Thursday, Sept. 20, 6 PM | Buffalo & Erie County Public Library – Downtown Central Branch
Humanities New York presents “Anti-Social Media: Digital Space and the Destabilization of Democracy”
- Safiya Umoja Noble, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication, author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
- Siva Vaidhyanathan, Robertson Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship, University of Virginia, author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018), Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017), and The Googlization of Everything — and Why We Should Worry (University of California Press, 2011).
- Moderated by: Ulises Mejias, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, SUNY Oswego
Friday, Sept. 21, 8 PM (7 PM VIP reception) | Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with reception in the AK Café
Spotlight Speaker: Angie Thomas, “The Hate U Give: Finding your Activism and Turning the Political into the Personal”
- With an introduction by the Honorable Byron Brown, Mayor of the City of Buffalo
Saturday, Sept. 22, 10:30 AM | Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College
Buffalo Humanities Festival: Revolutions
Registration/check-in: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
10:30 AM – 11:15 AM | Opening Performance
Border People | Dan Hoyle
Ciminelli Recital Hall (Rockwell 312)
Based on conversations and interviews with folks in his old neighborhood in the South Bronx, Refugee Safe Houses on the Northern Border with Canada, and travels along the Southwestern Border and into Mexico, Hoyle’s newest piece of “journalistic theater” is his freshest and most urgent. An unforgettable collection of stories from people who live on or across borders both literal and metaphorical, an intimate, raw, poignant, funny look at the borders we all negotiate in our everyday lives.
Dan Hoyle’s brand of journalistic theater has been hailed as “riveting, funny and poignant” (New York Times) and “hilarious, moving and very necessary” (Salon). His solo shows EACH AND EVERY THING, THE REAL AMERICANS, TINGS DEY HAPPEN, FLORIDA 2004: THE BIG BUMMER, and CIRCUMNAVIGATOR–all created at The Marsh Theater–have played around the country and overseas. He has been an artist-in-residence at Trinity College, Dublin and Columbia University’s Heyman Center for Humanities. More info: danhoyle.com
Charlie Varon (director, co-developer) is an artist-in-residence at The Marsh Theater in San Francisco. He has collaborated with Dan Hoyle on his solo shows Circumnavigator, Tings Dey Happen and The Real Americans. charlievaron.com
Special Thanks to the Fleishhacker Foundation, the Zellerbach Foundaion, and Columbia University’s Heyman Center for Humanities.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | SESSION I
Revolution Squared | Mark Hammer + Ed Taylor
Ciminelli Recital Hall (Rockwell 312)
In a short performance created for the Festival, Hammer and Taylor examine revolution and “revolution” in a 2-person presentation infusing elements of performance art, drama, and spoken word into an exploration of revolution and the frames within which it exists, including the academic and scholarly.
The performance will include elements of radio play, interrogation, conversation, dramatic monologue, and the seminal February 25, 1967 New York City event “TV Dinner: Homage to EAT (Food for Thought), organized by Experiments in Art and Technology, Inc. (EAT), featuring Robert Creeley, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jack Tworkov, Lyn Lye, and Stan VanDerBeek.
Youth at the Front Lines of Climate Justice | Workshop | WNY Environmental Alliance Youth & Climate Justice Initiative | Facilitators: Emily Dyett and Antonina Simeti
This October, 21 Oregon youth go to trial against the U.S. government for denying them the right to a stable climate. This lawsuit shines a light on the many young people concerned about the future of our planet and leading the climate justice movement. How might our region benefit by including more youth perspectives, ideas and leadership in protecting our environment, communities and promoting a sustainable way of life? In this workshop participants have the opportunity to hear from organizations creating space for youth in the climate justice (and other) movements, and to engage in conversation on the opportunities and challenges of working alongside youth to propel change.
Has #MeToo Sparked a Revolution? | Panel Discussion
- Carrie Tirado Bramen, Director, UB Gender Institute and Professor of English [moderator]
- Karen King, Ph.D., Executive Director, Erie County Commission on the Status of Women
- Tosca Miserendino, MSW Candidate, University at Buffalo
- Margaret Rhee, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Media Study, University at Buffalo
Does #MeToo represent a fad or a turning point? How revolutionary is it? Although the #MeToo movement has its origins in the black feminist work of Tarana Burke in 2007 as part of a grass-roots campaign to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities, it has now become a rallying cry for women internationally. This panel will discuss the impact of this movement and its future possibilities. Topics include the role of digital media; the significance of toxic masculinity, and how to work within institutions from the academy and government to business.<
You Say You Want A Revolution? Remembering 1968 | Victoria Wolcott
Why did global youth movements choose revolution in 1968? Why did they abandon more moderate solutions to societal change? The cold war and the decline of liberalism provide one set of answers. The role of media and theatricality of street protests provide others. This talk will explore these factors at a tumultuous moment in history. We are currently in the midst of the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, and images of assassinations, riots, and student rebellions abound. From Prague’s Spring to Chicago’s Democratic Convention the world was in tumult. But the young seemed to agree on one thing, “We all want to change the world.”
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM | LUNCH
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | SESSION II
Environmental Justice: Viewing Sustainability through a Revolutionary Lens | Panel Discussion
- Colleen Culleton, Associate Professor of Spanish and Catalan Studies, University at Buffalo [moderator]
- Kim Diana Connolly, Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Advocacy and Experiential Education
- James N. Jensen, Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo
This panel approaches environmental justice from three broad disciplinary perspectives: the humanities, engineering, and the law. Each speaker thinks of sustainability as a “revolutionary lens” through which to view categories that define how we approach the environment (for example nature and culture, or sustainability and resiliency). Each in our own way, we ask the question: how can we make environmentalism more just?
