surprise the students and the viewer, when they discover their closest genetic matches are as likely to be with people from other "races" as their own. It looks at several scientific discoveries that illustrate why humans cannot be subdivided into races and how there isn't a single characteristic, trait — or even one gene — that can be used to distinguish all members of one race from all members of another.

      The screening will be hosted by Professor Ousmane Power Greene (History) and will be followed by a facilitated Conversation Café.

      Thursday, January 22 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Race: The Power of an Illusion | Part 2 of 3


      Ask 10 people to define race or name 'the races', and you're likely to get 10 different answers. Few issues are characterized by more contradictory assumptions and myths. Race: The Power of an Illusion, is a three—part documentary that examines the myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that we hold surrounding issues of race. It attempts to shift the conversation from discussing diversity and respecting cultural difference, to building a more just and equitable society.

      Part Two, The Story We Tell: It's true that race has always been with us, right? Wrong. Ancient peoples stigmatized 'others' on the grounds of language, custom, class, and especially religion, but they did not sort people according to physical differences. It turns out that the concept of race is a recent invention, only a few hundred years old, and the history and evolution of the idea are deeply tied to the development of the U.S.

      The screening will be hosted by Dean of the College, Walter Wright, and DD Fellows Hannah Caruso and Abhishek Raman; followed by a facilitated Conversation Café.

      Thursday, January 29 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      The Education of a Radical: Civil Rights in the 1960s

      D'Army Bailey

      Tennessee circuit court judge, D'Army Bailey '65, will join us to discuss his forthcoming book The Education of a Black Radical, A Southern Civil Rights Activist's Journey, 1959–1964, part of which recounts his work as a community and civil rights activist while a student at Clark.

      Thursday, February 5 @ 12:00pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Lifelong fight for civil rights: '60s Clark protester recalls the struggle
      Civil rights fight recalled at Clark: Alumnus tells of 40—year struggle, and warns that racism still exists

      Conversations on Race, Then and Now: A Clark Perspective

      Shelia McCann

      Join us for a panel discussion with Clark alumni D'Army Bailey '65 (who orgainzed a speech by Malcolm X while a student at Clark) and Shelia McCann '71 (founder of Clark's Black Student Union), who will reflect on issues related to race during their time at Clark and in the years since.

      Thursday, February 5 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama

      Tim Wise

      Race is, and always has been, an explosive issue in the United States. In his timely new book, Tim Wise explores how Barack Obama's emergence as a political force is taking the race debate to new levels. For many whites, Obama's rise signifies the end of racism as a pervasive social force. But is this true? After all, in housing, employment, the justice system and education, the evidence is clear: white privilege and discrimination against people of color are still operative and actively thwarting opportunities, despite the success of individuals like Obama.

      Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti—racist writers and activists in the U.S. His recent publications include White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. Cosponsored by the Office of Intercultural Affairs

      Tuesday, February 10 @ 7pm
      Atwood Hall

      A Great Cry of Soul

      David Howse

      A musical program for African American History Month, A Great Cry of Soul is a one—hour journey from the beginning days of the Negro spirituals through the gems of the Harlem Renaissance to rarely performed classical art songs of Black American Composers. David Howse, voice and Sima Kustanovich, piano

      Wednesday, February 11 @ 1pm
      Atwood Hall

      Race: The Power of an Illusion | Part 3 of 3


      Ask 10 people to define race or name 'the races', and you're likely to get 10 different answers. Few issues are characterized by more contradictory assumptions and myths. Race: The Power of an Illusion, is a three—part documentary that examines the myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that we hold surrounding issues of race. It attempts to shift the conversation from discussing diversity and respecting cultural difference, to building a more just and equitable society.

      Part Three, The House We Live In: If race doesn't exist biologically, what is it? And why should it matter? The final episode of the series is focused not on individual attitudes and behavior but on the ways our institutions and policies advantage some groups at the expense of others. Its subject is the "unmarked" race: white people. We see how benefits quietly and often invisibly accrue to white people, not necessarily because of merit or hard work, but because of the racialized nature of our laws, courts, customs, and perhaps most pertinently, housing.

      The screening will be hosted by Clark faculty members Shelly Tenenbaum (Sociology) and Betsy Huang (English); followed by a facilitated Conversation Café.

      Thursday, February 12 @ 7pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Evolutionary Momentum in African American Studies: Legacy and Future Direction

      Winston Napier

      In 1997, with support from the Higgins School, Professor Winston Napier (1953—2008) founded the African American Intellectual Culture Series — an ongoing lecture series that brings prominent scholars and artists to Clark. This Spring, we honor Professor Napier's commitment to the study of African American intellectual culture, its influence on America at large, and its contribution to social and political action, with an honorary conference.

      Karla FC HollowayConference Keynote Address Home Invasions — A Narrative Ethic of Race and Privacy, Karla FC Holloway — James B. Duke Professor of Englishand Professor of Law at Duke University

      Friday, February 27 & Saturday, February 28
      Dana Commons, second floor

      TO REGISTER contact Shirley Riopel Nelson at 508.793.7142 or napierconference@clarku.edu by February 18; conference fee $25 ($5 for students). For full conference schedule and list of presenters, please visit the Higgins School of Humanities. Conference sponsored by The Higgins School of Humanities, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and the Department of English

      Way of Council workshop

      center table in the council circle

      How do we remember all our relations, embrace difference and find our own voice, while also listening to others? Council is an ancient form and modern practice whose roots are within the natural world, spanning diverse cultures and religions. The practice elicits an experience of true community, recognizing that each voice needs to be heard, that every person has a gift, a story to share, a piece of the whole. It seems more than ever an essential time in our educational institutions, our nation and world to awaken this deep relational heart/mind.

      Bonnie Mennell and Paul Levasseur are trainers with the Ojai Foundation's Center for Council Training and have brought the Council model to educational institutions and non—profit organizations worldwide.

      Thursday, March 19 | 3 to 6pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      TO REGISTER please contact Lisa Gillingham at 508 793 7479. This workshop is limited to twenty participants. Cosponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College

      Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism


      Hubert Harrison (1883–1927) was an immensely skilled writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist who, more than any other political leader of his era, combined class consciousness and anti—whitesupremacist race consciousness into a coherent political radicalism. His synthesis of class and race issues is a key unifying link between the two great trends of the Black Liberation Movement: the labor—and—civil rights—based work of Martin Luther King Jr. and the race and nationalist platform associated with Malcolm X. Jeffrey B. Perry, author of A Hubert Harrison Reader will share his insights into Harrison's biography, one which offers profound insights on race, class, religion, immigration, war, democracy, and social change in America.

      Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent, working class scholar who was formally educated at Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, and Columbia University. He is a long—time activist and an elected union officer.

      Thursday, March 24 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      A Sense of Belonging: A Photographic Journey through Nigeria


      Nigeria: It's the home of my father, his father and his father before him. During my childhood, I was mesmerized by stories of this wild and unknown country; and by the beautiful Yoruba language I heard spoken so casually by my family, a language that I still do not understand or speak myself. Over the years, I formed my own vision of Nigeria — a world of welcome with a sense of belonging. I wanted to go to there and reassure myself that it was my home as well as my father's; to find out that it's just as rich, vibrant, and alive as my dreams tell me. I wanted to take it in with all my senses; smell the city streets, taste its spices, touch everything, feel its soil under my feet, hear the music and the language. I wanted to experience all its happiness and even its pain. — ADRIENNE ADEYEMI '10

      This exhibition of photographs, by Steinbrecher Fellow Adrienne Adeyemi '10, is the culmination of her journey to Nigeria, in Summer 2008. She has also self—published a book containing more than 70 photographs from her series A Sense of Belonging. It is available on—line (for preview and purchase) at Blurb

      March 26 through May 17
      Opening reception: Thursday, March 26 | 5 to 7pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States

      Sally Kitch

      Professor Sally L. Kitch will address a question that has been largely overlooked or left dangling in discussions by historians of race, gender theorists, and ordinary Americans struggling to understand and transform our culture's continued struggle over race: Could we better understand the racial divide in American culture if we understood the historical role of gender in defining race and creating racial hierarchies? Professor Kitch's research reveals that gender ideology was a primary factor in transforming race from a circumstantial term that denoted peoples, like the French or Africans, into a permanent biological characteristic starting in the seventeenth century. She will consider how gender ideology continued to construct racial categories and hierarchies over time and will conclude by analyzing the impact of that process on contemporary approaches to racism and sexism.

