Items tagged with 'arts and sciences'
From the jobs-we-didn't-know-existed file: comedy scientist.
That's one of the ways Skidmore professor Beck Krefting describes herself on Twitter. And she'll be talking about her work this Friday, April 14 at the Bethlehem Public Library:
Why do we laugh? What makes something funny? Skidmore professor Beck Krefting presents "Theories of Laughter" ... [the program] will examine the history, theory and function of laughter using contemporary comedy as a backdrop. With examples from the likes of Hari Kondabolu, Maria Bamford, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, Louis CK, and others, Kreftig will talk about dominant styles of comedy, such as shock humor, self-deprecating humor and contemporary comedic trends.
Here's a clip of Krefting speaking at Skidmore's 2013 commencement. (It's a funny speech.)
Her talk starts Friday at 1 pm. It's free, and part of the library's Coffee and Conversation series.
photo via Beck Krefting website
Baratunde Thurston is a futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic who helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-founded Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. Baratunde is a highly sought-after public speaker, television personality, and thought leader who has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, The Onion, and the gentrification of Brooklyn, New York.
The talk -- "An Evening with Baratunde Thurston" -- is this Wednesday, April 12 at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall. It's free.
photo: Stuart Tracte
The talk is part of the "Real Talk" series at Siena. It's at 12:30 pm on Monday, March 27 in the Sarazen Student Union.
(King was originally scheduled to appear at Siena March 6, but the talk was postponed because of a travel issue. That previous event was not open to the public because of space. This time around Siena says it's been scheduled for a venue with enough space to include members of the public.)
Also coming up soon at Siena
+ Hip-Hop Week 2017, March 20-25, featuring a keynote from MC Sha-Roc.
+ The annual Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture with sociologist Robert Bullard March 28: "Environmental Justice and the Politics of Place: Why Equity Matters"
photo via Shaun King Facebook
Back in December UAlbany announced that Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor would be speaking at SEFCU Arena April 4, and that it was tentatively planning for the event would be open to the public. Details were to be announced.
And now they're announced: Tickets for the general public will be released just after midnight this Friday, March 17 (so, overnight Thursday to Friday) -- that link includes details of how to claim a ticket via the online system. There only be one ticket released per registrant/email address. The tickets are free.
You can register now with the system if you'd like to save time when claiming a ticket on Friday.
SEFCU Arena seats about 4,000 people for an event like this. But it's not every day that a sitting Supreme Court justice stops in town to talk, so there's a good chance the event will be packed.
photo: Steve Petteway via Wikipedia
The annual Hip-Hop Week returns to Siena March 20-25 with a series of events focused on the art, politics, and culture of hip hop.
The keynote speaker this year is the groundbreaking MC Sha-Rock. As Siena professor Todd Snyder, a member of the Hip-Hop Week committee, writes:
Sha-Rock (our keynote) is the first woman of hip hop. She was a member of the pioneering group The Funky 4 +1 (know for their old school hit "That's the Joint"). She was the first female rapper to appear as a musical guest on SNL & was also featured in films such as "Beat Street" and "Wild Style." She had a huge influence on artists such as Run-DMC and Kurtis Blow.
There's a listing of the week's free-and-open-to-the-public events below.
This is now the fourth year for Siena's Hip-Hop Week, which has included talks by Grandmaster Flash and Chuck D in previous years. It's sponsored by the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center at Siena.
A new drink-and-discuss series -- Science on Tap -- is starting up February 28 at the Albany Pump Station. Blurbage:
Science on Tap is an opportunity for conversation, debate and interaction among scientists and the public while drinking beer at a great local bar. Each month local science experts will be brought in for a lively talk and discussion over great food and drink. Science on Tap Capital Region will rotate between Albany Pump Station (Albany), Bier Abbey (Schenectady), and The Ruck (Troy). All events are FREE and open to the public. You DO NOT need to be 21 to come to this event - ALL ARE WELCOME!
The panel for the first event will be UAlbany professors talking about "what science is, why it is important, why it should be funded, and if it should inform public policy":
+ Atmospheric scientist Kristen Corbosiero
+ Biologist Gary Kleppel
+ Sociologist Beth Popp Berman
+ Anthropologist Adam Gordon
It starts at 7 pm on Tuesday, February 28.
By the way: You might recognize Gary Kleppel's name from his work on using grazing animals such as sheep and goats to combat invasive species at the city of Albany's Normanskill Farm and other spots.
The local PechaKucha series is returning to the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus February 10. The lineup:
+ Jill Adams: "My writing practice helped me when my mother died."
+ Shawn Allan
+ John Chaplin: "Building in Wood"
+ Michael Chrisner
+ David Hochfelder & Ann Pfau: "98 Acres in Albany"
+ Natasha Holmes on her art
+ Jim MacNaughton & Nate Wilson, on their experiences of seeing the band DISCHARGE on their disastrous 1986 tour
+ Libby Post:"Advocacy: Now More than Ever"
+ Dan Smith
+ Joe Ullman
+ Lisa Vines on her collection of shopping lists
+ Charmaine Wijeyesinghe: "Looking at the How of Racial Identity"
PechaKucha? It's a format in which the speaker gets to talk along with 20 slides, each slide only on display for 20 seconds. (Each talk is just short of 7 minutes total.) So, it moves quickly and it forces people to get right to the point.
The event is Friday, February 10, snacks at 6:30 pm, talks start at 7 pm. It's free and open to the public.
Sage advertises on AOA.
Michael Sam -- the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team -- will be the keynote speaker for UAlbany's Sexualty Month February 7. The talk is free and open to the public.
Sam had a very good college football career, being named the co-defensive player of the year in the nation's best conference as a senior at Missouri. And his public acknowledgement of his sexual orientation made national headlines, including a high-profile interview on ESPN.
He got drafted by the then-St. Louis Rams near the end of the 2014 NFL draft but got cut before the regular season started. Dallas picked up him, but he didn't stick there. He was Dancing With the Stars. And then there was a a stint the Canadian Football League, which didn't work out. The promo materials for his talk identify him as an NFL free agent, so it sounds like he's still trying to make it in the league.
A role model and trailblazer for inclusion in sports, revered for his unswerving courage, graciousness and fortitude, Sam offers firsthand insight into leveraging individual personal strengths to pursue ones dreams, inspiring audiences with perspective on what it means to work hard to define and achieve success.
The talk at UAlbany is Tuesday, February 7 t 8 pm in the Campus Center Ballroom on the uptown campus.
It's one of multiple events the university has scheduled for its sexuality month.
The spring lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And is the case each season, it includes notable, award-winning writers and events.
Here's the full lineup, compressed and expanded...
The talks range in topic from erotic intelligence to small towns to medical marijuana. The talk embedded above is chef Ric Orlando talking about how he got into the restaurant business and what's kept him energized for it over the years.
The event is part of the university's speaker series that has brought Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Russell Simmons, and Bill Nye to campus in recent years. Some of these events have ended up being open to the public depending on the availability of space.
We heard from UAlbany today that in addition to being open to the immediate UAlbany community, the university is hoping to also open the event further to at least include alumni. SEFCU Arena seats about 4,000 people for an event like this.
