Save-the-Dates: Sept 28-30/2017

The 2017 Buffalo Humanities Festival will be held Sept 28-30 / 2017.

Thursday, Sept. 28, 6 PM
Humanities New York event, details forthcoming

Friday, Sept. 29, 8 PM (7 PM VIP reception)
Environmentalist author and social activist Bill McKibben, “The Desperate Climate Fight: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Moment”

Saturday, Sept. 30, 11 AM
Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College
A full day featuring 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.

On a Budget? Check Out These Festival Freebies

piggy bankWhile lots of you are ramping up for back to school season, we’re putting the finishing touches on this year’s Festival! Our full program is now available for download, and you’ll notice that we’ve got quite a few free events that will be open to everyone.

If you’re interested in history, fashion, or gender studies we hope you’ll join us at our opening event on Wednesday, Sept. 23rd at the Buffalo History Museum where Patrick McDevitt will give a talk on the history of the men’s suit. The talk, a pop up exhibit, and a reception (including snacks!) are all free. The reception begins at 7pm and the talk will start at approximately 7:30.

Another new addition to our lineup is the Kids Tent, which will be open all day Saturday (9/26) during Festival hours. The Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Arts Center will host the “Gender Shop” on Rockwell Quad on the SUNY Buffalo State campus, where kids can explore notions of what it means to be a “girl” or “boy” through activities like dress-up and making their own video art. This is a great opportunity for kids to practice critical thinking skills while also getting a taste of what the Squeaky Wheel offers through its TechArts youth programs.

Between noon and 1pm on Saturday, the Rockwell Quad will also host a free “drag break.” In the world of drag performing, a “drag break” is an interlude during a contest when a drag performer entertains the crowd. Buffalo favorites such as Jayme Coxx will sashay through the Dining Tent in full regalia. Please feel free to introduce yourself and ask the performers questions about their professions and personae. These girls aren’t shy!

If you purchase a daypass by Sept. 23rd, you’ll also get a free boxed lunch from the West Side Bazaar. All daypass holders are also encouraged to attend our Gender Bender after-party on the Quad at 4pm, which will feature live music by Alison Pipitone and a cash bar!

Finally, all daypass holders will be given free admission to the Burchfield Penney Arts Center and to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

See you there!

West Side Sisters

rosaryThe Sisters of St. Mary of Namur have lived and served in the West Side of Buffalo since 1887.  Many of the current sisters joined as teenagers and have lived their whole lives as part of this religious community.  As nuns, their lives have been defined by their gender and yet they have had chances to stretch beyond their generation’s gender roles.  Jonathan David Lawrence’s presentation, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26th from 1—2pm in Ketchum Hall, will include video clips from interviews with the sisters and commentary on changes in their ministry, their neighborhood, and our wider society. Sister Patricia Brady, SSMN, will join us for a discussion after the film.

On their website, the Sisters explain their origins in 19th century Belgium and how they came to live and work in Western New York:

“From the origins of our congregation in Belgium, a missionary call sounded in the hearts of the members. This led Mother Claire to send the early sisters from Belgium to forge new beginnings in immigrant communities of America in 1863. Our first ministries brought us to Lockport, NY, north of Buffalo where teaching became our primary work. Five sisters arrived from Belgium to establish Catholic schools within the flourishing immigrant community of Lockport.”

In the 20th century, the mission of the Sisters focused largely on poverty and social justice issues in the city of Buffalo and beyond. They now have ministries in several southern states, and have expanded to Africa, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

Lawrence’s lecture promises to provide a window into a way of life that most of us are completely unfamiliar with and show how these women are working to serve their community. Prof. Lawrence has been a faculty member in the Religious Studies and Theology Department at Canisius College since 2005.  He is interim pastor of a United Church of Christ Congregation and recently served as president of Buffalo’s Network of Religious Communities.  He conducts ethnographic research on Buffalo’s diverse religious communities and is developing a web archive on the topic.