      Sally L. Kitch is a CLAS Humanities Professor of Women and Gender Studies, and the Founding Director of the Institute for Humanities
      Research, at Arizona State University.

      Thursday, April 9 @ 7:30pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide

      Andrea Lee Smith

      Beginning with the impact of the abuses inflicted on Native American children at state—sanctioned boarding schools from the 1880s to the 1980s, Andrea Lee Smith expands our conception of violence to include environmental racism, population control and the widespread appropriation of Indian cultural practices by whites and other non—natives. Smith deftly connects these and other examples of historical and contemporary colonialism to the high rates of violence against Native American women — the most likely women in the United States to die of poverty—related illnesses, be victims of rape and suffer partner abuse. Smith places Native American women at the center of her analysis of sexual violence, challenging both conventional definitions of the term and conventional responses to the problem.

      Andrea Lee Smith is a Cherokee intellectual, feminist, and anti—violence activist. In 2005, Smith was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize "as a woman who works daily for peace" in recognition of her research and work regarding violence against women of color in the US. She is a co founder of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. Cosponsored with the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and part of the Modern History Colloquium

      Wednesday, April 22 @ 4pm
      Rose Library, Strassler Center

  • Reclaiming the common wealth, fall 2008

    This semester we raised the question of common wealth — what it is that we all need and value, beneath our real and perceived differences? What, in both the natural and social realms, belongs to all of us in a common trust, and needs to be cared for and passed on to future generations? More »

    • Culture as Commonwealth: Why Art and Ideas Should be held in Common

      Lewis Hyde

      In his upcoming book, Lewis Hyde offers a modern and American model of our cultural commons, that vast store of unowned ideas, inventions, and works of art we have inherited from the past. At present this legacy suffers from a kind of public invisibility, a lack of political, economic, and juridical standing. The free market is surrounded by full and well—elaborated speech, but the commons is not. It is therefore hard for us to reckon the value of our common assets, and hard to know how best to protect them, keep them lively, and continue to engender them. It is hard to be good stewards of a wealth so few can see or seem to care about.

      As he did in his classic book on creativity — The Gift — Hyde draws from past and present practice a set of stories, metaphors, images, and terms, and elaborates them to create useful tools that can be brought to bear in discussions of our common assets, especially those intangibles that constitute our cultural inheritance; he will share some of these tonight.

      Lewis Hyde is a MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University. He teaches during the fall semesters at Kenyon College, where he is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing. During the rest of the year he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

      Thursday, September 18 @ 7:30
      Dana Commons, second floor

      VIEW a video of Lewis Hyde's talk

      Election 2008: The Presidential Candidates and Climate Change


      The health of the natural world is the most pervasive aspect of our common wealth; one of the most important issues our next President will confront is climate change. This event, which will take place on the evening of the second scheduled presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, will examine what the candidates are saying — and what they are not saying — about this critical issue.

      Jim Gomes, Director of the Mosakowski Institute will moderate a panel discussion among Clark faculty — Fern Johnson, Sarah Buie, Robert Boatright, Mark Miller — and will engage the audience in dialogue about the politics of climate change. We will then watch the debate together on a big—screen television. Refreshments will be served. Cosponsored by the Mosakowski Institute.

      Tuesday, October 7 @ 7:30 (televised debate begins at 9:00)
      Dana Commons, second floor

      VIEW a video of the panel discussion

      Americans Who Tell the Truth: exhibition opening & artist talk

      Janice Mirikitani

      I began painting this series of portraits by finding great Americans who spoke the truth and combining their images with their words. We learn from these Americans that the greatness of our country frequently depends not on the letter of the law, but the insistence of a single person that we adhere to the spirit of the law. The courage of these individuals needs to remain a part of a great tradition, a united effort in respect for the truth and the common wealth. These people form the well from which we must draw our future.

      Artist Robert Shetterly has, over the last six years, developed a powerful series of portraits of Americans, both historic and living, who have distinguished themselves by speaking out with honesty and courage in service of tolerance, justice, compassion, and the common wealth. Ten of these portraits are on display through December 5th.

      Opening: Thursday, October 9 @ 7:30
      On View: through December 5th, 2008
      Dana Commons, second floor
      Gallery Hours: Tuesday—Friday 9:00 to 3:00

      Unlearning Consumerism: Toward a Mindful Society

      Stephanie Kaza

      Making consumer choices has become a complex realm of ethical deliberation, stumping even the most informed and virtuous consumer. Drawing on an inner dialogic process informed by Buddhist values, Stephanie Kaza, Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont (with a concentration in the environmental humanities) and author of Hooked! Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume, will lead us in an exploration of how a "green practice path" can support increased personal awareness and social sustainability.

      Stephanie Kaza is co—chair of the UVM Environmental Council, Professor Kaza has been actively engaged in campus sustainability initiatives to reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote environmental values.

      Tuesday, October 14 @ 7:30
      Dana Commons, second floor

      What's Behind Your Vote?


      Five days to go...What's at stake? Does your vote count?
      Join us in a shared conversation about this year's election...with snacks!

      Thursday, October 30 @ 7:00
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Election Watch 2008


      Please join us as we watch the polls roll in on the big—screen. No spin, no speeches — just C—SPAN coverage, comfortable chairs and quiet conversation. Refreshments provided.

      Tuesday, November 4, 8:30pm—?
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Awakening the Dreamer Symposium

      What kind of future are we creating? And will it work for everyone? The Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium is a profound inquiry into a bold vision: to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on Earth. You will gain fresh insight about our world, meet like—minded people, find hope and inspiration and leave clear how you can help create a new future. If you are ready to explore what this vision means for you, we invite you to attend. Cosponsored by Difficult Dialogues, Clark Sustainability Initiative, The Unitarian Universalist Campus Fellowship, and the Department of Global Environmental Studies.

      TO REGISTER AwakeningTheDreamer.org

      Wednesday, November 12 @ 7:00
      Dana Commons, second floor

      A Brighter Future: Opening our Hearts to our Neighbors

      Throughout Worcester's history, waves of immigrants have come here in search of opportunity. Together, the recently arrived and the born—and—raised, we make up this community. Community members must learn each other's stories if we are to know each other, trust each other, and help each other. The program will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by returning to a universal foundation of healthy communities: hearing the stories of our neighbors.

      Worcester city residents — including public officials, community leaders, newcomers, and members of the Clark community — are all invited to take part in facilitated roundtable dialogues. Dinner will be provided. The event will also feature a presentation of the Eleanor Hawley Award to Senator Edward M. Augustus Jr.

      This event is cosponsored by the City of Worcester Human Rights Commission, the City Manager's Community Coalition on Bias and Hate and the College of the Holy Cross.

      TO REGISTER, please contact Higgins School Program Coordinator, Lisa Gillingham at 508.793.7479 or lgillingham@clarku.edu

      Monday, November 17, 5:30—8:00
      Tilton Hall, Higgins University Center

      UPDATE: The Way of Council Workshop, originally scheduled for November 20th, has been postoned until next semester. Please check our website in January for further deatils.