So, if you're an alum and/or a member of the general public and think you'd like to go -- keep an eye out for details about available space in upcoming months. (We'll share them here, too, when they become available.) It's not every day you have a chance to see a sitting Supreme Court justice speak.
photo: Steve Petteway via Wikipedia
The panel for the event includes:
+ Moderator Rosemary Armao, a journalism professor at UAlbany and journalist
+ Attorney/political advisor Bruce Gyory, who served in the administration of Democratic governors in New York
+ UAlbany political scientist Bruce Miroff, who specializes in American politics and the presidency
+ Political media strategist Jessica Proud, she was the media coordinator for the New York delegation to the Republican National Convention
+ Boston College political scientist Emily Thorson, who studies "how political information and misinformation reache citizens (through traditional and new forms of media as well as through informal interactions) and the conditions under which this information affects their attitudes and behavior"
Given all the recent focus on Donald Trump Twitter fights with media outlets, questions about which stories got attention during the campaign, fake news sites, and the role of Facebook, they might have one or two things to talk about it.
The discussion is in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on the uptown campus starting at 6:15 pm. It's free and open to the public -- though registration is encouraged (see the first link above).
Thomas Friedman will be at Proctors February 9 for a talk titled "The Big Trends Shaping the World Today: Economics, Technology and Geopolitics." Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 4 -- they're $35 and up.
Friedman is, of course, the New York Times columnist and three-time Pulitzer winner who's written a bunch of books about globalization and related issues, such as The World is Flat (which sold 2 million copies), That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, and the upcoming Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.
He occupies this weird position both as a standard bearer of the thinkfluencer industrial complex and someone who is frequently mocked for repackaging random anecdotes as wisdom, or for just being wrong.
Also, he visited the GE Global Research Center a few years back and somehow didn't end up sharing a Niskayuna cab driver story in his column about it.
The lineup is out for this year's TEDxAlbany, which is December 1 at Overit in Albany.
This topics for this year's talks range from social justice, to erotic intelligence, to historic buildings, to doing things you hate, to artificial intelligence. The lineup of speakers posted as of today is after the jump.
TEDxAlbany is the locally-organized version of the popular TED talks series. Overit hosts the event at a studio in its converted church building on New Scotland Ave.
Tickets are now available. They're $75 and include breakfast and lunch. There's a limited number, and the event has filled up quickly the last few years.
TEDxAlbany -- the local, independently-organized version of the TED talks series -- is set to return to Overit in Albany December 1.
And the call for speakers is also out. From the speakers application page:
When solidifying your idea, ask yourself: What's a controversy in your field that a general audience would understand? What's a common misconception you'd love to clear up? Why is this idea important, and to whom? Who would disagree with you, and why? How did you carry out this idea in your own work?
We hear that organizers this year have an interest in talks that are based on research or a specific focus on some subject or work, and are less interested in the how-to-find-your-passion type of talks.
Here are the talks from last year's event.
Tickets for this year's event will be available later this fall.
US Attorney Preet Bharara will be at Saint Rose October 6 for an event titled "Bribery or Just Access to Elected Officials: Tawdry Tales of Ferraris, Rolexes and Ball Gowns." Bharara will be part of a panel discussion that will include:
+ U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska (also a Saint Rose alum) -- Preska will also offer opening remarks
+ Grant Jaquith, first assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York
+ E. Stewart Jones Jr., the high-profile local criminal defense attorney
+ Times Union editor Rex Smith
Bharara is the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It's not a stretch to say that he's has had as much influence as anyone on New York State government over the past year, with his office winning convictions of both Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, former leaders of the state Assembly and Senate.
The Saint Rose event is Thursday, October 6 at 5:30 pm in the Lally School forum space (1009 Madison Ave). It's free and open to the public -- but pre-registration is required: firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo: US Department of Justice
I'm interested in attending, and possibly participating in, a storytelling open-mic night in the area (if there is such a thing).
I'm thinking of something along the lines of The Moth Radio Hour on NPR, but with an emphasis on reading and hearing personal essays and fictional stories.
The first thing that sprang to mind was the Front Parlor storytelling series in Troy and Albany. But... after a back-and-forth, we learned that M is looking for an event or series or gathering (or whatever) that's more focused on writers reading their work, rather than more informal storytelling.
So, got a suggestion for M about local writers events or groups that might be helpful? Or maybe some other ideas? Please share!
The fall lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And, as usual, it includes notable, award-winning writers and events.
Here's the full lineup, compressed and expanded...
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Ron Chernow will be in Albany November 2 for a public event at the State Education Building. He'll be receiving the 2016 Empire State Archives and History Award from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust. Tickets go on sale today (September 1) -- they're $20.
Chernow is famous for his 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton. It was a best seller when it was released -- and it became one again more recently because Lin-Manuel Miranda adapted it to become the Broadway megahit Hamilton. (He also served as a historical advisor to the show.) Chernow won the Pultizer Prize for this 2011 biography of George Washington, and he's currently working on one about Ulysses S. Grant.
The Albany event will be in the Chancellors Hall of the State Education Building. Chernow will be talking about his career and work with historian Harold Holzer. The event starts at 7 pm.
photo: Sigrid Estrada
The schedule for this summer's New York State Writers Institute's free public readings series in Saratoga Springs is out. And as usual, the lineup is full of names you'll recognize, such as Rick Moody, Claire Messud, Robert Pinsky, Joyce Carol Oates, and William Kennedy.
The readings are on Skidmore's campus and are free and open to the public.
Without further ado...
The people behind the 98 Acres in Albany project will be at the Howe Branch of the Albany Public Library this Wednesday (June 15) at 6 pm for a talk. It's free. Poster blurbage:
David Hochfelder, Ann Pfau, Stacy Sewell, and Tracey Casseus will be leading on the research they had done as part of the 98 Acres Project which looks at the history of the people of the South End before the Empire State Plaza's construction. Their research draws on government documents, oral histories, and local reporting.
We've talked with Hochfelder and Pfau and few times before about the project -- and they wrote about some of their research for AOA. They're turning up some interesting stuff, and really working to get an accurate sense of who lived in the neighborhood wiped out by the ESP.
Howe Branch: Come for the history talk, a get a bonus look at the Rip Van Winkle fireplace.
Food historian Peter G. Rose will be at the State Museum for a talk about how the colonial Dutch influence American cooking. Blurbage:
This PowerPoint presentation is based on a 17th-century Dutch gardening- and cookbook, which features a calendar for gardening activities and a cookbook that explains how to use the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden to best advantage. The 400-year old book with its contemporary theme helps in understanding the kitchen gardens of the early Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley and gives insight in our colonial diet. Illustrations include etchings from the book; works by the Dutch masters such as kitchen scenes by Joachim Beuckelaer; market stalls by Quiringh van Brekelenkam and Pieter Cornelis van Rijck; as well as sumptuous still lifes by Abraham van Beyeren.
Rose is originally from The Netherlands and has written many books about the Dutch and their influence on the food and culture of the Hudson Valley. Her latest book is Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats.
The talk is in the State Museum's Huxley Theater at 1 pm on Sunday, April 3. It's free.
