2018: Revolutions

Sept 20—22/ 2018

Save the dates! Stay tuned for more website updates for 2018!

We are very excited to announce New York Times bestselling author Angie Thomas as the spotlight speaker for the Buffalo Humanities Festival: Revolutions.


Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. Her novel The Hate U Give debuted at #1 on the New York Times best-seller list and was acquired by the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins Publishers in a 13-house auction. It has received starred reviews from 8 literary journals, one of the highest amounts received for a young adult novel, and has been published in over 20 countries. The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly both called it required reading. The film version will be released in Fall 2018 with George Tillman directing and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg in the “starring” role.

Thomas holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Thomas’ second novel On the Come Up will be released in May 2018.

2017: Environments

Sept 28—30/ 2017

These are difficult times for educational and cultural institutions increasingly impaired by an epidemic of public disinvestment. Moreover, the last few years have seen the global rise of media markets that traffic in fanciful simplifications, fake news, bigotry and denialism, while dismissing evidence-based knowledge and basic human empathy. But this is also why we see a renewed urgency for the Arts and Humanities to reclaim a position of centrality in public discourse; to weigh in on the big issues of our time, from climate change denial to the rise of fundamentalism and authoritarianism around the world. The Public Humanities provide crucial spaces to help us reimagine, transform, and regenerate our world.

This year’s 3-day Festival will feature talks, music, performances, community debates, and other activities on the theme of “Environments,” focusing on issues of environmental justice and economic sustainability, local and regional activism and planning, and the global climate change crisis.

We hope you will join us for what is guaranteed to be a dynamic conversation between authors, scholars, activists, artists, and the Western New York community – pushing forward our visions for the future through this festival of ideas.

Click here for more information.

A Message from the Director

Dear Friends of the Buffalo Humanities Festival,

I would like to express my deepest regrets for the unfortunate conflict of the upcoming 2017 Buffalo Humanities Festival with Yom Kippur. I am personally responsible for the initial oversight in my enthusiasm to secure keynote speaker Bill McKibben. Since its inception the Festival has been held on the 3rd or 4th weekend of September. McKibben’s availability further narrowed our window of opportunity. Once we became aware of the conflict with Yom Kippur, we internally discussed the possibility of changing the dates but by then McKibben and other speakers had been booked and formal plans had been set in motion. As a remedial step, we asked Bill McKibben for permission to record his talk to which he graciously agreed. We plan to post it in its entirety on the UB Humanities Institute website. Additionally, we have taken steps to prevent this kind of regrettable conflict in the future.

With my sincere apologies,