      Way of Council Workshop

      Council is an ancient form and modern practice whose roots are within the natural world, spanning diverse cultures and religions. Here we listen to the whole circle: the people, and the place, earth, water, fire, air — the life spirit in all. This practice elicits an experience of true community, recognizing that each voice needs to be heard, that every person has a gift, a story to share, a piece of the whole. How do we remember all our relations, embrace difference and find our own voice, while opening to others? It seems more than ever an essential time in our educational institutions, our nation and world to awaken this deep relational heart/mind.

      This workshop is limited to 20 participants.
      TO REGISTER, please contact Higgins School Program Coordinator, Lisa Gillingham at 508.793.7479 or lgillingham@clarku.edu

      Thursday, November 20, 3:00—6:00
      Dana Commons, second floor

      Main South Speaks: Voices, Images, Graffiti Art

      This exhibit represents a collaboration between local Main South high school students and Clark students enrolled in the Difficult Dialogues First—year Seminar 'Communication and Culture in Main South,' taught by Professor Sarah Michaels. Together, they are examining borders and boundaries (art vs. vandalism; town vs. gown) and challenging the status quo. Their work — across a variety of mediums and modes of expression — reflects an ongoing dialogue about voice, representation, and power. Find out more at: MainSouthSpeaks.com.

      Friday, December 12 — 6 to 9pm
      Dana Commons, second floor

  • Climate Change, spring 2008

    The issue of climate change or global warming interweaves with all aspects of life on earth. Faced with this emerging planetary challenge, we are called urgently to become knowledgeable of its nature, uncertainties and stakes. In the dialogue symposium this spring, we addressed the issue of climate change so that as a community, we might deepen our factual knowledge of the issue, explore its multi—faceted sources and impacts, look into the risks and responsibilities ahead, and see from a range of perspectives (political, economic, scientific, aesthetic, ethical, literary, musical, spiritual) as we seek solutions. More »

    • Over the course of the semester, we offered 17 public events related to issues surrounding climate change: hearing from Environmentalist David Orr who gave our keynote address on the Changing Climate of US Politics; hosting a day—long Focus the Nation teach—in, at which over 20 Clark faculty members presented research from a wide range of academic disciplines; looking at the issue of climate change from an arts perspective with screenings of Art from the Arctic and The Day After Tomorrow, and from Indigenous perspectives with a screening of the documentary Yakoana; hosting a forum with state officials including Congressmen James McGovern and Barney Frank; and holding dialogues about Clark's own commitment to climate change with help from the Clark Sustainability Initiative and members of the Clark community.

      Thank you to everyone who particpated in the program this semester — through participation and planning of our symposium events, through teaching and enrolling in Difficult Dialogues courses, and in all the other ways in which our program continues to grow.

      Some Like it Hot . . . but Lots More Don't: The Changing Climate of US Politics

      David Orr

      On Tuesday, January 22nd, Tilton Hall was filled to capacity for the Climate Change symposium's keynote talk by David Orr — Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College. His talk was part of the President's Lecture Series at Clark and was cosponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities.

      Orr addressed the politics of climate change —in the context of his extensive work on sustainability — and spoke particularly of his involvement in the Presidential Climate Action Project, which has been developed to address "one of the most important challenges facing the 44th President — arguably the most important challenge — the three interrelated problems of climate change, energy stability and national security."

      An Inconvenient Truth

      inconvenient truth

      An Inconvenient Truth brings home Al Gore's persuasive argument that we can no longer afford to view global warming as a political issue — rather, it is the biggest moral challenge facing our global civilization. Since the film's release in 2006, it has grown in notoriety to be called by some the 'Silent Spring' of our times, and has undoubtedly brought Global Warming and Climate Change to the forefront of global issues.

      We presented the film on three consecutive nights as part of the Climate Change symposium, to provide us with a baseline understanding of the science behind this issue. Two of the screenings were followed by Conversation Cafes, and one by a panel discussion with Clark faculty — Karen Frey, Colin Polsky and Bill Turner — who helped clarify information presented in the film and offered updated analysis of the science behind the issue. The event included an open conversation with the audience.

      The 11th Hour film screening & Conversation Cafe

      The 11th Hour

      'The 11th Hour' is the last moment when change is possible. The film explores how we've arrived at this moment — how we live, how we impact the earth's ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course. Featuring ongoing dialogues of experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA R. James Woolsey and sustainable design experts William McDonough and Bruce Mau in addition to over 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders. The 11th Hour is produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. After the screening on February 21st, the film was followed by a Conversation Cafe.

      Climate Care: Spirit, Prayer and Song


      What makes global warming a moral and spiritual issue? Upon what spiritual resources do we draw for courage, inspiration, and hope as we tackle perhaps the most daunting challenge that human beings have ever faced? On February 26th, we were joined by climate activists, Rev. Fred Small, Rev. Margaret Bullitt—Jonas, and Zo Tobi '07 for an evening of conversation, song, and prayerto discuss the spirituality of protecting Creation.

      Rev. Fred Small is minister of First Church Unitarian, Littleton, MA, and co—chair of Religious Witness for the Earth, a national interfaith network dedicated to public witness on critical environmental issues. The Rev. Margaret Bullitt—Jonas, Ph.D. is Priest Associate of Grace (Episcopal) Church, Amherst, MA. She has been active in the environmental movement for 20 years and with Religious Witness for the Earth since 2001. Her website is holyhunger.com. Zo Tobi is currently serving the Youth Clean Energy Movement as the Northeast Organizer for the Sierra Student Coalition. Visit his blog at Climate Summer.org

      The Day of Listening


      The Day of Listening highlights listening as an essential element of effective dialogue. During this semester's Day of Listening event on March 12th, we had the chance to listen together about our individual relationships to the issue of Climate Change. Each one—hour session was hosted by trained faculty, staff and students. The entire Clark community was invited to attend.

      The Day After Tomorrow
      film screening & panel discussion

      The Day After Tomorrow

      From the director of Independence Day comes a roller coaster ride that boasts pulse—pounding action and special effects. When global warming triggers the onset of a new Ice Age, tornadoes flatten Los Angeles, a tidal wave engulfs New York City and the entire Northern Hemisphere begins to freeze solid. Now, climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a small band of survivors must ride out the growing superstorm and stay alive in the face of an enemy more powerful and relentless than any they've ever encountered: Mother Nature!

      After the screening on March 13th, a panel of Clark faculty including Scott Hendricks (Philiosophy), Betsy Huang (English) and Stephanie Larrieux (Screen Studies), examined the film as a work of science fiction, and discussed how it represents the issue of Climate Change within the popular media culture.

      In Search of the Good Life
      panel & dialogue


      What constitutes "the good life" in relationship to global warming — personally, for our families, for Clark, for Worcester, for the U.S., for the world? What does it mean in times of deep CO2 reductions? Can we talk about a "good life" in relationship to everyone on the globe, rich and poor? Can we reconcile poverty alleviation (here and in developing countries) with CO2 reduction goals? On March 18th, Halina Brown (IDCE), Philip Vergragt (Marsh Institute) and others joined those gathered in Dana Commons in a conversation based on these questions.

      Global Warming and American Politics
      panel discussion


      The United States is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. If global warming is to be slowed and ultimately halted, the U.S. needs to be a major part of a global move toward more sustainable practices. However, for this to happen will require serious actions by the federal government, which so far has resisted calls for change from scientists, citizen organizations, and other nations. On March 20th, a panel of elected officials including —Congressman James McGovern; Congressman Barney Frank; Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists; and Professor Brian Cook, Political Science—explored the relationship between domestic politics in the U.S. and the prospects for policy change. What are the factors that have prevented an effective groundswell of political support for action on global warming? How can our domestic political dialogue be altered to make policy change possible? The panel was be moderated by Jim Gomes, Director of the Mosakowski Institute.