Could be brain food: Siena professor Raymond Boisvert will be at the Guilderland Public Library Wednesday for a talk about his book Philosophers at Table: On Food and Being Human. Blurbage about the book, which he wrote with Lisa Heldke:
Examining a cornucopia of literary works, myths, histories, and film -- not to mention philosophical ideas -- the authors make the case for a bona fide philosophy of food. They look at Babette's Feast as an argument for hospitality as a central ethical virtue. They compare fast food in Accra to the molecular gastronomy of Spain as a way of considering the nature of food as art. And they bite into a slug--which is, unsurprisingly, completely gross -- to explore tasting as a learning tool, a way of knowing. A surprising, original take on something we have not philosophically savored enough, Philosophers at Table invites readers to think in fresh ways about the simple and important act of eating.
The talk starts at 7 pm Wednesday and it's free.
US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will be at Skidmore for a public event March 23. He'll be reading some of his poetry, answering questions from the audience, and then will be available for a book signing.
Herrera became the poet laureate almost a year ago. He grew up in California, the son of migrant farm workers, and much of his work has explored the Mexican-American experience. From his bio at the Library of Congress:
Herrera's national project during his tenure as Poet Laureate is "La Casa de Colores" ("the House of Colors"). As part of the project, Americans are invited to contribute a verse to an "epic poem" about the American experience. The poem, titled "La Familia," will unfold monthly, with a new theme each month about an aspect of American life, values or culture.
While he's at Skidmore Herrera will also be talking with students in a handful of different courses.
The March 23 public is at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall's Gannett Auditorium. It's free.
photo: Carlos Puma / University of California-Riverside
Cornel West will be at Union College March 3 for a talk titled "Social Justice: The U.S. and Beyond." It's free and open to the public.
West is a scholar whose work has focused on race, gender, and class. He's now a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and professor emeritus at Princeton University. And he's popped up all over popular culture, from talk shows to spoken word hip hop to an appearance in two of the Matrix films. Recently he's been publicly supporting Bernie Sanders for president.
The talk at Union is Thursday, March 3 at 5 pm in the Nott Memorial. Note: "The talk is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and priority will be given to members of the campus community."
Also speaking at Union College soon: MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle will be there February 25 for a talk about her work into how digital technologies affect people and their relationships with each other. (as mentioned)
photo via Cornel West FB
Chuck D is, of course, a founder of Public Enemy. In the years since founding the group, he's also been a political activist, writer, producer, radio host, and collaborator with all sorts of artists. His talk at Siena will be the keynote lecture for the college's annual Hip Hop Week. He'll also be talking with students in a course called "Rhetoric(s) of Hip-Hop Culture," which is taught by Todd Snyder, an assistant professor of English.
The lecture on April 4 is in the Sarazen Student Union. It starts at 7:30 pm (doors at 7 pm). There will be no ticketing, so it's first come, first sit.
The spring lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And, as usual, it's full of notable, award-winning writers and events for which to look ahead.
Here's the full lineup, compressed and expanded...
Referred to by many as the "Margaret Mead of digital culture," Professor Turkle has investigated the intersection of digital technology and human relationships from the early days of personal computers to our current world of robotics, artificial intelligence, social networking and mobile connectivity. Her New York Times best-seller, "Reclaiming Conversation™: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age" (Penguin Press, October 2015), focuses on the importance of conversation in digital cultures, including business and the professions. Her previous book, "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other" (Basic Books, 2011), was a featured talk at TED2012, describing technology's influence on relationships between friends, lovers, parents and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude.
If you do a quick scan through Turkle's Twitter feed, you'll quickly get a sense of the sorts of topics she's interested in: conversation, the way people use mobiles, dating apps, privacy, robots. Here's an Atlantic interview with Turkle from last fall about her recently published book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.
Turkle's talk is the keynote in Union College's Founders Day. It's at 1 pm on Thursday, February 25 in the Memorial Chapel. It's free and open to the public.
The lineup is out for this year's TEDxAlbany, which is December 3 at Overit in Albany.
This topics for this year's talks range from empathy, to exotic physics, to the experience of transitioning gender, to farms. The full lineup is after the jump.
TEDxAlbany is the locally-organized version of the popular TED talks series. Overit hosts the event at a studio in its converted church building on New Scotland Ave.
Tickets are now available. They're $90 and include breakfast and lunch. There's limited number, and the event has filled up quickly the last few years.
The lineup (so far) posted includes short talks on topics such as addictive games, designing experiencing, the fertile void (or something), popular poetry, parallels between video games and art, and what happens when you take away the games. The lineup with some blurbage is after the jump.
What is this PechaKucha? It's a presentation form in which the speaker gets to display 20 slides, each for only 20 seconds. So it's very fast paced.
The event is Friday, October 16 starting at 6:30 pm. It's free, and there will be beverages from Druthers.
Also, while you're there, you can check out the Opalka Gallery's exhibit From Concept to Console: Art & Aesthetics in Video Game Design.
Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert will be at Skidmore November 3 for a talk titled "We Are the Asteroid." It's free and open to the public.
Kolbert's a staff writer for The New Yorker, and in recent years has been writing frequently about climate change and extinction. Her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, won a Pulitzer Prize last year.
According to Kolbert, "The earth changes slowly, except for extraordinary moments when it doesn't. At times of sudden change, vast numbers of species have died out. There have been five major mass extinctions over the last half a billion years. We are now living through the sixth. The rate of change on the planet today is faster than at any time since the asteroid impact that ended the reign of the dinosaurs. This time around, we're the asteroid. We are warming the planet, cutting down rainforests, and moving plants and animals between continents. Look around: this is what mass extinction looks like."
The talk is Tuesday, November 3 at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall.
More upcoming talks at Skidmore
+ October 15: journalist Graham Roberts, "Seeing is Believing: Visual Journalism York Times"
+ October 15: ethicist Roger Scruton, "The Law of the Land: Reflections on Law and Migration"
+ October 20: novelist Colm Toibin, "Fresh News from a Small Town"
+ October 21: former US Senator George Mitchell, talking about his new memoir
+ October 29: Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, "Do Black Lives Matter? Race and Justice in America Now!"
photo: Nicolas Whitman
Saint Rose is hosting a screening of the documentary The Brothers: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in Albany on September 29, along with a talk and discussion about the civil rights movement and Albany in the 1960s. Blurbage:
The program will begin with a screening of the 19-minute documentary, "The Brothers: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in Albany." Dr. Scott Lemieux, associate professor of political science at Saint Rose, will deliver the annual Kermit Hall Memorial Lecture, "Connecting the Struggle for Civil Rights and Racial Justice in Albany to the National Movement and Supreme Court Decisions of the Era," followed by a conversation with two Capital Region members of The Brothers: Earl Thorpe and Persell McDowell, as well as with Lemieux. Dr. Shai Butler, associate vice president for student success and the College's chief diversity officer, will moderate the discussion.
The event is Tuesday, September 29 in the Carondelet Symposium of the Lally School (1009 Madison Ave) at 7 pm. It's free and open to the public.
Albany Law is hosting an event -- Bridging the Gap: Police and Community Relations -- this Wednesday (September 16) to "to discuss police relations with minorities and young adults in the community."
Panel members include:
+ Albany Law professor Christian Sundquist, moderator
+ local attorney Gaspar Castillo
+ Albany police commander Michael Hicks
+ Jasper Mills, assistant district attorney in the Albany County DA's office
+ local attorney Mark Mishler
+ Reverend Edward Smart, chair of the Albany Citizens' Police Review Board
+ Albany Law professor Donna Young
Questions for the panel can be submitted to email@example.com.
