identity

This year’s Spectrum Conference – for Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education, Capacity Building, and Training in Response for Underserved Sexual and Gender Minorities takes place July 9-10 in Albany, New York.

Among the sessions this year will be Nine on IX, nine higher ed attorneys discussing the past and future of Title IX; an update on the state of HIV/AIDS; a panel of LGBTQI+ Presidents discussing successes and remaining challenges; and the first ever national keynote by Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, who tried to purchase a wedding cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, a case that went to the Supreme Court last year.

We welcome: SUNY Associate Counsel Joseph Storch, and SUNY Director of Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Elizabeth Brady.

Book cover - Inheritance

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history crumbled beneath her.

Inheritance is a book about secrets: secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history.

Dani Shapiro is the author of the memoirs "Hourglass," "Still Writing," "Devotion," and "Slow Motion" and five novels including "Black & White" and "Family History." She will be part of Oblong Books and Music White Hart Speaker Series on March 19 at 6 p.m.

"In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia's Eleven Time Zones" is Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey Tayler’s unique combination of travelogue, current affairs, and history, showing how Russia’s dimensions have shaped its identity and culture through the decades.

With exclusive insider status as Nikita Khrushchev’s great grand-daughter, and an ex-pat living and reporting on Russia and the Soviet Union since 1993, Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey Tayler offer a poignant exploration of the largest country on earth through their recreation of Vladimir Putin’s fabled New Year’s Eve speech planned across all eleven time zones.

Kwame Anthony Appiah pens The Ethicist column for the New York Times. He is the author of the prize-winning "Cosmopolitanism" among many other works. Appiah is a philosophy and law professor at NYU. The latest work from Kwame Anthony Appiah is, "The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity". Where he delves beneath the multitudinous obsession with identity whether by creed, country, color, class, or culture.

Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar and book cover "The Map of Salt and Stars"
Neha Gautam

“The Map of Salt and Stars” is the debut novel by Syrian American writer Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar. It is the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart: a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker, showing the pain of exile and the triumph of courage. 

Gish Jen has spent much of her literary career writing about the experiences of Chinese-Americans. Her latest book, “The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap,” makes the case for the sociological and cultural patterns that influence many aspects of identity.

For many today, retirement and the leisure said to accompany it have become vestiges of a slower, long‑lost time. In a world where the sense of identity is tied to work and careers, to stop working often is to become nobody.

In this "Last Works: Lessons in Leaving," Mark C. Taylor explores the final reflections of writers and thinkers from Kierkegaard to David Foster Wallace. How did they either face or avoid ending and leaving? What do their lessons in ending teach us about living in the time that remains for us?

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion at Columbia University and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and NPR.

Gish Jen is a beloved and prize-winning chronicler of the Chinese-American experience in fiction. Her new work, "The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap," explores stark differences between Eastern and Western ideas of the "self."

She will be in Albany, NY for two events sponsored by The New York State Writers Institute on Tuesday, January 30.

  When Allan Johnson asked his dying father where he wanted his ashes to be placed, his father replied--without hesitation--that it made no difference to him at all.

In his memoir, Not from Here, Johnson embarks on a 2,000-mile journey across the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains to find the place where his father's ashes belonged.

More than a personal narrative, Not from Here illuminates the national silence around unresolved questions of accountability, race, and identity politics, and the dilemma of how to take responsibility for a past we did not create.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s book on parents, children and the bond between them and the cases of extreme difference - was published to ecstatic acclaim last year - landing on best-seller lists across the country, and "Best of" lists from The New York Times, Amazon, The Economist and more.

The book has now been released in paperback. Solomon opens Far From the Tree with an autobiographical chapter detailing his experience as a gay son of heterosexual parents. At the time of his youth, homosexuality was considered an illness and a crime. The book is about the struggle for those who are different and their need to find their own identity.