      Kay Basset & Sarah Buie panel   Barney Frank audience panel

      film screening & conversation

      yakoana movie

      Yakoana is the authorized documentary of the First World Conference of Indigenous Peoples, held in the jungles of Brazil the week prior to the United Nations Earth Summit in 1992. Numerous tribal leaders from around the world share their understanding of sustainability based on their earth—based spirituality. Following the film, which was screened on March 27th, Rachael Shea (Goddard Library) and Octavia Taylor (Marsh Insitute) led a fire—side conversation about the film and the issues it raises.

      The Climate Movement: Diverse Actions, Unified Goals dinner & dialogue

      students lobbying

      Why did 3,000 students lobby their representatives for clean energy on capital hill this past November? Why did over 20 people choose to get arrested in Florida for chaining themselves to coal—fired power plants in early February, while other people are choosing to leave their urban lifestyles to build sustainable agriculture—based communities in rural areas? Why are others advocating localized urban farming? Why are some people changing their lightbulbs, while others are going vegetarian?

      The movement to address global climate change encompasses a wide range of differing opinions, goals, ideas, and proposed solutions. Some of these solutions emphasize working from within the current political, economic, social and cultural systems. Others argue for the construction of an entirely new kind of society, while still others propose that these two "extremes" are not mutually exclusive and a middle ground needs to be found if the climate movement is to succeed. What will be most effective and successful? Which kinds of action will you put your energy towards? It's our world, let's use dialogue to figure out how we want to transform it. What do you think?

      On April 3rd, the Clark Sustainability Initiative hosted this dialogue — with Clark professors from various disciplines, local community activists, students, and others — to think critically about these questions and possible solutions to global climate change. Over 50 people attended.

      California Takes on the Challenge of Climate Change
      Meeting the State's Energy Needs in a Carbon—Constrained World

      Jackalyne Pfannensteil

      On April 8th, Jackalyne Pfannenstiel visited Clark to discuss the issues she faces as Chair of the California Energy Commission. She is a member of the Clark Board of Trustees, and a Clark alumna (Economics '69). Geller Lecture.

      Confronting Climate Change on Campus
      Striving for Climate Neutrality at Clark


      What steps Clark can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to move toward climate neutrality and to enhance our campus community's engagement on the increasingly urgent sustainability challenges facing society? Panel participants in the April 9th discussion included: Jennie Stephens (convener and moderator), Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P), Department of International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE), Clark University; David Angel, Provost, Clark University; Jim Collins, Vice President for Administration and Finance, Clark University; Dave Schmidt, Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Clark University; Kate DelVecchio, BA/MA student in Environmental Science and Policy, IDCE, Clark University; Mattew Most, '92, Director, Environmental Policy. Edison Mission Marketing & Trading; Tom Wall, Associate Director of Physical Plant, Clark University; Jackalyne Pfannenstiel '69, Member of the Clark University Board of Trustees, Chairman of the California Energy Commission.

      Students respectfully raised difficult questions regarding the University sustainability commitments to the panelists, and a serious engagement on all sides took place.

      Art From a Changing Arctic
      film screening & conversation cafe

      Art from the Arctic

      Art from a Changing Arctic was shot between 2003 and 2005 by filmmaker David Hinton, as he traveled 2,500 nautical miles on three expeditions aboard the schooner Nooderlicht, filming artists, scientists and educators exploring the pristine environment of the High Arctic as part of the Cape Farwell project. He documents the artists' responses to the harsh environment, and to the impacts of climate change. Some were inspired to make instant artworks, carving optical ice lenses and cameras, making glacial projections, creating habitable snow—rooms, sketching, drawing and writing, whilst others quietly absorbed their surroundings, producing work on their return home. Following the film on April 17th, members of the Clark faculty including Karen Frey (Geography) and Elli Crocker (Studio Art) joined audience members for a Conversation Cafe.

      Cape Farewell brings artists, scientists and educators together to collectively address and raise awareness about climate change. Created by David Buckland, Cape Farewell has led five expeditions into the wild, beautiful and icy High Arctic, a place for artistic inspiration and scientific enquiry. Follow this link to learn more about the organization, the film, and the art.

  • Power, fall 2007

    The question of power lies at the heart of dialogue. Where does power lie in our culture, in both its outer and inner dimensions, and how does that shape the possibilities for dialogue? How do we, through dialogue, find access to the power of the collective? When do we choose to remain silent? What is the power of silence, and of listening? These and other questions were explored in a range of talks, panels and events. More »

    • War of the Walls Rebellion and Graphic Art in Oaxaca

      The Photographs of Aaron Tukey | September 18 — December 11 | Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      When dialogue fails, people struggling for empowerment may seek other ways to have their voices heard. In Oaxaca, Mexico, some are speaking out through the Mexican tradition of political wall art. Everywhere you look 'graffiti' is crying out the frustrations of the people. And every morning, state—funded crews are out in force to paint over the protesters' voices. This so—called 'War of the Walls' is symbolic of the power struggle between the people of Oaxaca and their government — who, in the hands of the same political party for nearly eight decades, have been largely unresponsive to citizens' requests for power—sharing. Photographer Aaron Tukey captured this in a series of photographs taken in the Spring of 2007 — "In the war over Oaxaca's walls, I began to see reflections of broader questions over the incremental enclosure of public space, and the role of art in social change."

      Learn More:
      Read Aaron Tukey's essay War of the Walls
      Visit Aaron Tukey's website

      Don't Just Talk at Someone — Sit There! Toward Dialogue and Engagement on Global Warming

      Susi Moser

      Monday, October 29 @ 7:30pm | Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      To address climate change at all levels of society requires that people become engaged in a conversation about possible solutions, needed support, and different trajectories of our future. Susi Moser invited us into dialogue about global warming, its implications and ways to address it, and about what future we would like to create for ourselves and our children. Moser is a Research Scientist in the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE) at NCAR; Visiting Professor at Marsh Institute (AY2007—08), and the editor of Creating a Climate for Change (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

      Bridging the Impossible: Confronting Barriers to Dialogue between Germans/Jews/Palestinians

      Bridging the Impossible

      Thursday, November 1 @ 7:30pm | Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      The trauma of the Holocaust and the ever—present Palestinian—Israeli conflict make dialogue between Jews and Germans and between Jews and Palestinians extremely difficult, if not impossible. Is it yet possible to bridge 'the impossible'? Julia Chaitin, Senior Lecturer, Sapir Academic College, Hof Ashkelon, Israel, looked at the barriers that often confound dialogue —such as opposing narratives of the past and present in the Jewish—Palestinian case, and the boundaries of 'perpetrators' and 'victims' that rigidify relations between Jews and Germans. She then explored techniques that can open up dialogue for deeper understanding of self, and of the other, creating a new way of relating to one's 'enemies.' Following the talk, Thomas Kühne, Strassler Professor in Holocaust History at the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies moderated a panel including Debórah Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History and Director, Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Rebecca Phillips, Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology; Srinivasan Sitaraman, Assistant Professor, Department of Government; and Pamela Steiner, Project Director, Inter—Communal Violence and Reconciliation Project, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Cosponsored by the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

      Learn More:
      View video of this event

      A Life in Two Genders Women's Voices: Past and Present / part one

      Jennifer Boylan

      Tuesday, November 6 @ 7:30pm | Atwood Hall

      Jennifer Finney Boylan is the author of She's Not There, the first bestselling book by a transgendered American. By turns hilarious and deeply moving, Boylan's book examines the territory that lies between male and female, as she did in her talk. A three—time guest of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Jenny has also appeared on Larry King Live, the Today Show, and been the subject of a documentary on CBS News' 48 Hours. In March of 2007, she played herself on several episodes of ABC's All My Children. Jennifer Boylan is Professor of English at Colby College in Maine, where she teaches American literature, cultural studies, and fiction writing. Sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Affairs.

