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Nearly two dozen events, our 2nd Annual Albany Film Festival, and a series-within-a-series titled American HerStory. See details below on the Tuesday, Jan. 25 kickoff event with Alice Green. 

Spring 2022 Season Schedule


All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask or other face covering while inside any UAlbany owned, operated or leased building. Individuals should not attend our in-person events if they — or anyone in their household — are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.

Alice Green
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 25 
Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
Downtown UAlbany Campus, Albany NY 12203

Free and open to the public. Masks required.

Alice Green is a champion of the marginalized and powerless in New York’s Capital Region. Since the 1960s, she has been a leading local activist and organizer addressing a variety of social issues, including racial justice, prison reform, voter equality, and community policing.

The founder and executive director of Albany’s Center for Law and Justice, Dr. Green holds multiple degrees from UAlbany, including a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. Her new autobiography is We Who Believe in Freedom: Activism and the Struggle for Social Justice.


She will discuss her remarkable life in a conversation with with Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl, author of the book’s foreword and a journalist who has covered her singular career for more than three decades.

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7 p.m. Tuesday, February 1
Recital Hall, UAlbany Performing Arts Center
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public. Masks required.

William B. Patrick, author of the new book, Metrofix: The Combative Comeback of a Company Town, and Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors and Albany’s Capital Rep (TheREP), will talk about Schenectady’s ongoing revival, the role of the arts in re-energizing downtown neighborhoods in Albany and Schenectady, and how citizens, politicians, and business-owners can create new blueprints for the revitalization of 21st century American cities.

Patrick, writer, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and educator, was the longtime director of the NYS Summer Young Writers Institute for high school students, which he founded in 1998. His books include The Call of Nursing: Voices from the Front Lines of Healthcare; Saving Troy: A Year with Firefighters and Paramedics in a Battered City; and We Didn’t Come Here for This: A Memoir in Poetry.

Philip Morris

Philip Morris is the CEO of Proctors, a performing arts center that is central to Schenectady’s redevelopment, as well as a major regional venue for music, theater, dance, films, conventions, and community activities. Education programs at Proctors and TheREP, in partnership with local schools, enrich the lives of more than 75,000 students annually.

Cosponsored by Proctors Collaborative.

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Friday, February 4, 2022

James Ivory, a towering figure of “arthouse” filmmaking during the past 50 years, is the co-founder of Merchant Ivory Productions. Together with his partner, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Ivory received worldwide acclaim for nuanced adaptations of literary classics, including A ROOM WITH A VIEW (1986), HOWARD’S END (1992), and THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (1993). At age 89, he became the oldest-ever Oscar winner for his screenplay adaptation of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (2017). He presents his new memoir, Solid Ivory (2021), an irreverent account of his remarkable life and career.

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Tuesday, February 15
4:30 p.m. Boardroom, Campus Center West Addition
7:30 p.m. Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

Both at University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public. Masks required.

Emily Bernard is the author of a celebrated work of autobiography, Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time and Mine (2019)— a collection she conceived while recovering in the hospital from a random stabbing by a white man at a New Haven coffee shop. An NPR “Best Book of the Year,” the book was also chosen by NPR correspondent Maureen Corrigan as one of her “10 Unputdownable Reads of the Year.” Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert called it, “one of the most beautiful, elegant memoirs I’ve ever read,” and novelist Ann Patchett called it “my very favorite book of the year.”

Cosponsored by The Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College.

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7 p.m. Thursday, February 17
Campus Center Ballroom
University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public. Masks required.

Huma Abedin, political strategist and vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, is the author of the new memoir Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds (2021). Abedin tells the remarkable story of her Indian and Pakistani family, her Muslim faith, her Saudi Arabian childhood, her 1996 White House internship with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, and her subsequent career as personal aide, trusted advisor, and Middle East expert for the former U.S. Senator from New York, Secretary of State and presidential candidate.

Cheryl Strayed (Wild) called it, “an extraordinary memoir about the most private and public things,” and said, “the writing is just gorgeous.”