The discussion is in the Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom (80 New Scotland) at 5:30 pm. It's an open event -- no pre-registration required.
Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn will be at 90 State in Albany October 29 to talk about their newest book A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. The event is being hosted by the Schuyler Center -- tickets are $60.
You probably know about Kristof, a columnist for the New York Times who's become known for his advocacy of issues related to the developing world (advocacy which has sometimes prompted criticism). WuDunn also worked for NYT (she and Kristof won a Pulitzer for their coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests), she's since moved into investment banking.
The couple's previous book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, was published in 2009. A Path Appears also took the form of a PBS series earlier this year.
McCloud is best known as the award-winning author of the influential "Understanding Comics" (1993), a visual treatise on the definition, history, vocabulary and methods of the medium. Later works include "Reinventing Comics" (2000) and "Making Comics" (2006).
His graphic novel "The Sculptor" was released this year. McCloud also wrote 12 issues of DC's "Superman Adventures" and the series "Superman: Strength." In 2009, he was featured in "The Cartoonist," a documentary film on the life and work of Bone creator Jeff Smith.
The talk is Thursday, September 17 at 5:15 pm in Gannett Auditorium. It's free.
A book to keep an eye out for: Not on Fire, but Burning by Greg Hrbek, a writer in residence at Skidmore. The novel is set for a September 22 release and is already getting attention -- including a starred review in Kirkus and a spot on the "most anticipated" list over at The Millions.
From some of the publisher blurbage:
Twenty-year-old Skyler saw the incident out her window: Some sort of metallic object hovering over the Golden Gate Bridge just before it collapsed and a mushroom cloud lifted above the city. Like everyone, she ran, but she couldn't outrun the radiation, with her last thoughts being of her beloved baby brother, Dorian, safe in her distant family home.
Flash forward to a post-incident America, where the country has been broken up into territories and Muslims have been herded onto the old Indian reservations in the west, even though no one has determined who set off the explosion that destroyed San Francisco. Twelve-year old Dorian dreams about killing Muslims and about his sister--even though Dorian's parents insist Skyler never existed. Are they still shell-shocked, trying to put the past behind them . . . or is something more sinister going on?
Meanwhile, across the street, Dorian's neighbor adopts a Muslim orphan from the territories. It will set off a series of increasingly terrifying incidents that will lead to either tragedy or redemption for Dorian, as he struggles to prove that his sister existed--and was killed by a terrorist attack.
Not on Fire, but Burning is unlike anything you're read before--not exactly a thriller, not exactly sci-fi, not exactly speculative fiction, but rather a brilliant and absorbing adventure into the dark heart of an America that seems ripped from the headlines. But just as powerfully, it presents a captivating hero: A young boy driven by love to seek the truth, even if it means his deepest beliefs are wrong.
There's a book launch party for the novel at Northshire Saratoga October 1.
The University at Albany School of Public Health has initiated an "All School Read" program, which invites students, faculty, staff and community members to select and read an important book covering issues relevant for those preparing for careers in public health. The first book chosen is Putnam's Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, a groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap in the United States. The book details how children and grandchildren today have had harder lives amid diminishing prospects compared with earlier generations of Americans.
The forum is Wednesday, September 16 at 5 pm at the UAlbany School of Public Health campus in Rensselaer.
Putnam is probably most famous outside of academic circles for his book Bowling Alone, in which he argued that Americans were withdrawing from civic and social organizations, and becoming less engaged with their communities.
Here's a Washington Post article from earlier this year about Our Kids and what Putnam has been up to recently.
The Mount -- you know, the former Edith Wharton residence in Lenox -- has a series of conversation events lined up for this fall that looks interesting. It's hosted by journalist Kate Bolick. Blurbage: "This year's featured authors tackle provocative and controversial topics including race, gender, class, marriage,and motherhood."
Here's a compressed schedule...
The founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, Geoffrey Canada, will be at Siena this Thursday for the college's annual King Lecture on Race and Nonviolent Social Change. Canada's talk is titled "The Crisis Facing Youth: What Adults & Communities Can Do to Save Our Children."
The Harlem Children's Zone is, in its own description, aimed at "disrupting the cycle of generational poverty in Central Harlem through our innovative and effective programs." Toward that end it's attempting to provide comprehensive family, social service, educational, and health services to kids in a roughly 100-block area of Harlem.
In recent years the program has gotten the support of the Obama administration, which has touted the program as a model to replicate. And the HCZ has been one of the inspirations for the Albany Promise program.
The Canada talk is at 7 pm, Thursday, March 26 in Siena's Marcelle Athletic Complex. It's free and open to the public.
Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. And he's one of the most prominent (maybe the most prominent) writers about race and diversity in the United States. His 2014 June cover story -- "The Case for Reparations" -- got a ton of attention.
The talk at Skidmore is at 8 pm on Thursday, March 5 in Gannett Auditorium and is open to the public.
photo via The Lavin Agency
The lineup this time around had 14 speakers, and included some really interesting/funny/thoughtful talks. One of our favorites was from Hello Pretty City's Laura Glazer -- it's about her voice, and Albany, and making your place, and finding other people. (It's embedded above.)
The spring lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And, as we've all come to expect, it includes both authors you'll recognize and authors you'll probably soon recognize.
Here's the full lineup, compressed and expanded...
Over the weekend the State Museum opened a "major" new exhibit that could be worth a look: "The Shakers: America's Quiet Revolutionaries."
The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, better known as the Shakers, is the most significant communal religious society in American history.
In the 1770s, the Shakers launched a revolution parallel to that of the American colonists against British rule. As the Shakers sought religious freedom, their spiritual beliefs and communal lifestyle set them in opposition to society. Later their product innovations and marketing skill seemed "revolutionary" to the outside world.
Today, the Shakers are recognized for their tremendous influence on American cultural identity through their social, commercial and technological innovations, decorative arts, and design.
Thematically divided into six areas, the exhibition shows how the Shakers' unique model of an equal society challenged the norms of the "outside world."
As you might know, this region was the site of the first Shaker communities in America -- the very first being the Watervliet Shaker community (on land that's now in Colonie). Influential Shaker leader Ann Lee is buried there.
The exhibit also includes a series of talks, tours, and other events. This Saturday, November 22, there's a free gallery tour with exhibitor co-curator Lisa Seymour at 1 pm.
The State Museum exhibit runs through March 6, 2016.
image: D. W. Kellogg and Co. / New York State Museum
The lineup of speakers for TEDxAlbany 2014 -- on December 4 at Overit in Albany -- is out.
This year's talks include topics such as activism, fame, the internet, a love letter to the Capital Region. Speakers include Laura Glazer from Hello Pretty City, Amy Biancolli from the Times Union, and UAlbany neuroscientist Ewan McNay.
TEDxAlbany is a locally organized version of the popular TED conferences. Overit is once again hosting the event at its studio in a converted church space.
Tickets are $90, which includes breakfast and lunch -- here's the process for attending.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Douglas Blackmon will be at Siena Thursday evening for a lecture titled titled "Civil Rights and the Continuing Impact of Slavery in the 21st Century." Blackmon won the Pulitzer for the book Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II -- which was turned into a PBS doc with the same title.