      Learn More
      Video of this event

      Regendering History Women's Voices: Past and Present / part two

      Lisa Kasmer

      Wednesday, November 7 @ 7:30pm | Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      Lisa Kasmer, Assistant Professor of English, explored eighteenth—and nineteenth—century women's history writing, which she argues was one of the greatest intellectual achievements of the time—period. During a time we usually view as particularly bereft of women's political engagement, women's histories and historical fiction extended the political and generic possibilities of history writing, or "regendered" history, and, in doing so, attempted to legitimize women's participation in the public sphere. This writing, then, interrogates both our understanding of gender and of women's writing in the past. Following the talk, a panel of Clark faculty who research the topic of gender, including Professor Amy Richter (History), Professor Kristen Williams, Professor Valerie Sperling and Professor Srinivasan Sitaraman (all Government) will continue the conversation.

      Power, Ethics, Science & Technology at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age a reading and conversation


      Tuesday, November 13 @ 7:30pm | Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

      Les Blatt, Professor of Physics, and Gino DiIorio, Associate Professor of Theater, presented excerpts from Michael Frayn's controversial play Copenhagen, a multi— faceted musing on the enigmatic 1941 meeting of peacetime research colleagues but bitter wartime opponents Werner Heisenberg and Neils Bohr. Between readings, the audience was invited to comment on dilemmas posed by the play, either from historical or contemporary perspectives – or both.

      War of the Walls Examining the Power Relationships Behind Political Street Art in Oaxaca

      War of the Walls

      Thursday, November 15 @ 7pm (reception & exhibition preview 6—7:00) | Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      Building on the photographs of Oaxaca's public protest art taken by photo—journalist Aaron Tukey, a panel of observers and activists, including photographer Aaron Tukey, Clark Geography Professor Dianne Rocheleau, and Elizabeth Kubick of the group Witness For Peace, shared their experiences of the larger ongoing struggle in Oaxaca between the citizens and their government – especially since June of 2006 when simmering tensions erupted during an aggressive police raid on striking teachers. They also pointed toward signs of hope as they envisioned Oaxaca's journey toward meaningful dialogue and a more just sharing of community power.

      Encounter Point film screening and conversation cafe

      Encounter Point

      Tuesday, November 27 @ 7:30pm | Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

      What kinds of power are available to those who have borne the brunt of war and loss? Encounter Point is an award—winning feature documentary that follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex—prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict. The film explores what drives them and thousands of other like—minded civilians to overcome anger and grief to work for grassroots solutions.

      Talking about the Subtleties of Power without the Paranoia Some Feminist Clues

      Cynthia Enloe

      Wednesday, December 5 @ 7:30pm | Jefferson 320

      Feminists have done much to make visible the myriad forms that power can take – and the surprising, even intimate, sites where power is wielded. Becoming alert to all the forms and places where power might be wielded can make one see it everywhere, and that in turn can, of course, create barriers to trust. Cynthia Enloe, Research Professor in IDCE and Women’s Studies, lead us in exploring that conundrum, and its relationship to our ability to create and participate in dialogue.

      Learn More
      Video of this event

      Into Great Silence film screening

      Our screening of the film Into Great Silence – originally scheduled for December 11th – has been cancelled.

      However, Cinema 320 will be screening the film on the following dates: Tuesday 11/27 @ 7:30, Thursday 11/29 @ 7:30, Saturday 12/1 @ 7:30, Sunday 12/2 @ 1:00.

  • Religion and Tolerance, fall 2007

    Much of the violence in the world has arisen in the name of religion. Why do religious conviction and intolerance so often occur in tandem? Is dialogue between those of differing faiths and cultures possible? These questions and many others were raised by Diana Eck, Anne Fadiman, religious leaders from the Worcester community, Clark faculty and others. More »

    • Jesus Camp film screening and conversation cafe

      Jesus Camp

      Wednesday, September 12 @ 7 pm Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

      In our society, there are widely diverse and divergent religious experiences among young Americans. Jesus Camp, the Academy Award nominated documentary directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, follows a group of young children to Pastor Becky Fisher's "Kids on Fire Summer Camp"– an intense training ground that recruits born—again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future.

      Faith and Tolerance in a Muli—Cultural World an interfaith dialogue

      Thursday, September 20 @ 7:30 pm Tilton Hall, Higgins University Center

      How should different religious faiths relate to one another in today's shrinking world? Professor Paul Ropp moderated a panel discussion with four religious leaders representing the Christian, Buddhist, Islamic and Judaic traditions. Panel participants included Tom McKibbens, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church; Melissa Blacker, teacher (sensei) at Boundless Way Zen, a multi—lineage Zen Buddhist community; Mohamed Lazzouni, Visiting Scholar of Islamic Studies at the department of Arts and Humanities at Boston College; and David Coyne, Director of Hillel at Clark. The audience was invited to contribute to the dialogue. Cosponsored by the Andrea B. and Peter D. Klein Professorship

      Day of Listening

      Wednesday, Spetember 26 one—hour sessions at 12, 1, 3 & 4:00 Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      The Day of Listening highlights listening as an essential element of effective dialogue. Each hour—long session is about taking a moment to pause, to really listen to each other and to explore the relationship of listening to dialogue – and to give us a break during our busy day. This semester's Day of Listening event addressed the role that dialogue can play in Religion and Tolerance. It gave us a chance to reflect on issues that had been raised in our symposium events thus far. Each session was hosted and facilitated by trained faculty, staff and students. The entire Clark community was invited to attend.

      The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

      Anne Fadiman

      Monday, October 1 @ 7:30pm Atwood Hall

      Author Anne Fadiman spoke about the experience of writing her first book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997), which chronicles the trials of an epileptic Hmong child and her family living in Merced, California. Fadiman's sensitive, incisive treatment of the gulf between the Hmong and American cultures and medical systems won her a 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her talk dealt with the cross cultural challenge she faced and the lessons she learned as to how American health care providers can provide more sensitive and effective care for patients from other cultures.

      Questions of Faith a spoken word—chorus

      Wednesday, October 10 @ 7pm Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

      The words of Clark students on issues of faith on campus were woven into a spoken—word chorus, performed by other Clark students, and based on interviews with current students. Getting beyond the basics of simple denominational differences, the program investigated the hard questions, surprising discoveries, new perspectives, and lasting challenges that our encounters with both organized religion and personal faith have brought while at Clark. A conversation cafe followed the performance.

      Students interested in participating, by being interviewed or performing, should contact the organizer, Professor Meredith Neuman at meneuman@clarku.edu

      Can Religions be Tolerant? Is Pluralism Possible? Voices and Perspectives from South Asia

      Diana Eck

      Tuesday, October 16 @ 7:30pm Dana Commons, second floor

      The strength and certainty of religious voices in our time and the turbulence generated by religious movements makes us wonder if, perhaps, religion is one place where tolerance and dialogue are in short supply. Diana Eck raised these questions: Can religious people really be tolerant of differing religious views? Can religious people engage deeply with those of other faiths? Does the notion of pluralism threaten religious certainties? South Asia has long experience in living with religious differences, so perhaps we can learn more about the difficulties and promise of dialogue from that experience. And now South Asians have brought their Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and Jain traditions to the U.S. How do South Asian Americans weigh in on the religious controversies of the U.S.? Diana Eck of Harvard University is Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society, Master of Lowell House, and Director of The Pluralism Project. Cosponsored by the South Asian Studies Forum.

      Learn More:
      View video of this event

      Sound and Spirit


      Wednesday, October 24 @ 7pm Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

      An improvisational dialogue and listening journey with the Sacred Singing Group, BoneSong, which included Clark V&PA professor, Valerie Claff. Inspired by a variety of indigenous musical traditions, early polyphonic sacred song, sounds of nature and their Earth—based spiritual paths, BoneSong weaves improvisational soundscapes with voice, drum and simple instruments.

  • Race and Ethnicity, spring 2007

    In early March 2006, the BBC aired Facing the Truth, a three part television series that brought victims and perpetrators of the conflict in Northern Ireland together for dialogue. Archbishop Desmond Tutu facilitated the encounters along with Lesley Bilinda whose husband was killed in the Rwandan genocide, and Donna Hicks, former Deputy Director of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Harvard University and currently an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Donna Hicks facilitated a discussion with the CLark community following the airing of one of the programs. More »

    • Facing the Truth: A Reconciliation Effort in Northern Ireland | February 27

      In early March 2006, the BBC aired Facing the Truth, a three part television series that brought victims and perpetrators of the conflict in Northern Ireland together for dialogue. Archbishop Desmond Tutu facilitated the encounters along with Lesley Bilinda whose husband was killed in the Rwandan genocide, and Donna Hicks, former Deputy Director of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Harvard University and currently an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Donna Hicks facilitated a discussion with the CLark community following the airing of one of the programs.

      Who Framed Bilingual Education? | March 13

      Fern Johnson
      "Because language is so deeply a cultural phenomenon and resource for creating and maintaining identities, when language becomes a battle ground – as it has in the field of bilingual education – we know that something larger than clarity of communication is at issue."

      — Fern Johnson

      In 2002, Colorado voters said "NO" and Massachusetts voters said "YES" to discontinuing "bilingual education". Fern Johnson, Professor of English, considered how the press framed the issue in each state in our first Race and Ethnicity event of the Spring semester. She argued that the public has been ill—informed about this significant language policy issue, and that monolingual language ideology prevails in the U.S.

      Broken Promises, Broken Dreams | March 14

      Broken Promises, Broken Dreams    Alice Rothchild

      Alice Rothchild is an obstetrician—gynecologist who has worked in the health care reform and women's movements for many years. Since 1997, she has focused much of her energy on understanding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and was at Clark on March 14th to read from her forthcoming book Broken Promises, Broken Dreams. Through first—hand narratives with Israeli and Palestinian women, she invites the reader to engage in a different kind of conversation, grounded in empathy and forgiveness and coupled with an appreciation of the urgent need for political action.

      Learn More:
      Visit Alice Rothchild's website

      What Makes Me White? | March 29

      Odile Ferly    Aimee Sands   

      from L to R: Odile Ferly; Aimee Sands; a student asks a question after the film

      On March 29th, the Clark community explored how white people form their own racial identity and how they deal with white privilege after viewing the thought—provoking film, What Makes Me White, by Aimee Sands. This was the first public screening of the film which includes readings and interviews that span diverse economic levels of the white community, from a resident in an affluent suburb to white and black students in Boston's METCO program. By exploring the dynamics of racial socialization among whites, Sands' film encourages the audience to consider the roots of racism. A question and answer session with the filmmaker and a multi—racial panel followed – panelists included: Winston Napier, Franklin Frazier Chair and Associate Professor of English; Miriam Chion, Assistant Professor of Community Development and Planning; Betsy Huang, Assistant Professor of English; Odile Ferly, Assistant Professor of French, Foreign Languages & Literatures; and Anne Ellen Geller, Director of the Writing Center and Writing Program.

      Periracism | April 5

      In Notes on the State of Virginia, first published in 1782, Thomas Jefferson waxed at once poetic and scientific about the biological differences between the races. Difference was of course more than skin deep for Jefferson, but like so many of his time, he was fascinated by the external geography of the other, by what his eyes beheld, especially what he called “this unfortunate difference of colour,” “the first difference which strikes us.” In this talk, drawn from a book in progress, Ann duCille, Professor of English and African American Studies at Wesleyan University, argued that racialized thinking about color, quality, and character hasn't changed as much since the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as polite society would like to believe. Moreover, this ever—present racism—what she defined in this talk as “periracism”—often masquerades as social grace, civility, and liberalism.

      Coming Alive to this Moment: Introduction to Zen Practice

      Zen Buddhist practice provides a deceptively simple structure that allows us to become more deeply aware of what is occurring in this moment. Rather than looking outside ourselves, or trying to understand life through thinking and analyzing, we discover the aliveness that is already present. In this three—hour participatory workshop we will used guided meditation exercises, mindful dialogue and group inquiry to experience the living Zen tradition as it is taught by two American Zen teachers. David Dayan Rynick Sensei and Melissa Myozen Blacker Sensei, who have been practicing Zen since 1981, guide the Worcester Zen Community. Following the workshop, we hald a three—hour retreat that allowed participants to experience an extended period of formal Zen meditation. The morning included sitting and walking meditation as well as a traditional Zen talk and opportunities for individual meetings with the teachers, ending with a time for group discussion.

      Learn More:
      Attend the Fall 07 semester's weekly meditation sessions begininng Thursday, September 13th 8:30am | Dana Commons, second floor lounge

      Day of Listening | April 11

      The Day of Listening highlights listening as an essential element of effective dialogue. Each hour—long session is about taking a moment to pause, to really listen to each other and to explore the relationship of listening to dialogue. This session was focused on the current symposium topic, Race and Ethnicity, and addressed the role of dialogue and listening. It also gave us a chance to reflect on issues that had been raised in our symposium events thus far.

      Race is the Place | April 12

      On April 12th, Difficult Dialogues screened the film Race is the Place for the Clark community. A video performance documentary with a bold, lyrical, and often poetical montage of performances by established artists and up—and—coming young talent from minority communities who use words—spoken, sung or chanted—to get their message across. Each segment explores racism and its continued survival in this country, and each finds new and innovative ways to engage audiences and challenge them to think beyond our traditional conceptions. Artists include Piri Thomas, Amiri Baraka, Mayda del Valle, Michael Franti, Faith Ringgold, Michael Ray Charles, Culture Clash, Beau Sia, Andy Bumatai and more...

      Following the film, we held a Conversation Cafe with students in which we were able to listen to others and to share our own thoughts surrounding Race and Ethnicity. It was a chance for us to talk together openly, to find out where our views differed, where we agreed and to see what we could learn from eachother through dialogue.

      Learn More:
      Visit the Race is the Place website

  • The State of Our Democracy, spring 2007

    A a visual reflection of the theme of Difficult Dialogues, this exhibition featured the work of artists "whose goal is to create...art to inspire self—reflection, thought, and human connection [Illegal Art]." Included in the exhibiton were works by Stephen DiRado, Michael Dowling, Steve Hollinger, Illegal Art, Steve Locke, James Montford, Sarina Khan Reddy, Elaine Spatz—Rabinowitz, and Thomas Starr. In addition, Illegal Art, as well as artists, James Montford, and Michael Dowling (with Medicine Wheel Productions) came to campus to engage with the Clark community through interactive performance projects. More »

    • Visual Dialogues Exhibition | March 12 – April 20

      Visual Dialogues

      Learn More:
      Interactive gallery tour
      Visit Illegal Art's website

      Beyond Partisan.org | Feb 8

        Nate Byer and Rob Weinstock   presenting their website

      Drawing on their collective experience both as students at Wesleyan University and as politically—minded young adults frustrated with the current state of civic discourse, Rob Weinstock, David Tutor, Adam Gomolin, Bill Ferrell, and Nate Byer set out to create an accessible platform from which all Americans are able to voice their opinions. The website Beyondpartisan.org was the result of their efforts. It is designed to empower the user and to encourage an exchange of ideas across (often polarizing) political divides, in order to find the common ground from which we can more easily engage with one another in dialogue.

