The mic is live.

The Baldy Center proudly sponsors a series of speakers each year who share their ongoing work on important topics in law and society. The speakers provide an important catalyst for research and dialogue in the Baldy community. Our events are held according to UB's developing COVID-19 related protocols.


Baldy Distinguished Speakers generally provide advance materials or working drafts of their papers to facilitate discussion. Advance papers are available to the UB community, here

If you would like assistance in accessing a paper, please contact us via telephone: 716-615-2102; or via email: baldycenter@buffalo.edu

After the event the materials and draft papers are no longer available in recognition that the draft paper is likely to change and the final version may be published elsewhere.

FALL 2021

October 25, 2021

Ehlimana Memišević (University of Sarajevo; Fulbright Scholar, Vanderbilt University)

Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ehlimana Memisevic.

Ehlimana Memišević, PhD

OCTOBER 25, 2021

Monday, 12:00 (Lunch) 12:30  to 2:00 PM (ET)
Location: 684 Baldy Hall, North Campus
Zoom Alternative (see details below).

Abstract: The 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina – which involved systematic violence against the ethnic ‘other’ through the genocidal campaigns of ‘ethnic cleansing’– resulted in more than 100,000 deaths, some 2.5 million displaced, 800,000 destroyed homes and the widespread abuse of human rights. Denial of the crimes committed, including genocide, started immediately after or even during the genocide, and it changed forms over the time. In recent years genocide and the war crimes are not only denied, but celebrated and glorified along with its perpetrators. By dehumanising the victims and rehabilitating the perpetrators, denial prevents the wounds inflicted by the genocide from healing and obstructs the reconciliation process. In the words of the prominent genocide scholar, Israel W Charny, in addition to denial responsibility, denials are celebrations of destruction, renewed humiliations of survivors, and metaphorical murders of historical truth and collective memory that increase the risk of the future genocides. Genocide committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina is now used as an inspiration for terrorists and far-right extremists around the world.

Speaker Bio: Ehlimana Memišević, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Legal History and Comparative Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Sarajevo. She holds her B.A., M. A.  and PhD in Law from the University of Sarajevo. She is currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the College of Arts and Science, at the Vanderbilt University. Her major research fields include genocide studies and legal history. 

Speaker's related articles: 

Co-sponsors: The Baldy Center and UB Institute for Sustainable Global Engagement (ISGE), School of Social Work

Contact: Filomena M. Critelli, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies, Co-Director Institute for Sustainable Global Engagement, UB School of Social Work
Email: fmc8@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716 645-1250

November 3, 2021

Wang Feng (UC Irvine)

China’s Age of Abundance: Origins, Ascendance, and Aftermaths

Wang Feng, PhD.

Wang Feng, PhD




November 3, 2021, Wednesday, 12:00 p.m.
509 O’Brian Hall, UB North Campus 

Join us for a presentation by Wang Feng, PhD (UC Irvine). Professor Wang is leading expert on Chinese demography and economic inequality. His research interests include comparative demographic, economic, and social processes, social inequality in state socialisms, and, contemporary Chinese society. The event is co-sponsored UB Confucius Institute, The Baldy Center, and CAS Department of Sociology and is free and open to the public.

Seating is limited for this event and registration is required.

Contact The Baldy Center or Confucius Institute with questions.

Recent Publication: Convergence to Very Low Fertility in East Asia: Processes, Causes, and Implications. (Noriko O. Tsuya, Minja K. Choe, and Wang Feng). Springer. 2019.

Speaker Bio: Wang Feng is professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and an adjunct professor of sociology and demography at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He has done extensive research on global social and demographic changes, comparative population and social history, and social inequality, with a focus on China. He is the author of multiple books, and his research articles have been published in venues including Population and Development Review, Demography, Science, The Journal of the Economics of Aging, The Journal of Asian Studies, The China Journal, and International Migration Review. He has served on expert panels for the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and as a senior fellow and the director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy. His work and views have appeared in media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The Guardian, Economist, NPR, CNN, BBC, and others. Speaker profile.




February 18, 2022

After Genocide: Memory and Reconciliation in Rwanda


Nicole Fox

February 18, 2022, 509 O’Brian Hall
Friday, 12:30 PM (ET)

Co-sponsored with UB Department of Sociology.
Advanced registration is required. Registration details forthcoming.

Abstract: Memorials are powerful mechanisms for societies transitioning from mass atrocity to more peaceful ones. In this talk, Dr. Nicole Fox analyzes how memorials impact the aftermath of atrocity, documenting how state narratives to remember the past often marginalize financially distressed survivors, women, and orphans. Drawing on extensive interviews with Rwandan genocide survivors, and a decade of ethnographic fieldwork, Dr. Fox reveals survivors’ relationship to these spaces and how they impact various reconciliation processes. By analyzing the varied perspectives, decisions, and actions that create collective memories, Dr. Fox illustrates how the amplification of inequality over time shapes present-day crime, victimology, and law. 

Speaker Bio: Nicole Fox, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at California State University Sacramento. Her research centers on how racial and ethnic contention impacts communities, with a focus on how remembrances of adversity shape social change and collective memory. Her most recent project examines individuals who conducted acts of rescue during episodes of mass violence, theorizing the social factors that shape such high-risk actions. Her 2021 book (University of Wisconsin Press) focuses on how memorials to past atrocity impacts community development and reconciliation for survivors of genocide and genocidal rape. Her work has been supported by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Prevention Innovation Research Center, and the American Sociological Society’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline, among others. Her scholarship has been published in Social Forces, Social Problems, Signs, Sociological Forum, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Genocide Research and others. Faculty profile.

April 1, 2022

Michael J. Nelson (Pennsylvania State University)

"The Elevator Effect: Contact and Collegiality in the American Judiciary"

Michael J. Nelson, Associate Professor of Political, Science at the Pennsylvania State UniversityJeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor in Political Science and . His.

Michael J. Nelson

APRIL 1, 2022 

Co-sponsored with UB Department of Political Science.
Advanced registration is required. Registration details forthcoming.

Abstract: Prominent explanations for appellate review prioritize the ideological alignment of the lower and reviewing courts. We suggest that interpersonal relationships play an important role. The effect of an appellate judge's ideology on her decision to reverse depends on the level of interpersonal contact between the trial and appellate judge due to information provided by social and professional interactions. Relying on a dataset of all published Fourth Amendment search and seizure decisions from 1953-2010, we find that interpersonal relationships can dampen the effect of ideology in appellate review. When an appellate and trial court judge have frequent contact, the effect of ideology on the appellate judge's decision to reverse is essentially imperceptible. These findings speak to the importance of relationships in principal-agent arrangements generally and have implications for the structure of the federal judiciary and our understanding of the limits of ideological judicial decisionmaking.

Speaker Bio: Michael J. Nelson  is Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor in Political Science and associate professor of political science at the Pennsylvania State University. His research, funded by the National Science Foundation and Russell Sage Foundation, examines the causes and consequences of judicial power. He is the author of Judging Inequality and The Politics of Federal Prosecution. Faculty profile.




The Baldy Center Book Talk is co-sponsored by UB Department of Sociology

Hadar Aviram, Online Book Talk

Yesterday's Monsters The Manson Family Cases and the Illusion of Parole

Hadar Aviram, Book Talk.

Hadar Aviram (UC Hastings Law)

Yesterday's Monsters The Manson Family Cases and the Illusion of Parole (UC Press 2020).

Related news, December 2020: Leslie Van Houtenan, the imprisoned follower of Manson convicted in the 1969 killing spree, was denied parole for the fourth time in four years.

The Baldy Center invites you to join us online, Friday, 12:00 p.m., March 5, 2021, for the Book Talk by Hadar Aviram. The online event is free and open to the public with advance registration.

Hadar Aviram specializes in criminal justice, civil rights, law and politics, and social movements, and her research employs socio-legal perspectives and methodologies. Her first book Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment (UC Press, 2015, winner of the CHOICE Award for Academic Titles) analyzes the impact of the financial crisis on the American correctional landscape. Her second book The Legal Promise and the Process of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is an anthology of studies inspired by the work of Malcolm Feeley. Her third book Yesterday’s Monsters: The Manson Family Cases and the Illusion of Parole (UC Press, 2020) examines the California parole process through 50 years of parole transcripts in the Manson Family cases. One of the leading voices in the state and nationwide against mass incarceration, Prof. Aviram is a frequent media commentator on politics, immigration, criminal justice policy, civil rights, and the Trump Administration. Her blog, California Correctional Crisis, covers criminal justice policy in California.

Prof. Aviram holds LL.B. and M.A. (criminology) degrees from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC Berkeley, where she studied as a Fulbright Fellow and a Regents Intern. She is a member of the California and Israel Bars. Prior to joining the Hastings faculty in 2007, she practiced as a military defense attorney in Israel and taught at Tel Aviv and Haifa Universities. See faculty profile.

About the book: In 1969, the world was shocked by a series of murders committed by Charles Manson and his “family” of followers. Although the defendants were sentenced to death in 1971, their sentences were commuted to life with parole in 1972; since 1978, they have been regularly attending parole hearings. Today all of the living defendants remain behind bars.

Relying on nearly fifty years of parole hearing transcripts, as well as interviews and archival materials, Hadar Aviram invites readers into the opaque world of the California parole process—a realm of almost unfettered administrative discretion, prison programming inadequacies, high-pitched emotions, and political pressures. Yesterday’s Monsters offers a fresh longitudinal perspective on extreme punishment.

Book Talk sponsor: UB CAS Center for Diversity Innovation

Event co-sponsors: The Baldy Center and UB's Office of Inclusive Excellence

William A. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen, Online Book Talk

Join us for the online book talk by William A. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen, co-authors of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century (UNC PRess, 2020). Their work confronts racial injustices head-on, and make the most comprehensive case to date for economic reparations for U.S. descendants of slavery. The book contains a stark assessment of the intergenerational effects of white supremacy on black economic well-being. Darity and Mullen examine past and present to measure the inequalities borne of slavery. Linking monetary values to historical wrongs, they assess the literal and figurative costs of justice denied in the 155 years since the end of the Civil War. The co-authors offer a detailed roadmap for an effective reparations program, including payment to each documented U.S. descendant of slavery. The event is sponsored by the UB Center for Diversity Innovation. Co-sponsors include The Baldy Center and UB's Office of Inclusive Excellence. 

See the UB Center for Diversity Innovation website to learn more about the event.

 William A. Darity.

 William A. Darity, PhD

A. Kirsten Mullen.

A. Kirsten Mullen

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century.