From the author's bio:
Blackmon has written extensively over the past 25 years about the American quandary of race-exploring the integration of schools during his childhood in a Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, repeatedly, the dilemma of how a contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Many of his stories in The Wall Street Journal explored the interplay of wealth, corporate conduct, the American judicial system, and racial segregation.
Maybe you saw Blackmon when he at UAlbany a few years back for a NYS Writers Institute event with UAlbany professor Sheila Curran to talk about the production of the PBS version of Slavery by Another Name.
Blackmon's appearance this time is part of The Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture series at Siena.
The talk starts at 7 pm Thursday, April 3 in the Marcelle Athletic Complex. It's free and open to the public, no tickets required.
Could be interesting in light of recent news both here in New York and elsewhere: Journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian -- the authors of A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition -- will be at Saint Rose for a reading and discussion February 6.
In the first book to explore the new landscape of cannabis in the United States, investigative journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian present a deeply researched, insightful story of how recent developments tie into cannabis's complex history and thorny politics. Reporting from nearly every state with a medical cannabis law, Martin and Rashidian enliven their book with in-depth interviews with patients, growers, doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians, activists, and regulators. They present an expert analysis of how recent milestones toward legalization will affect the war on drugs both domestically and internationally. The result is an unprecedented and lucid account of how legalization is manifesting itself in the lives of millions.
The Saint Rose event is at the Center for Communications and Interactive Media (996 Madison Ave) on February 6 at 7:30 pm (a Thursday). It's free and open to the public. The event is part of the Frequency North series.
Oh, and by the way: Alyson Martin is a Saint Rose alumna, from Feura Bush (we hear).
Also coming up in the Frequency North series: Jade Sylvan on January 30, 7:30 pm, at the Events and Athletics Center (420 Western Ave) She's the author of Kissing Oscar Wilde, "a star-crossed novelized memoir about love, death, and identity."
The spring 2014 lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And, as usual, it's full of notable, award-winning writers and names you'll recognize.
A handful that caught our eye on first pass this time around: Walter Mosley, E.L. Doctorow, Christopher Durang, Walter Kirn, Julia Glass, and Lydia Davis.
Here's the full lineup...
Man Booker International Prize winner -- and UAlbany professor/writer-in-residence -- Lydia Davis will be at the main Albany Public Library this Saturday for a talk and discussion about her work. The Friends of Albany Public Library will honoring Davis with their Author of the Year Award at the event.
Davis won the prestigious Man Booker International Prizer this past May for her body of work, which includes super short stories -- some no longer than a sentence or two -- as well as highly-regarded translations of French works. She also won a MacArthur "genius" grant in 2003.
The APL event is at 1:30 pm on Saturday, December 7. It's free and open to the public.
The APL advertises on AOA.
photo: David Ignaszewski / MacMillan
Khaled Hosseini -- author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns -- will be at Skidmore's Zankel Center February 12. The event will be free and open to the public, but tickets will be required.
Hosseini's appearance is being organized by Saratoga Reads. The community reading org's first selection was The Kite Runner a decade ago. And it's 2013-2014 book is Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed.
photo: John Dolan
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will be at the Saratoga City Center December 6 to talk about her recently published book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. Tickets start at $25.
As you know, Kearns Goodwin is just about the most famous historian in America. She's won the Pulitzer Prize. She's on TV a lot. Her 2005 book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln was the basis for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. From the blurbage for The Bully Pulipit:
From the country's leading presidential historian, The Bully Pulpit is a masterful and deeply insightful study of presidents - freshly told through the decades-long and complicated friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Like with Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedys, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin meticulously and with great perception and compassion captures an epic moment in history, when in 1912, Roosevelt and Taft engage in a brutal fight for the presidency - a fight that destroys both their political futures, while seriously weakening the progressive wing of the Republican Party, and dividing their wives, their children, and their closest friends.
It was that 1912 election in which Roosevelt ran as the "Bull Moose Party" candidate. William Howard Taft doesn't have the high-profile now like TR, but he was also an interesting character, the only person to serve as both as POTUS and chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The Doris Kearns Goodwin appearance is being organized by the Northshire Bookstore, and is part of the "Off The Shelf" series with WAMC -- DKG will have an onstage conversation with Joe Donahue and it will later be broadcast.
The event starts at 7 pm on December 6. Tickets are $25 / $45 for a ticket and the book / $48 for two tickets and one book.
Another upcoming Northshire-organized event: Author Ann Patchett will be at the Saratoga Hilton December 11 to talk about This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Tickets are $25 / $35 for a ticket and the book / $40 for two tickets and one book.
Doris Kearns Goodwin photo via her FB page
Author/educator/activist Jonathan Kozol is the featured guest speaker at a forum November 7 at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering titled "Growing Up in Poverty in America: A Call to Action." The event is organized by the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy.
Kozol's career has focused on highlighting the obstacles that poverty creates for children in urban areas, speaking out against the systems that he's argued have contributed to inequalities for low-income children. A Slate article from last year gives a short overview of Kozol's career, and a look at his most recent book.
The event at CNSE will also include a panel discussion. It event is from 1-4 pm (there will be tours of CNSE before and after). Tickets are $40.
photo: Gloria Cruz
October is ending and that means it's time to turn the calendar page to, um, NANOvember.
The SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has once again lined up a month of events focused on highlighting nanotechnology and what's going at the NanoCollege. The events start this Saturday (November 2) with the annual community day. Blurbage:
CNSE Community Day is a chance for people of all ages from the Capital Region and beyond to receive an up-close look at the exciting world of nanotechnology. Attendees will experience hands-on activities, engaging demonstrations, timely presentations, and guided tours of CNSE's unrivaled Albany NanoTech Complex. Attendees will see firsthand how CNSE and New York State have emerged as the epicenter for the nanotechnology-driven society of the 21st century!
Here's the full list of NANOvember events, many of which are free and open to the public. We've plucked a few that caught our eye -- they're after the jump.
This upcoming event at Albany Law caught our eye: "Carnivore, Locavore, Grocery Store: The Economics, Politics, and Regulation of Sustainable Meat Production." It's a panel discussion and community forum November 7. Panel members:
+ Parke Wilde, Associate Professor of Food Policy, Tufts University, and Author, Food Policy in the United States
+ Jerry Cosgrove, Associate Director, Local Economics Project of the New World Foundation, and Author, Agricultural Economic Development for the Hudson Valley
+ Naftali Hannau, Co-founder and Owner, Grow & Behold Kosher Pastured Meats, New York City
+ Anna Hannau, Co-founder and Owner, Grow & Behold Kosher Pastured Meats, New York City, and Author, Food for Thought: Hazon's Sourcebook on Jews, Food, and Contemporary Life
+ Timothy Lytton, Albert & Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law, Albany Law School, and Author, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food
There seems to be growing public interest in where food comes from and how it gets to us, not just ends but also means. So this even could have some interesting threads for a range of people.
The discussion starts at 7 pm on November 7 at Albany Law. It's free and open to the public.
As you might know, Orange is the New Black -- the popular Netflix series -- is based on a memoir of the same title by Piper Kerman. And that Piper -- as opposed to Piper Chapman, the actual Piper -- is scheduled to be at Skidmore November 12 for a talk. It's free and open to the public.
From the blurbage for Kerman's memoir:
When federal agents knocked on her door with an indictment in hand, Piper Kerman barely resembled the reckless young woman she was shortly after graduating Smith College. Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, Piper was forced to reckon with the consequences of her very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.
Following a plea deal for her 10-year-old crime, Piper spent a year in the infamous women's correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, which she found to be no "Club Fed." In Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, Piper takes readers into B-Dorm, a community of colorful, eccentric, vividly drawn women. Their stories raise issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison.
Kerman now is as a communication consultant for non-profits and "works on a range of issues including criminal justice reform."
So... how much of the TV show Orange is the New Black is like what actually happened? From a Fresh Air interview with Kerman this past August:
The Netflix series is an adaptation, and there are tremendous liberties. What that means is that when you watch the show, you will see moments of my life leap off the screen, such as Larry Bloom's proposal to Piper Chapman, [which] is not so very different from the way my husband, Larry Smith, proposed to me. There are moments in the very first episode, like when Piper Chapman insults Red, who runs the kitchen with an iron fist -- that is actually very closely derived from what's in the book and from my own life. But there are other parts of the show which are tremendous departures and pure fiction.
Kerman's talk is November 12 at 7 pm in Skidmore's Gannett Auditorium (Palamountain Hall). It's free and no ticket is required, but seating is first come, first sit.
[via Skidmore Unofficial]
photo: Brian Bowen Smith
This Saturday -- October 19 -- is Troy Author Day. Blurbage:
Twenty of the Capital District's most popular authors will gather to meet readers, autograph books, and discuss their work. Drop in for a few minutes, or stay the whole time. ...
Select authors will participate in two panel discussions: one about their creative processes and another about publishing.
You'll recognize a bunch of the authors on the slate. A few names that immediately jumped out at us: Lydia Davis, Elisa Albert, Paul Grondahl, Dennis Mahoney, and James Kunstler.
Troy Author Day is noon-3 pm Saturday at the Troy Public Library. It's free. Copies of the authors' books will also be on sale, and portion of the proceeds benefit the TPL.
You live your life as a priest or sculptor. You die. You're preserved, sent off into the afterlife. And there you rest for 3,000 or 2,300 years. Then a decidedly unrestful period. Your effects are split up. You're partially unwrapped to make sure you're not "squishy." You're sold for maybe $100. A steamboat ride to the other side of the planet. Fanfare. Hubbub. Outright mania. Gender confusion. Gawkers. So many school children. An x-ray. Another x-ray. Is that the beginning of understanding? Finally?
To put it another way: the afterlife is complicated.
It's one of themes that emerges from the Albany Institute of History and Art's new exhibit, "The Mystery of the Albany Mummies," which opens this Saturday.
Here's a quick look from a preview Thursday.
This Saturday at Russell Sage College: The second annual New York State Neighborhood Revitalization Conference. Event blurbage:
The purpose of our conference is to bring together neighborhood activists, educators, business people, and elected officials to share successes and develop strategies to maintain healthy and vibrant neighborhoods throughout Upstate New York. As residents and businesspeople, we believe that the strength of our past and our diversity in people, cultures, and businesses, will enable us to make our neighborhoods destinations to live, work, and visit.
Scanning through the list of conference workshops, it looks like there are a bunch of interesting people who are doing interesting things. Among the presenters: Abby Lublin from Troy Compost, Laban Coblentz from Tech Valley Center of Gravity, and Anasha Cummings from Project Nexus.
The conference starts at 8 am Saturday (September 21) and wraps up around 5 pm. Registration is $25 / $10 for students.
The fall 2013 slate of events for the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy is out. And, as in previous seasons, its lineup includes some events that are unusual and, at times, challenging.
A quick-scan look at the slate is after the jump.
A handful of upcoming author events organized by the Northshire Bookstore Saratoga that caught our eye:
September 17: The Beekman Boys
Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell -- AKA, The Beekman Boys -- will be at the Saratoga Springs store to talk about their Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook. Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell own Beekman 1802, a company based around their farm in Sharon Springs. They have a show on Cooking Channel, and were winners on The Amazing Race. September 17, 7 pm, in store
October 17: Anne Rice
Popular novelist Anne Rice will be at Saratoga Hilton ballroom for a conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue (similar to the Neil Gaiman event). Rice will be talking about her new novel The Wolves of Midwinter (surprise: it's about werewolves). Rice's son, Christopher, will also be there for his new novel The Heavens Rise. October 17, 7 pm, Saratoga Hilton - tickets $30 (includes Wolves of Midwinter) (or two tickets and one book for $37.50)
October 26: Richard Russo
Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo will be at Skidmore for a conversation with Saratoga Springs Public Library director Isaac Pulver on "the theme of home and place in Russo's work." As you know, the home and place in much of Russo's work is upstate New York (Russo grew up in Gloversville). October 26, 7 pm, Filene Recital Hall at Skidmore - $20 (includes a copy of Russo's memoir Elsewhere)
photo via Beekman 1802
Franzen is among the most famous and acclaimed American writers. His 2011 novel The Corrections won multiple awards, he's feuded with Oprah, writes for the New Yorker, and Time put him on its cover a few years back -- pegged to the release of his novel Freedom -- with the headline "Great American Novelist." He's also acquired a rep for being kind of cranky -- because of the Oprah situation, and comments such as calling Twitter "unspeakably irritating," As Flavorwire wondered last month, has Franzen become an easy target for being tagged a curmudgeon "or is he just simply a jerk?"
Last year Franzen released a collection of essays that had been previously published in outlets such as the New Yorker, NYT, the Guardian. And he has a book of translations of essays by a turn-of-the-20th-century Austrian satirist coming out in October.
The Skidmore event is titled: "The Novel and The World -- A Reading and Discussion." It starts at 8 pm in the Palamountain Hall Gannett Auditorium. The event is part of the ongoing Steloff Lecture series, which included Zadie Smith last year.
Earlier on AOA: NYS Writers Institute visiting writers fall 2013
photo: Greg Martin
Update: Here's the link for registration.
The World Within Reach speakers series has lined up an appearance by three of top advisers on Barack Obama's two presidential campaigns: David Axelrod, David Plouffe, and John Favreau. The trio will be talking and taking questions as part of a "Inside the Obama Campaign" program September 28 at the SEFCU Arena.
This should be a pretty big event for political nerds. Axelrod was key adviser to Obama as he moved from Illinois state Senate, to the US Senate, to the White House. Plouffe was the campaign manager for the 2008 Obama presidential campaigns and then served as senior advisor to the White House. Favreau was Obama's chief speech writer for the first presidential campaign and served in the same role at the White House.
The event at UAlbany starts at 8 pm on September 28. It will be open to the public, but a ticket will be required. Details on how to get a ticket are still to come -- the UAlbany Student Association, the event's organizer, says the info will be posted on its website and Facebook page.
This is the seventh event for World Within Reach speakers series. It's put together a string of high-profile speakers, including Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Howard Dean and Karl Rove (together), and Russell Simmons.
The "aggressively eclectic" visiting writers series Frequency North is back for another season at St. Rose starting in September. One name that jumps out immediately on first scan of the lineup this time around: author Rick Moody.
A compressed, easy-scan version of the lineup is post jump. As in the past, FN events are free and open to the public.
The fall lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. And, as we've all come to expect, it's full of notable, award-winning writers and names you'll recognize.