      The creators described their site this way: The Beyond Partisan process begins with an issue—article, a brief and accessible piece focusing on a single policy area. In turn, it asks for your voice and invites your commentary. Your contributions are invited as full—length opinion pieces, as personal messages to your fellow citizens: this is the editorial page for every American. We must as citizens reflect upon our discussion and draw from it the shared values upon which we can move forward. This is not the partisan tirade of lone—gunmen bloggers; this is a return to the egalitarian foundation of America's birth through the means of modern technology.

      As recent college graduates, they offered an inspiring example to the Clark students who attended the event. As students themselves, they were able to identify a problem and together form a real—life solution — one which offers something new and valuable to the American political discourse.

      Learn More:
      Visit Beyond Partisan

      Why We Fight | Feb 13

          Eugene Jarecki
      "I went to Why We Fight and thought it was really good. After the film, I wound up having a half—hour discussion in the laundry room with a friend. It wasn't my intention going down to get my laundry to talk to anyone about the movie but I was really fired up about it and so was she. That's the cool part of events like this, you see friends afterwards and it becomes an opportunity to talk."

      — Megan Mateer '10

      On February 13th 2007, Documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki screened his film, Why We Fight, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and has gained critical acclaim in its candid exploration of the influence of the American military industrial complex on U.S. foreign policy. Jarecki depicts U.S. military history from World War II to the Iraq War to reveal the political, economic and ideological forces that propel America to war. Personal stories are interlaced with the commentary of academics, politicians, and Pentagon officials to give an eye—opening picture of America at war. A NYPD retired policeman who lost his son in 9/11, a Vietnamese refugee who manufactures bombs, a new Army recruit, and Iraqi victims are among those sharing their views on why we fight.

      Following the screening, Jarecki shared insights into the film as well as his ideas about the State of Our Democracy. He encouraged us all question our assumptions — especially as it concerns our current involvement in Iraq — and to become active participants in our own lives and in our role as citizens. Civic engagement and participation, he argued, allows us to think more deeply about all issuses that affect us as Americans.

      Learn More:
      Video of Eugene Jarecki's talk at Clark University
      Why We Fight website

      How to Change the World: Self and Society in American Transcendentalism | Feb 20

      Philip Gura

      William S. Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spoke as part of the State of Our Democracy symposium, about the role of American transcendentalists. Epitomized for most people by Emerson and Thoreau, as America's first public intellectuals, they were interested not only in literature but in a wide spectrum of reform. Although we often associate them with an ethic of radical individualism, many argued instead for commitment to community rather than to self. Contentious debates within the movement about how to realize the promise of American democracy explain much about Transcendentalism's development and raise anew the questions of how best to effect radical social reform.

      Learn More:
      Philip Gura's Homepage at UNC Chapel Hill
      Read about Philip Gura's latest book: American Transcendentalism: A History

      Day of Listening | February 21

      The Day of Listening highlights listening as an essential element of effective dialogue. Each hour—long session is about taking a moment to pause, to really listen to each other and to explore the relationship of listening to dialogue. This session was focused on the current symposium topic, The State of Our Democracy, and addressed the role of dialogue and listening in our current political climate. It also gave us a chance to reflect on issues that had been raised in our symposium events thus far.

      Hacking Democracy | March 1


      Electronic voting machines count about 87% of the votes cast in America today. But are they reliable? Are they safe from tampering? From a current congressional hearing to persistent media reports that suggest misuse of data and even outright fraud, concerns over the integrity of electronic voting are growing by the day. Hacking Democracy is a timely, cautionary documentary that exposes the gaping holes in the security of America's electronic voting system. Ultimately, the film shows that the top—secret computerized systems counting the votes in America's public elections are not only fallible, but also vulnerable to undetectable hacking, from local school board contests to the presidential race. With the electronic voting machines of three companies — Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia — collectively responsible for around 80 percent of America's votes today, the stakes for democracy are high.

      That's all any of us are asking, is that people see the problems with the machines, and that there is a debate about how we can fix this before it's too late.

      — Sarah Teale, producer Hacking Democracy

      The HBO documentary Hacking Democracy gives us an introduction into the complex problem of elecronic voting machine use in the United States. On March 1st, the Clark community gathered to watch the film and to participate in an open dialogue with a panel of speakers who helped us think more deeply about this issue and how it relates to the current State of Our Democracy. The panel, consisting of election integrity activist Nancy Tobi (Chair of Democracy for New Hampshire), Anthony Stevens (NH Assistant Secretary of State), Brian Cook (Professor of History, Clark University), and Zo Tobi ('08), brought diverse opinions about how the malfunction/misuse of electronic voting machies can compromise our voice as citizens, and thus have the potential to undermine our democracy.

      Learn More:
      Hacking Democracy website

  • Launch of the Difficult Dialogues initiative, fall 2006

    In late October and early November, two weeks of launch events initiated the Difficult Dialogues program at Clark University. The launch series introduced our community to the definitions and practices of dialogue as a first step towards our goal of creating a climate for dialogue on campus (full summaries of these events are listed below). During the Day of Listening, the entire campus community had the opportunity to learn skills of respectful listening, hearing and being heard, in small informal workshops held all over campus. More »

    • A workshop on the Way of Council launched our series on the Cultures of Dialogue. A keynote talk by Diana Chapman Walsh, President of Wellesley College, helped us set our sights for the year ahead. A public forum among the Boston leaders on both sides of the abortion issue allowed us to experience the powerful space of dialogue. Professor Les Blatt launched a faculty discussion series with an exploration of physicist David Bohm's work on dialogue. A Difficult Dialogues film and discussion series began with the film Promises, and the DD arts series commenced with a large improvisational drumming circle.

      The Day of Listening | Oct 31

      I'm Listening       listening sticker on backpack of Clark student      sign directing participants to a Day of Listening session
      "Since the Day of Listening, I have stopped myself many times during conversations with friends and family and refocused my attention on what they were saying. That reminder is always in the back of my head now. As I actively try to block out distractions, I become a more considerate listener."

      — Kara Scimeca '06

      "I'm Listening" proclaimed the bright yellow buttons that appeared on lapels and t—shirts — they were a quiet declaration that on this day, members of the Clark community were ready to gather together for a shared experience in listening.

      It was a typically busy day on campus, in which students, faculty, staff and administration joined in on one of the 26 listening sessions that took place throughout the day. The participants were invited to slow down and, together, to consciously create a space in which they could explore the relationship between listening and dialogue. They leaned in, engaged in conversation, and shared experiences with one another — most often, with someone they had just met. They spoke of the benefits of good listening — as well as the challenges that come with it.

      Participants left Clark's Day of Listening with their interest whetted. They greeted others they saw on campus, who wore the bright yellow "I'm Listening" buttons, with a sense of camaraderie and connection from their shared experience. This one—hour experience in listening, and relating to fellow Clarkies, was a simple first step towards creating a true culture of dialogue on the Clark campus.

      Learn More:
      Day of Listening Facilitator's Guide [PDF]

      The Way of Council Workshop | Nov 1

      center table in the council circle    council circle

      Twenty participants arranged themselves in a large circle, careful to be able to achieve eye contact with one another. They had gathered for a new experience, to participate for a three—hour session in the "Way of Council" — an ancient form of dialogue that has been practiced for thousands of years, by diverse cultures and religions throughout the world. It was to be the first event in the Difficult Dialogues Culture of Dialogue Series.

      Council facilitators Bonnie Mennell and Paul LeVasseur, both faculty members at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, introduced this practice to the Clark community.

      Participants took part in council practices that stressed the critical importance of equal participation and empathetic listening. The council began with a ritual that focused the group's attention, in order to leave distractions behind and become centered, relaxed and fully attentive to the present. Through a series of exercises, a "talking piece" was passed from person to person allowing everyone equal time to hear and be heard. Participants were urged to be open to the collective wisdom that could arise from this circle of communication — wisdom that was greater than any one person. We learned that council is about building relationships, a sense of teamwork, and trust.

