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Clark to Host Symposium on Evidence Asking “How Do We Know?”

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Clark to host symposium on evidence asking "How Do We Know?"

Clark University is set to host a symposium focusing on evidence that asks “How Do We Know?”

“While it is proverbial to say that facts don’t lie, the interpretation of evidence can be messy and even contradictory. Differences in perception and experience, knowledge and instinct are inherently human and feel even more perplexing in the face of information overload,”  says Meredith Neuman, director of the Higgins School.

Beginning on Thursday, September 27, symposium events will examine how we navigate unfamiliar and uncomfortable topics, and how we balance information from experts with criticism of knowledge that favors existing power structures.

The symposium schedule is as follows:


“From Crime Scene to Courtroom”

Thursday, September 27 at 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

In this talk, Dr. Elizabeth Murray of Mount St. Joseph University will examine the role of evidence in the quest for justice and how critical errors in human judgment have led to wrongful convictions of the innocent. Murray is one of only eighty anthropologists currently certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She also has served as a consultant and case manager for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.



“Unsettled Nostalgia by Mohamad Hafez”

Artist Talk and Opening Reception

Tuesday, October 2 at 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

What traces do lives pre- and post-war leave behind, and how do you represent the experience of forced migration? Reproducing the war-torn landscapes of contemporary Syria, artist Mohamad Hafez presents a poignant and powerful installation titled “Unsettled Nostalgia” that reveals the entangled relationships between home and homeland, refuge and security, and art and politics.

The exhibit will be on display in the Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons through December 7. Please contact the Higgins School at (508) 793-7479 for hours and availability.



“Decolonizing the Middle Ages”

Wednesday, October 3 at 4:30pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

In the past few years, white supremacist appropriation of medieval symbols and imagery has become more visible than ever, from “white knight” KKK imagery to crests and shields at rallies. This alt-right cosplay is in part the outcome of unexamined biases in the popular imagination as well as blind spots within the academy. Dorothy Kim (Brandeis University) will unpack loaded fantasies and erroneous ideas about the medieval period, revealing the complexities of European societies at the dawn of a global age. Clark University’s Valerie Sperling(Political Science) will offer commentary.

This event is part of the Roots of Everything lecture series and is co-sponsored by Early Modernists Unite; the Higgins School of Humanities; the Department of English; the Department of History; and the Department of Political Science through the Chester Bland Fund at Clark University.


“The Death of Expertise: How Attacks on Established Knowledge Undermine Democracy”

Monday, October 15 at 5pm

Clark University, Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320

The constant stream of information provided by new technologies and increased access to education has not made us any smarter. Rather, it has enabled and propagated a wave of ill-informed and angry citizenship, breeding distrust of intellectual achievement and expertise. How do we defend against this threat to our well-being and to the future of our democratic institutions? Professor Tom Nichols (National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College) brings his own deep expertise and substantial policy experience as a strategist, commentator, and best-selling author to these pressing issues of our current political climate.



“Shadows of Doubt”

Wednesday, October 24 at 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Continuing our popular Halloween tradition, Professors Gino DiIorio (Theater), Jay Elliott (English), and Jennifer Plante (The Writing Center) will read scary tales of the uncanny, the unknowable, and the unfathomable.



“Jefferson and the Hemingses of Monticello”

Thursday, November 1 at 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

In 1998, DNA testing corroborated what family histories and the archival record had shown all along. Thomas Jefferson fathered children by Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman on the Monticello plantation. This connection was denied by naysayers for centuries but is widely acknowledged today. In this talk, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed (Harvard Law School and Harvard University) will examine the fascinating history of this American family and reflect on its implications for genealogical inquiry, scholarly method, and public history.

Film Screening

Wednesday, November 7 at
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Each day, thousands of rape kits containing potentially vital DNA evidence languish untested in police and crime lab storage units across the United States. Many have sat untouched for years, long past the statute of limitations for sexual assault. How could such a backlog happen? What can we do to fix it? Produced by Mariska Hargitay and HBO, the documentary I AM EVIDENCE illuminates unconscionable and systemic failures that have impeded the pursuit of justice and those individuals who are working tirelessly to end the backlog.



“A Free Press in Turbulent Times”

Tuesday, November 13 at 7pm

Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons

Recent attacks on the media—from real incidents of fraudulent claims to constant accusations of “fake news”—have increased the sense of urgency to protect the role of the free press. Anthony Brooks, a veteran reporter, producer, and radio host, will bring his years of experience and insights to a conversation on the state of the press today and the stakes for all of us as consumers of the news. Clark University professor Esther Jones (English; Dean of the Faculty) will facilitate this timely and important discussion, just one week after the 2018 midterm elections.


Related Slideshow: New England College Rankings - U.S. News & World Report 2019

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Harvard University

Tuition & Fees: $50,420 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $17,160 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 20,604

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $51,832 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $15,510 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 11,466

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Yale University (tie) 

Tuition & Fees: $53,430 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $16,000 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 12,974

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Dartmouth College (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $55,035 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $15,756 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 6,509

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Brown University (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $55,656 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $14,670 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 10,095

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Tufts University (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $56,382 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $14,560 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 11,449

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Brandeis University (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $55,395 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $15,440 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 5,722

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Boston College (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $55,464 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $14,478 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 13,996

Application Deadline: Jan. 1

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Boston University (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $53,948 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $15,720 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 33,355

Application Deadline: Jan. 2

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Northeastern University (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $51,387 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $16,880 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 21,489

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $50,530 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $14,774 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 6,642

Application Deadline: Feb 1

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University of Connecticut (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $15,730 (2018-19)

Out of State Tuition: $38,098 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $12,874 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 27,578

Application Deadline: Jan. 15

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Clark University (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $45,730 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $9,170 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 3,153

Application Deadline: Jan. 15

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University of Massachusetts Amherst (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $15,887 (2018-19)

Out Of State Tuition: $34,570 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $13,202 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 30,340

Application Deadline: Jan. 15

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University of Vermont (tie)

Tuition & Fees: $18,276 (2018-19)

Out of State Tuition: $42,516 (2018-19)

Room And Board: $12,462 (2018-19)

Total Enrollment: 13,340

Application Deadline: Jan. 15


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