Sponsored by the UAlbany Student Association, Division of Student Affairs, Alumni Association, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of University Events, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, and University Auxiliary Services, in partnership with the NYS Writers Institute.

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The 25th Annual Burian Lecture
7:30 p.m. Monday, February 21

Studio Theatre, UAlbany Performing Arts Center
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public. Masks required.

José Rivera, playwright and screenwriter, is the winner of Obie Awards for the plays "Marisol" and "References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot." His 26 plays include "Cloud Tectonics," "Boleros for the Disenchanted," "Sueño," "School of the Americas," "Brainpeople," "The Kiss of the Spiderwoman" (translation), and "Each Day Dies with Sleep."

He is the first Puerto Rican screenwriter to receive an Oscar nomination—for "The Motorcycle Diaries" (2004), based on the life of Che Guevara. Other screenplays include Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (2012) and The 33 (2015). A former student of Gabriel García Márquez, Rivera wrote 18 episodes of the forthcoming Netflix series based on One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Presented by the UAlbany Theatre Program and the Jarka and Grayce Burian Endowment in collaboration with the NYS Writers Institute.

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Activist for Human Rights and Prison Reform
7 p.m. Wednesday, February 23
Campus Center Ballroom
University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Registration required. Visit for more information.

Free and open to the public. Masks required.

Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row in Alabama for a crime he did not commit. A passionate speaker for social justice, Hinton was freed in 1995 with the help of renowned legal advocate Bryan Stevenson. His story is told in Stevenson’s bestselling 2014 book Just Mercy, and in the 2019 major motion picture of the same name.

Hinton’s own book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice, was an Oprah Book Club Summer 2018 selection, and recounts Hinton’s struggles to stay true to himself and prove his innocence. The late Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “An amazing and heartwarming story, [the book] restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.”

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Student Association, in collaboration with the NYS Writers Institute.

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Liara Roux, Whore of New York book
Thursday, February 24
Craft talk - 4:30 p.m.
Conversation Q&A - 7:30 p.m. 

Both events in the Boardroom (1st Floor), Campus Center West Addition
University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public. Masks required.

Liara Roux is a writer, sex worker, and political activist who fights for human rights for sex workers, freedom of online expression, and the decriminalization of consensual adult activity. Together with peers in the industry, Roux helped launch the first National Sex Worker Lobby Day on Capitol Hill in 2018. Roux’s critically acclaimed memoir is Whore of New York: A Confession (2021). The New York Times reviewer called it “an original reflection on joy, anguish, sex, love and labor.” Roux, who identifies by a variety of pronouns, has been interviewed in Vice, Wired and the Washington Post, and on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio.


Sponsored by UAlbany’s Gender and Sexuality Month, an annual spring series of the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program of the Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research. Cosponsors include the Division of Student Affairs, Student Association, UAS, and the NYS Writers Institute.


For the full schedule of Gender and Sexuality Month events, visit:

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7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3
Conversation with UAlbany’s Lynne Tillman

Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
Downtown UAlbany Campus, Albany NY 12203

Free and open to the public. 

Colm Tóibín is widely hailed as a giant of contemporary Irish literature. His new novel is The Magician (2021), about the life of major 20th century fiction writer and 1929 Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann, author of Death in Venice (1912), and The Magic Mountain (1924). The novel follows Mann from his provincial German childhood, and his struggles to conceal his artistic aspirations and homosexuality from his conservative family, through the upheavals of World War I, the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Cold War.


Tóibin last visited UAlbany in 2016 in association with a screening of BROOKLYN, based on his novel of the same name, and widely acclaimed as a Top 10 film of that year.

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Lynne Tillman is the author of six novels, five collections of short stories, two collection of essays, and two other nonfiction books.


A UAlbany English Professor and Writer-in-Residence, Tillman is a two-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for her essay collection, What Would Lynne Tillman Do? (2014), and for her novel, No Lease on Life (1998). Vulture named her 2006 novel, American Genius, A Comedy, “1 of the 100 Most Important Books of the 2000s... So Far.” 