Improve the World One Story at a Time | Eve Everette and The Anne Frank Project
SUNY Buffalo State’s Anne Frank Project uses Story-Building and Drama-Based Education as vehicles for community building, conflict resolution, and identity exploration. Inspired by the words and wisdom of Anne Frank, we help surface, create and share the stories of oppressed communities. Our time together will include an overview of AFP’s work in local, national, and international communities, and the theory and practice of drama-based education. Participants will have the opportunity to examine the Humanities Festival theme, Revolutions, through a short story-building workshop.
Poetry, Apocalypse, and the Revolutionary Cosmos | Marshelle Woodward
In the mid-1990’s, a British scholar discovered a manuscript by the previously unknown writer Lady Hester Pulter. Upon further inspection, Pulter, who wrote during the English Civil War and Interregnum, proved to be an extraordinary poet who commanded a knowledge of astronomy, natural history, alchemy, and other scientific disciplines that were often foreclosed to women. This talk explores Pulter’s poetic fixation on cycles of revolution and dissolution that structure cosmic existence. It shows how she drew on her scientific expertise to seek an escape from the perceived tyranny of these cycles – even if it entailed personal or universal annihilation. Through these inquiries, Pulter came to engage with the now-forgotten science of apocalypse that flourished during the late seventeenth century. Though written nearly four hundred years ago, Pulter’s works pose questions about the destructibility of nature and the responsibility of humans to the world(s) they inhabit that speak urgently to our present moment.
Where Exactly Is This Revolution? The Liberal Arts and the Internet in the American College Experience | Mark Gallimore
As a historian teaching amidst a supposed information revolution, Gallimore struggles to understand the relationship between his cherished specialization and his students’ lived experience. How can one teach students to create and participate in socially beneficial things that depend on digital tools and services? How does one decide that a new web-mediated way of doing or communicating something is worthwhile to use in coursework, and is not just a passing fad, or an anti-intellectual influence? The internet challenges us with more distractions, but it also presents possibilities, and in any case, the liberal arts are more and urgently relevant in the internet era.
2:15 PM – 2:30 PM | BREAK
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | SESSION III
Buffalo-Niagara at the Crossroads | Panel Discussion
- Ingabire Adam, Junior, Emerson School of Hospitality and Fellow, Western New York Environmental Alliance’s Youth & Climate Justice Initiative
- Lorna C. Hill, Founder and Artistic Director of Ujima Company, Inc
- Sam Magavern, Executive Director, Partnership for the Public Good [moderator]
- Andrew Marcum, Adjunct Professor of Disability Studies for the City University of New York and Program Director at the Center for Self Advocacy
- John Washington, Director of Organizing, PUSH Buffalo
How can Buffalo-Niagara move from an extractive economy that treats people, places, and things as disposable to a regenerative and equitable economy? Ten non-profit groups have formed the Crossroads Collective to pursue this “just transition” through art, organizing, research, and advocacy. Learn about the Crossroads campaigns to improve public transit, pass statewide climate justice legislation, and enhance the quality and sustainability of Buffalo public school food. Hear an excerpt from the Ujima Company play, Free Fred Brown, and explore the role of grassroots arts groups in advancing environmental justice and creating a beloved community.
Social Justice Movements, Social Media, and Best Practices | Doug Tewksbury
For those who work to foster social justice, the social media question can be a difficult and sometimes confusing one. But used in the right way, these technologies can be useful tools for movements and activists.
This talk presents what we’ve learned about how to best use these technologies, using findings from the researcher’s on-the-ground work with movement participants in Ferguson, New York, Quebec, and elsewhere, as well as what other researchers have found on how these technologies can be a useful tool for justice.
We’ll discuss with an eye toward the practical takeaway: best practices, strategies and tactics, mistakes to avoid, when to start sharing (and when to stop), how to get people mobilized, and the many ways that these technologies can help movements build community, empathy, hope, and solidarity.
Monument Wars Never End, But the Battles Change | Thomas A. Chambers
Monuments and buildings across the United States commemorate battles, generals, presidents, inventors and celebrities. Today we argue over removing slaveholders’ names from schools or revoking honorary degrees from sexual predators. Controversies over erecting and naming monuments and buildings date to 1781, when the Continental Congress authorized a monument celebrating the American victory at Yorktown. The Revolutionary War began the nation’s argument over who and what to commemorate, and those battles continue today, but on different terms. This talk compares Revolutionary War monuments with modern battles over remembering history. Contesting memory is as American as…the slaveowner George Washington?
Book Discussion: Revolution, Human Rights and Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give | Panel Discussion
- Facilitator: Karen Sands-O’Connor, Professor of English, SUNY Buffalo State
- Alicia Land, Senior, Buffalo Seminary
- Gwen O’Connor, Senior, Buffalo Seminary
- Lucia Schmid, Senior, Buffalo Seminary
Professor Karen Sands-O’Connor will examine how The Hate U Give specifically relates to revolution and human rights. A discussion of the novel will follow with a panel of young women (all seniors in high school) who will share their unique perspectives on the story of Starr. The audience will be invited to participate in the discussion with a closing Q&A session.
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | CLOSING RECEPTION
Stay for a *free* beer (for attendees 21 and older) featuring music by the Autonomous Vehicles and beer by Community Beer Works.