A handful that caught our eye on first pass this time around: Jonathan Lethem, Lydia Davis, Bill Bryson, Roxana Saberi, and William Kennedy.
Here's the full lineup...
Over at The Millions, Elizabeth Minkel is writing a diary of her time as a pari-mutuel clerk this summer at the Saratoga Race Course. A clip:
We take bets. It's the simplest explanation for a job that's more nuanced than I'd ever have guessed, before any of this, before the track was something more than a disruptive abstraction on the east side of town. I learned the basic logic of horse gambling ten years ago, hovering over a keyboard as seasoned tellers called out sample bets, struggling to understand the terminology and the different combinations, exactas and doubles, keys and partial wheels, ten-ten on the eight horse, Seabiscuit in the fifth. I've learned a lot in the intervening decade, like how to harness the patience to explain the fundamentals to a novice, or how to decipher the ramblings of a drunk. I work hard to be effortlessly adept when professional gamblers come to the windows, printed stacks of racing stats clipped together, the carefully-calculated permutations of a morning spent handicapping printed at the top in neat pencil. Each series of bets, each exchange is a single moment encapsulated: beneath the numbers, horses and dollar amounts, it's flirtation or anger or joking banter or the drudgery of playing a game only the very lucky can seem to crack.
We enjoyed reading this first part of the diary, the way Minkel reflects on the Track's presence in her hometown and her focus on some of the tiny moments there.
We're looking forward to more.
photo: Elizabeth Minkel / The Millions
The local event based on the popular TED conferences -- TEDxAlbany -- is scheduled to return November 14 for the first time since 2011. The conference will be at Overit's converted church space in Albany and "will feature a mix of local and national voices, an after-hours networking event and other fun surprises for attendees to enjoy."
Like the original TED, the locally-organized independent TEDx events include a series of speakers giving short presentations on a range of topics. The first two TEDxAlbany events included talks from the Capital District Community Gardens' EJ Krans about the Veggie Mobile, Sarah Gordon about starting FarmieMarket, Union College psychologist Chris Chabris on inattentional blindness, and science communicator Jeremy Snyder on the search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
The organizer for this year's TEDxAlbany is Lisa Barone, who spoke at the 2011 event. She's a VP at Overit, which is sponsoring the event.
One of the things that's different about TEDxAlbany this time around is that attendance is by application only. We asked Lisa about that -- and how speakers are being selected...
The fourth Rensselaerville Festival of Writers is coming up August 15-18. Among the lineup for this year's festival:
+ Joan Walsh, Salon editor at large
+ Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show
+ David Rees, humorist/cartoonist (the book How to Sharpen Pencils, the strip Get Your War On)
+ Jan Libby, multimedia storyteller and experience designer
+ Craig Gravina, Albany-area beer historian
The festival is at "several venues throughout the idyllic Helderberg hamlet." There's a range of ticket prices for the various readings, talks, and workshops -- from $10 to $275 (four-day pass). Proceeds go to benefit the Rensselaerville Library.
Davis is known for her short stories -- some of them as short as just a sentence or two. Said Christopher Ricks, the chair of the judging panel for this year's prize of Davis' stories, in a press release: "Just how to categorise them? They have been called stories but could equally be miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables, texts, aphorisms or even apophthegms, prayers or simply observations ... There is vigilance to her stories, and great imaginative attention. Vigilance as how to realise things down to the very word or syllable; vigilance as to everybody's impure motives and illusions of feeling."
Here's an example of one of Davis' ultra short works, called A Double Negative:
At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.
As she told the Guardian a few years back: "When I first began writing seriously, I wrote short stories, and that was where I thought I was headed. Then the stories evolved and changed, but it would have become a bother to say every time, 'I guess what I have just written is a prose poem, or a meditation', and I would have felt very constrained by trying to label each individual work, so it was simply easier to call everything stories."
Coming up at the Radix Center in Albany: Regenerative Urban Sustainability Training (RUST), June 1-2. The workshop is focused on "skills for building ecologically resilient communities in today's cities." Blurbage:
In this class, Scott Kellogg and other sustainability experts give attendees a "toolbox" of techniques and knowledge usable by anyone wanting to create sustainable systems in their own communities. Through a combination of group hands-on activities and lectures, participants will learn how to build infrastructure for self-reliance that is simple, affordable, and replicable. These systems can be applied in either urban or rural environments.
The topics range from aquaponics to beekeeping to vertical farming to vegetable oil vehicles.
The cost for the workshop $150-$350, and includes meals. Space is limited.
Earlier on AOA: Startup contest update: The Radix Center
Award-winning author Neil Gaiman will be at the Saratoga City Center June 20 to read from, and talk about, his soon-to-be-released book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Tickets are $35 (one seat and one book) and $45 (two seats and one book).
Gaiman's appearance is being sponsored by the Northshire Bookstore and WAMC -- Gaiman will be talking with Joe Donahue for the public radio station's aptly named Book Show. The event starts at 6 pm on the 20th (a Thursday).
Gaiman's work tends toward fantasy and science fiction, and ranges from comic books (The Sandman) to novellas (Coraline) to novels (American Gods). He's won a bunch of awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Newbery.
What about the Saratoga location for Northshire? The Vermont-based book store is aiming to have its new Saratoga Springs location at 422 Broadway open by the end of July. It's currently hiring for a range of positions, according to its website.
Gaiman photo: Allan Amato
Sounds interesting: Marguerite Holloway, author of The Measure of Manhattan, will be at the State Museum Thursday evening as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series.
The Measure of Manhattan is a biography of John Randel, Jr, an Albany native who laid out the street grid for Manhattan. Blurbage:
Born and raised in Albany, renowned for his brilliance, Randel was also infamous in his own day for eccentricity, egotism, and a knack for making enemies. He was a significant pioneer of the art and science of surveying, as well as an engineer who created surveying devices, designed an early elevated subway, laid out a controversial alternative route for the Erie Canal, and sounded the Hudson River from Albany to New York City in order to make maps and aid navigation. One of the many delights of Holloway's book is that it also reveals, for modern readers, the original landscape of Manhattan in its natural state before it was "tamed" by Randel's grid.
Holloway is a science journalist and heads up the science and environmental journalism program at Columbia.
The talk starts at 8 pm on Thursday (April 11) in the State Museum's Clark Auditorium. It's free.
Stetler was one of the journalists followed in the recent documentary about NYT, Page One. He's had a remarkable (if still young) career. He started writing the TV Newser blog while still in college and got hired by the Times shortly after graduation. He's now 27.
The talk is Monday at 7 pm in Palamountain Hall. It's free and open to the public.
photo: Brian Stetler Twitter
Judges from the New York State Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court -- will be at Albany Law March 21 for an event titled "The New York Court of Appeals: The Untold Secrets of Eagle Street."* The judges will "discuss the court's procedure and inner workings."
All of the court's current judges are schedule to participate: Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Judge Victoria Graffeo, Judge Susan Phillips Read, Judge Robert Smith, Judge Eugene Pigott, Jr., Judge Jenny Rivera. (Rivera was confirmed just this past month.)
The event is from 5-7 pm in Albany Law School's Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom. It's free and open to the public. It's part of the Albany Law Review's annual Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke State Constitutional Commentary Symposium.
*Because, you know, the court is on Eagle Street in Albany. It's across Pine Street from Albany City Hall.
Albany Law advertises on AOA.