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Fabian Ferguson
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 8
Pajama Storytime event at Christ's Church
181 Western Avenue, Albany NY 12203

Masks optional. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Fabian Ferguson, who received his B.S. in Marketing and Management from the UAlbany School of Business in 2007, is an acclaimed children’s book author, entrepreneur, and publisher. His company, F. Ferguson Books, is “devoted to uplifting Black authors and Black lead characters.”

His books include In the Mirror (2021), about children learning to appreciate the uniqueness of their own faces; Jackie Wins Them All (2020) about a gifted and competitive 6th grader; and Daddy’s Arms (2018), which Kirkus Reviews called, “A sweet, uplifting celebration of fatherhood and a child’s imagination.”

Major support and funding provided by the Carl E. Touhey Foundation.

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Rachel Gross Photo credit: Monique Jacques
Thursday, March 10
Craft Talk on Science Writing - 4:30 p.m.
Presentation/Q&A - 7:30 p.m.

Both events in the D’Ambra Auditorium, Life Sciences Research Building,
University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public.

Rachel Gross, award-winning science journalist, is the author of Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage (2021), a brilliant account of recent discoveries by a new generation of women scientists regarding the wonders of the female body. Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Ed Yong said, “Rachel Gross shows how long we have misunderstood the bodies of half the people who have ever lived.... Science writing at its finest—revelatory, wry, consequential, necessary, and incredibly hard to put down.”

A former Knight Journalism Fellow at MIT, Gross served until recently as digital editor of Smithsonian magazine.

Cosponsored by UAlbany’s Women in Science and Health network (WISH).

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Conversation/Q&A with Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill and Paul Grondahl
7 p.m. Monday, March 21

Capital Repertory Theatre
251 N Pearl Street
Albany NY 12207-2208

Free and open to the public. Free tickets
Masks required, vaccination recommended. COVID guidelines at theRep.
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Sharr White is the author of "The True," a new play that explores the bounds of love, loyalty, and female power in the male-dominated world of Albany “machine politics.” The play portrays political operative Polly Noonan and her relationship with Albany’s “mayor for life,” Erastus Corning 2nd, as they wage a battle for control of the city’s Democratic Party against upstarts and progressives in the 1970s.

Directed by Scott Elliott, the 2018 off-Broadway premiere of "The True" starred Edie Falco as Polly Noonan. White’s Broadway plays include "The Snow Geese" (2013), starring Mary-Louise Parker, and "The Other Place" (2012), starring Laurie Metcalf and Daniel Stern.


Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, Producing Artistic Director of Capital Rep since 1995, has worked on and off Broadway and in numerous regional theatres, directing more than 100 productions. She is the recipient of the Norman E. Rice Award for Excellence in Arts Education, Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Chamber of Commerce, and was named a Woman of Excellence by the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce. Presented in partnership with Capital Repertory Theatre.

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Tickets for performances of The True at theREP are available for purchase at  Show dates: April 1-24.

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7 p.m. Thursday, March 24
Virtual conversation with James Odato.
Free and open to the public.

Register for the livestreamed event.

Judith Heumann, star of the Oscar-nominated 2020 documentary CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION, is widely hailed as “The Mother” of the Disability Rights Movement. Heumann contracted polio at age 18 months and has used a wheelchair for most of her life. Over the course of half a century, she served as an organizer of various campaigns, protests, and sit-ins that culminated eventually in landmark legislation to protect the rights of the disabled. Assistant Secretary of Education in the Clinton Administration (1993-2001) and Special Advisor to President Barack Obama’s State Department (2010-17), Heumann is the author of two new memoirs Being Heumann (2020), and the YA autobiography, Rolling Warrior (2021).

James Odato, independent scholar and former reporter for the Times Union, is the author of the new biography, This Brain Had a Mouth: Lucy Gwin and the Voice of Disability Nation (2021). Gwin (1943-2014), a resident of Rochester, NY, suffered a traumatic brain injury at age 40 after a head-on collision with a drunk driver. In 1990, she founded Mouth magazine, one of the most radical and significant disability rights publications, producing more than 100 issues.

