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Signature Series to celebrate Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor is one of only four authors in the past 20 years to win both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award — two of the science fiction genre’s highest literary honors. Photo: Douglas Levere

UBNOW STAFF

Published April 10, 2017

The work of award-winning science fiction author and UB faculty member Nnedi Okorafor will be celebrated at this year’s Signature Series, the annual event celebrating UB’s legacy of innovation and distinction in arts and letters.

As part of the celebration, taking place April 27-28 on the North Campus, members of the UB community and the public are invited to attend several events:

  • Small Group Discussion, 11 a.m. April 27, 610 Clemens Hall. Faculty, staff and students can meet and talk with Okorafor in an intimate setting. Space is limited; lunch will be provided for pre-registered guests.
  • Keynote Lecture, 3:45 p.m. April 27, Black Box Theatre, Center for the Arts. Okorafor will give remarks and present a book reading before being joined on stage for a conversation with Bruce Jackson, SUNY Distinguished Professor of English and James Agee Professor of American Culture. A light reception will follow the keynote lecture. 
  • Film screening, 1:30 p.m. April 28, Baird Recital Hall, 250 Baird Hall, North Campus. A screening of the short Kenyan science fiction film “Pumzi” will be followed by an open discussion. Written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu, “Pumzi” was screened at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as part of its New African Cinema program.

All events are free, but advance registration is requested.

Okorafor, associate professor in the Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences is a novelist of African-based science fiction and fantasy for both children and adults. In 2016, she became one of only four authors in the past 20 years to win both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award — two of the science fiction genre’s highest literary honors — for her novella “Binti,” the story of a mathematically gifted young African woman who must leave her family and customs to attend the galaxy’s most respected university.

Born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents, Okorafor is known for weaving African culture into creative, evocative settings and memorable characters. The New York Times has described her novels as combining “politically complex science fiction and lyrical fantasy.”