      Learn More:
      The Ojai Foundation — a resource for Way of Council practice

      Keynote Address: Diana Chapman Walsh | Nov 1

      Diana Chapman Walsh at Clark    panel of Clark faculty at DD keynote address

      In her keynote address, Diana Chapman Walsh — President of Wellesley College — drew from personal experience in her work with dialogue in order to illuminate our own process. She underscored the importance of the Difficult Dialogues program here at Clark, both in academia and in this moment of history.

      So I see at the heart of your project profound intellectual questions the academy needs to be taking up in our difficult dialogues, and profound institutional questions as well: Who our students can be if we attend more closely to their true intellectual needs. How our work lives can be, if we attend to one another, our aspirations and our struggles. What our institutions can be, if we attend to the whole enterprise as a shared responsibility.

      And the world we could create, if we could learn to engage each other fruitfully across the differences and the silences that are polarizing and disempowering us and undermining our ability to govern ourselves responsibly. How do we take some risks and break down some of the barriers that perpetuate the over—commitment, overwork, accelerated pace, and resulting isolation, polarization, suspicion and mistrust that are, I think, the arch—enemies of thoughtful dialogue and, with it, deep and integral learning.

      Learn More:
      The Work of the World — Diana Chapman Walsh's keynote address [PDF]
      The Work of the World — Video of the event

      Bridging the Abortion Divide: The Boston Story | Nov 2

      abortion leaders panel   abortion leaders panel  Kay Bassett, David Angel, Barbara Bigelow and Sarah Buie

      Abortion — just speaking the word evokes strong emotions. How could six leaders from opposite sides of the abortion issue maintain a dialogue with each other for over a decade? On November 2, Clark students and faculty, social workers, members of pro—life and pro—choice groups, counselors in reproductive health, streamed into Atwood Hall to learn the answer. They discovered how people with such fundamental differences in worldview could arrive at a place of mutual understanding and respect.

      Their dialogue began after December 1994, when John Salvi shot and killed two people at Brookline reproductive health care clinics. The tension surrounding this event was high, and a call went out for people to come together in the face of tragedy. Thus, these six women — who were high—profile members in the abortion issue, but had never engaged in conversation with one another — entered into a secret dialogue facilitated by the Boston—based Public Conversations Project. With great candor, the leaders described their private dialogues as frustrating, discouraging, even painful. Yet, they recognized that they were also beginning tobridge the deep divides that had separated them for so long, and they agreed to continue their meetings.

      As they deepened their friendship and connection over the years, the women spoke movingly about the mutual respect and self—revelation their dialogue has fostered. They called the experience "enriching" and "mysterious", and believe their conversations were able to subtly, but positively, alter the divisive rhetoric surrounding the abortion issue. They each stressed that they continue to use the skills they learned in this process as leaders of organizations, as advocates, and as counselors.

      Learn More:
      Bridging the Divide — See video of the event
      The Public Conversations Project

      Communication for Social Change Consortium | CFSC

      Listening and dialogue is essential to community cohesiveness, whether it be a community of interest, like Clark University, or a geographic community. Throughout poor communities and developing countries, community groups are using Communication for Social Change (CFSC) processes in innovative ways to address social issues. During this workshop, participants explored the fundamentals of these processes as applied to two case stories: "Know your HIV status" and accountable government. The workshop was conducted by Heidi Larson, associate research professor in IDCE, and James Hunt.

      Hunt opened the workshop by defining CSCF as "a process of public and private dialogue through which people themselves define who they are, what they need and how to get what they need in order to improve their own lives." In this way, says Hunt, CFSC has moved away from the message—driven, top—down model of communication traditionally used by development agencies. Hunt noted, "Dialogue is difficult. The CFSC model is oriented toward action. The participants have a commitment to going forward. You must be clear about what you want as a group or you can't maximize the group energy."

      David Bohm and the Wholeness of Nature: a dialogue on physics and humanity | Nov 6

      David Bohm

      Maverick quantum theorist David Bohm put forward truly convincing arguments on the connections between the laws of nature at the atomic and nuclear scales, and the universe at large (including our own thoughts and behavior). What grew out of this thinking were his beliefs on the value of dialogue — that we all have a piece of reality, and the only way to get closer to reality is for each of us to share those individual pieces. In this event, the first in the Difficult Dialogues Faculty Series, Les Blatt, professor of physics and education, explored Bohm's ideas with a large audience of scientists, social scientists and humanities professionals. Blatt explained that, through his work in physics, Bohm became interested in the connectedness of all things. He explored enfoldment and unfoldment: everything as part of a whole, and the whole as a reflection all of its parts. He summarized Bohm's view as this: we have all the collective knowledge in the universe, but it takes interactions among people to unfold it, to be conscious of this knowledge. Thus, he dedicated himself to creating space in his work for an open exchange of ideas, for listening and for true dialogue.

      Learn More:
      On DialogueOn Dialogue is the most comprehensive documentation to date of best—selling author David Bohm's dialogical world view. Bohm explores the purpose, methods and meanings of the multi—faceted process he referred to simply as "dialogue", suggesting that dialogue offers the possibility of an entirely new order of communication and relationship with ourselves, our fellows, and the world around us. — amazon.com

      Promises film screening | Nov 7

      scene from the film: Promises

      Though they live only 20 minutes apart, the seven Israeli and Palestinian children in the film, Promises, exist in completely separate worlds; the physical, historical and emotional obstacles between them run deep. The ability to have dialogues in a way that breaks through prejudices is surely a prerequisite for peace in the region, and yet hardly anyone has such conversations. The documentary filmmakers B.Z. Goldberg and Justin Shapiro were able to confront and overcome these obstacles for a time. The 2002 documentary film, Promises, explores the nature of these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who dared to cross the lines to meet their neighbors.

      The screening — the first in the Difficult Dialogues film series — was framed by an introduction from Ian DeZalia, and a wrap—up Kevin Anderson. DeZalia, a Difficult Dialogues Fellow, invited viewers to keep in mind their own definition of dialogue while watching the film — when during the course of the story did they see dialogue occurring or being hindered, and what were the conditions that allowed for this to happen? After the film, Kevin Anderson, a Screen Studies professor, asked viewers to consider how the directors' choices shaped the dialogue between the children, and also to remember as viewers, that we are in a constant dialogue with the film itself.

      Participants remained after the film to discuss these questions, and the issues behind the film, in small informal groups. The conversations gave people an opportunity to digest more fully what they had seen, as well as to engage with one another, to share their views, and to listen.

      Drumming as Dialogue Workshop | Nov 8

      drumming   drums   drumming

      Nonverbal dialogue held sway this night on Clark's campus, in the first event of the Difficult Dialogues Arts Series. Led by drummers from Earth Spirit, workshop participants were invited to communicate in a entirely new sphere. Drumming is a unique form of dialogue, dependent on keen listening and creative, natural response through rhythm and movement. The leader of the group opened the program by stressing that active listening is critical to dialogue and good communication.

      After passing out pairs of long plastic tubes in bright red, yellows, blues and greens, he divided the group in three "bands" and invited each person to begin to play a beat. He encouraged all to listen to other rhythms being played in the group, then to join in. With laughter and energy, each group sifted through the chaos and began to create a rhythm and syncopation, experimenting as a group until they arrived at a beat they liked. The room filled with a pleasant rhythm that began as a tentative patter and rose in exuberance. The drumming leader reminded the group, "Like when there are too many words, and you can't hear what's being said, keep the rhythms simple. Figure out what you can do to contribute to the drama." Once the bands had connected in their communication through music, they were introduced to a variety of different instruments — from the jembe for powerful slap, to the small june that keeps the rhythm pulsing underneath. Bells were added to add color to the musical conversation, as well as claves and shakers.