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Cosponsored by UAlbany’s Disability Access and Inclusion Student Services (DAISS) and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Albany Film Festival
Donnetta Lavinia Grays. Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan
7:30 p.m. Monday, April 4
Staged reading
Arena Theatre, UAlbany Performing Arts Center

1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Free and open to the public.

Playwright-actor-director Donnetta Lavinia Grays presents her play-in-progress, "Kudzu Calling," a celebration of Black Southern love that is at once familial, spiritual, and queer. Commissioned by Alabama Shakespeare Festival, "Kudzu Calling" seeks to “expand and complicate the Southern narrative for the American stage.”


Grays, a native of South Carolina, describes it as “my love letter to the place that made me.” She has received the Whiting Award for Drama and the Helen Merrill Playwright Award, and her plays have been produced at the Denver Center Theatre Company and Baltimore Center Stage. The off-Broadway debut of her solo show "Where We Stand" received Lortel Award and Drama League Award nominations. The reading of this new work will feature UAlbany students, working alongside professional actors, and include a conversation with the artists following the staged reading.

Presented by the UAlbany Theatre Program and the Jarka and Grayce Burian Endowment in collaboration with the NYS Writers Institute

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7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6
Virtual Reading and McKinney Writing Contest Awards

Registration required for this livestreamed event.

Colson Whitehead, one of the leading fiction writers of his generation, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad (an Oprah’s Book Club selection and winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize), The Nickel Boys (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York.


His newest novel, Harlem Shuffle, was published in 2021. He is the only author to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for two consecutive works. He was named New York’s State Author (2018-2021) by proclamation of the governor, under the auspices of the New York State Writers Institute.

Sponsored by Rensselaer’s Union; Annual McKinney Writing Contest and Reading; and School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; UAlbany’s Department of English; English Graduate Student Organization; Barzakh; and the NYS Writers Institute.

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Tuesday, April 12
Craft Talk - 4:30 p.m., MultiPurpose Room, Campus Center West Addition Conversation/Q&A - 7:30 p.m., Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition
Both events at University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany 12222

Free and open to the public. 

Tiffany Jewell is the author of the #1 New York Times Young Adult bestseller, This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work (paperback, 2020), a how-to manual and guided journal featuring more than 50 educational activities. TIME magazine said the book “equips young people with the tools they need to be actively antiracist,” and USA Today said that it “…helps young people learn in a gentle, thoughtful way.”


Jewell is a Black biracial writer and Montessori educator, as well as a founding board member and former president of the national organization, Montessori for Social Justice. This is her first book for children and young adults.

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Photo: Tony Cenicola, New York Times

Gary Shteyngart

Thursday, April 21
Craft Talk at 4:30 p.m., Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition Conversation/Q&A at 7:30 p.m., Campus Center West Auditorium
Both events at University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany 12222

Free and open to the public. 

Gary Shteyngart, major American novelist, is the author most recently of Our Country Friends: A Novel (2021), a story of various relationships and romances that unfold over the course of six months among a group of friends who take refuge in the rolling hills of Upstate New York during the pandemic.


Writing for the New York Times, Molly Young called it, “A perfect novel for these times and all times, the single textual artifact from the pandemic era I would place in a time capsule as a representation of all that is good and true and beautiful about literature.” The book was named a “Best Book of the Year” by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Good Housekeeping and TIME. Earlier bestselling novels include Lake Success, Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook.

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7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30
Main Theatre, UAlbany Performing Arts Center
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Advance tickets: $15 general public /  $10 seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff-students. Day of show: $20 general public • $15 seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff-students.
For more information, contact the PAC Box Office: (518) 442-3997.

The hit public radio and podcast series returns to Albany with a program of dazzling and original short fiction performed by actors of stage and screen! In honor of their 35th anniversary, Selected Shorts commissioned 35 brand-new stories by literary luminaries, and they’re bringing a special selection to the University at Albany in celebration of this unique and delightful series. Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction — one short story at a time.

Stay tuned to for updates on the featured stories and cast.

Presented in collaboration with the UAlbany Performing Arts Center with support from the University at Albany Foundation, University Auxiliary Services, and the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement.

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