Interesting, in part because it's been such a topic of discussion lately: there's a conference on the adaptive use of historic religious properties at the Carey Center for Global Good in Rensselaerville in March. It's co-sponsored by the The New York Landmarks Conservancy. Blurbage:
Re-use vs. demolition of closed religious institutions has galvanized communities throughout the state and country. Successful adaptive reuses have created jobs, boosted local economies, and rescued buildings of great importance to local communities. This conference will be the first comprehensive, state-wide discussion of why officials, communities, denominations and developers should consider adaptive use as an economic development tool.
The conference will present case studies of successful adaptive reuse projects, with an emphasis on strategies for economic development. Among the projects presented: Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, Rochester's former Holy Rosary Church campus, the former St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Harlem, and Albany's former St. Theresa of Avila Church.
Here's the conference program. It's March 6-7. There's a sliding scale attendance fee that starts at $106.
Earlier on AOA: New lives for old churches
Opening January 26 at the State Museum: Gordon Parks: 100 Moments, an exhibit of work by the renowned photographer and director. The collection includes one of Parks' most famous photos -- a take on Grant Wood's "American Gothic" (backstory) -- as well as images that weren't previously exhibited.
From a Parks bio at his foundation's website:
Born into poverty and segregation in Kansas in 1912, Parks was drawn to photography as a young man when he saw images of migrant workers published in a magazine. After buying a camera at a pawnshop, he taught himself how to use it and despite his lack of professional training, he found employment with the Farm Security Administration (F.S.A.), which was then chronicling the nation's social conditions. Parks quickly developed a style that would make him one of the most celebrated photographers of his age, allowing him to break the color line in professional photography while creating remarkably expressive images that consistently explored the social and economic impact of racism.
Parks would go on to become Life magazine's first African-American staff photographer, documenting many famous figures of the 20th century.
Also: he directed the movie Shaft.
The exhibit will be on display at the State Museum through May 19.
photo: Gordon Parks, "Street Scene: Two children walking, Harlem, NY, 1943" - Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress LC-USW3-023994-E
The spring lineup for the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series is out. As usual, it's full of notable/interesting/award-winning writers.
A handful of the names that caught our eye on first pass: George Saunders, Marilynne Robinson, Gail Collins, Manil Suri, and Eric Drexler.
Here's the full lineup...
Tickets for the talk are available to UAlbany students, faculty, staff, and alumni -- they're free require pre-registration. If you don't fit into one of those categories, but would still like to go, the university says you're welcome if you can get someone from the university's community to claim a spot for you while registering.
Simmons is the co-founder of Def Jam records, among many other businesses. He's also a political activist -- recently working with Dennis Kucinich on campaign finance reform efforts.
Burns -- the man with his own effect -- and Holzer will be discussing Burns' life and "his passion for history," as well as his many respected PBS documentaries, including The Civil War, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, and Prohibition.
The event starts at 7:30 pm. It's a co-production with the NYS Archives Partnership Trust.
The MacArthur Foundation has announced its 2012 group of MacArthur Fellows, who get $500,000 grants with no strings attached (AKA, the "genius grants"). And as it happens, one of the winners will be here this week -- and another was just here.
Junot Diaz is, of course, a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. And now he's a MacArthur Fellow. (That's him on the right.) He'll be at UAlbany Thursday night as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series. From the MacArthur profile of him:
Junot Díaz is a writer whose finely crafted works of fiction offer powerful insight into the realities of the Caribbean diaspora, American assimilation, and lives lived between cultures. Born in the Dominican Republic and living in the United States since adolescence, Díaz writes from the vantage point of his own experience, eloquently unmasking the many challenges of the immigrant's life. With skillful use of raw, vernacular dialogue and spare, unsentimental prose, he creates nuanced and engaging characters struggling to succeed and often invisible in plain sight to the American mainstream.
The Diaz reading at UAlbany starts at 8 pm Thursday in the Assembly Hall on the uptown campus. It's free.
A member of the Punch Brothers, Thile played The Egg this past Sunday. And it was apparently a great show. From the McArthur profile of Thile: "Chris Thile is a young mandolin virtuoso and composer whose lyrical fusion of traditional bluegrass with elements from a range of other musical traditions is giving rise to a new genre of contemporary music. With a broad outlook that encompasses progressive bluegrass, classical, rock, and jazz, Thile is transcending the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres in compositions for his own ensembles and frequent cross-genre collaborations."
photo: Nina Subin / Penguin
Kate Bolick -- the author of the much talked about/circulated/commented/shared "All the Single Ladies" article in The Atlantic a year ago -- is coming to Union College for talk in November.
In that Atlantic piece, Bolick examines the idea of what it means to be a single woman, the changing nature of the "marriage market," and ultimately argues for more flexible attitudes about the way people decide to arrange their lives. Here's a clip:
What my mother could envision was a future in which I made my own choices. I don't think either of us could have predicted what happens when you multiply that sense of agency by an entire generation.
But what transpired next lay well beyond the powers of everybody's imagination: as women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind. We've arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up--and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don't want to go out with.
And here's an interview with Bolick at the Hairpin.
Bolick's talk at Union is November 6 (at Tuesday). It's at the Nott and it's free.
A symposium at Albany Law School October 11 -- "From the Page to the Pill: Women's Reproductive Rights and the Law" -- will include Sandra Fluke.
The national spotlight found Fluke earlier this year after House Republicans didn't let her testify at a committee meeting on conscience clauses in health care. House Democrats then let her speak at a different committee meeting. Fluke spoke about the cost of contraceptives and the lack of coverage for them on the student plan at Georgetown, where she was a law student at the time (she's since graduated). Then Rush Limbaugh happened. Then the whole situation blew up.
Fluke was one of the speakers at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month.
The full lineup of speakers and panelists for the symposium, which is organized by the Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology, is after the jump. From the blurbage for the event:
The panelists will be divided into two panels. The first will focus on whether or not the law can and should mandate health insurance provider coverage of women's contraceptives, and the second will focus on legislation currently affecting women's reproductive rights.
The event is from 1-5 pm at Albany Law. It's free and open to the public.
A handful of the names that caught our eye on first pass: Junot Diaz, James Mann, J. M. Coetzee, David Quammen, Steveny Levy, J. Hoberman, and newly-designated State Author Alison Lurie and State Poet Marie Howe.
Here's the full lineup...
The Albany Law Review has a symposium on free speech issues -- "Violence, Vulgarity, Lies ... and the Importance of 21st Century Free Speech" -- coming up September 27 at Albany Law. And it looks like it's gathered a solid lineup of speakers, including:
Floyd Abrams, First Amendment lawyer, whose wins before the U.S. Supreme Court range from the Pentagon Papers to Citizens United
Dean Alan B. Morrison, George Washington School of Law, who co-founded the Public Citizen Litigation Group with Ralph Nader and who has argued more than 20 cases before the Supreme Court
Susan Herman, President, American Civil Liberties Union, and author, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy
Robert O'Neil, former President, University of Virginia, and founder, Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
Ronald Collins, Harold S. Shefelman Scholar, University of Washington School of Law
Robert D. Richards, founding co-director, Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment, and John & Ann Curley Professor of First Amendment Studies at Penn State
Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent, The New York Times
The symposium is free and open to the public.
Yep, Albany Law does advertise on AOA.