The NYS Writers Institute’s Spring 2019 lineup is dedicated to UAlbany’s 175th Anniversary!
In an eagerly awaited harbinger of spring, the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany announces its schedule of the Visiting Writers Series and Classic Film Series totaling nearly three dozen events for the spring 2019 semester.
The Writers Institute’s entire spring series is dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the founding of the University at Albany in 1844 and its literary events are part of UAlbany’s yearlong celebration to mark the historic milestone.
The Writers Institute’s spring lineup includes beloved bestselling authors Susan Orlean (March 1) as part of UAlbany’s series The Creative Life, Richard Russo (April 3) and T.C. Boyle (April 5). Charlayne Woodard, Albany’s own star of stage and screen,will present the 23rd Annual Burian Lecture on February 4. Leading civil rights activist and author Rev. Dr. William Barber II will highlight a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration with a lecture on February 13. Albany native Roger McNamee, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and early investor in Facebook, will discuss on March 7 his new book, Zucked: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, which offers a sharp rebuke of the company and its founder.
The spring series kicks off on January 24 with Steven Pinker, bestselling author, renowned cognitive neuroscientist and an influential public intellectual. Pinker’s appearance is part of UAlbany’s launch of its 175th anniversary celebration, which runs throughout 2019.
The schedule includes a January 28 panel discussion on lessons learned from Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017. The panel features experts from diverse fields, including UAlbany’s nationally recognized disaster preparedness experts, led by UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez, an authority on the socioeconomic impacts of natural disasters.
The diverse range of writers includes a new star of Young Adult fiction Ibi Zoboi (February 5) and Mike Reiss, writer, producer and show-runner of The Simpsons (February 8). Samuel Delany, one of the most influential and innovative science fiction writers, will visit on February 21 and Pamela Paul, a memoirist and editor of The New York Times Book Review, on April 9.
The Classic Film Series will offer free screenings of eight films, including Won’t You Be My Neighbor (May 3), an award-winning 2018 documentary about Fred Rogers, the beloved star of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Acclaimed journalist Tom Junod, a 1980 UAlbany graduate, will offer commentary on the film and discuss his relationship with Rogers and his 1988 Esquire magazine profile, which is the basis of an upcoming feature film starring Tom Hanks as Rogers.
The Writers Institute joins forces with the UAlbany Performing Arts Center to bring “Selected Shorts” to campus on May 4. Symphony Space in New York City produces the program of captivating short stories performed by stars of stage, screen and television. “Selected Shorts” is broadcast on more than 150 public radio stations around the country by Public Radio International and is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes.