"Environments" Buffalo Humanities Festival
Thursday 28th Sep, 2017 → Saturday 30th Sep, 2017

Various locations throughout Buffalo
Buffalo, NY
Cost: $15 - $100
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The Buffalo Humanities Festival’s mission is to foster dialogue, the sharing of ideas, and the enjoyment of the humanities among the public, scholars, and artists. We believe that the understanding of history, culture, literature, arts media, and the diverse traditions of the humanities are an essential part of life and that this greater understanding fosters civic engagement. Each year, the festival draws on our city’s many rich academic traditions and resources to engage the most pressing questions of our time.

This annual event was started in 2014 and is presented by the University at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute in cooperation with Buffalo State College, Canisius College, Niagara University, and SUNY Fredonia as well as cultural institutions including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Arts Center.

Thursday, Sept. 28, 6 PM

Burchfield Penney Art Center

Humanities New York presents “Turning the Tide: Communicating Climate Science.”


Jacqui Patterson, Director, NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program

Jason Briner, Associate Professor of Geology, University at Buffalo

Elizabeth Mazzolini, Assistant Professor of English, University at Buffalo

Adam Rome, Professor of History, University at Buffalo

MODERATOR: Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer, University at Buffalo


Friday, Sept. 29, 8 PM (7 PM VIP reception)

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with reception in the AK Café

Environmentalist author and social activist Bill McKibben, “The Desperate Climate Fight: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Moment”


Saturday, Sept. 30, 10:30 AM

Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College

The full festival day begins with a performance by Deke Weaver of “BEAR and the Unreliable Bestiary” and continues with talks, panels, and community conversations focusing on issues of environmental justice and economic sustainability, activism and planning, and the global climate change crisis. Lunch by West Side Bazaar is included with tickets purchased by Sept. 25th. The closing reception features music by 12/8 Path Band and beer by Community Beer Works.



10:00 AM | Registration/Check-In Open

10:30 AM | Deke Weaver presents “BEAR and the Unreliable Bestiary”

11:30 AM | Session I 

Panel Discussion: Listen! Youth Voices on Climate Justice | Members of Western New York Environmental Alliance’s Youth Climate Justice Campaign, Massachusetts Avenue Project, and Ujima Theatre

Reflecting on Earth’s Reflectance, or Adventures in Albedo Enhancement | Judith Goldman, Assistant Professor of English, University at Buffalo

Fostering Community Empowerment through Social Justice and Environmental Narratives | Erin E. Robinson, Professor of Sociology, Canisius College

Reimagining Education: Engaging Poverty in Higher Ed | Kevin D. Blair, Professor of Social Work and Chair of the Social Work Department, Niagara University and David B. Taylor, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Niagara University

12:30 PM | Lunch by West Side Bazaar

1:15 PM | Session II

In Our Own Image | Eric Dolph, Professor of Interior Design, SUNY Buffalo State

Who Speaks for the Corals? Despair and Hope in the Anthropocene | Irus Braverman, Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography, University at Buffalo

Human Judgment and Environmental Impact | Jason Grinnell, Chair of the Philosophy Department and Associate Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Buffalo State and Amy McMillan, Interim Director of the Honors Program and Associate Professor of Biology, SUNY Buffalo State

Achieving a Regenerative Economy Through a Just Transition | Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Deputy Director of People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc. (PUSH Buffalo)

2:15 PM | Break

2:30 PM | Session III

Building The Future—What Makes An Effective Change Agent? | Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer, University at Buffalo

My Walks with Olmsted | Adam Rome, Professor of History, University at Buffalo

Evolving Resistance and the Environmental Movement | Leslie James Pickering, former Spokesperson for the underground Earth Liberation Front and a Co-Owner of Burning Books and David Reilly, Director of International Studies and Chair of the Department of Political Science, Niagara University

Nature, Culture, Narrative | Barbara Porter, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Canisius College

3:30 PM | Reception with music by 12/8 Path Band and beer from Community Beer Works

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