Book Manuscript Workshops


The Baldy Center sponsors workshops to assist UB authors in making their book manuscripts as strong as possible prior to publication. This page contains a listing of Book Manuscript Workshops hosted by the center since 1999. UB faculty are encouraged to submit applications when they feel they have a manuscript sufficiently developed to benefit from an intensive review by external experts.

Fall 2021 Book Manuscript Workshop

DECEMBER 3, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Moral Debt in Modern America
Daniel Platt, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, University of Illinois Springfield;
Baldy Center Postdoctoral Fellow in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies 2019-2021
(Manuscript developed as a postdoctoral fellow at The Baldy Center)

Manuscript Abstract

Modern life brims with instruments of credit and debt. Our wallets swell with Visas and Mastercards. Our homes and cars are paid off month after month at interest. Student loans transform higher education into a generational millstone, exempt from the release of bankruptcy. What are the stories we tell about these ubiquitous financial entanglements? How do we square them with the liberal ideals of freedom and self-possession? What role do we identify for the law in preserving our sovereign selves amidst so much borrowing and promising and owing and repaying?

These are the questions of our moral and political present. Yet they are also dilemmas that consumed Americans of the past, perhaps in no period more than the decades between the end of the Civil War and the dawn of the New Deal. This was an era framed by a political culture of liberal individualism and a political economy of personal indebtedness. Moral Debt in Modern America considers how a diverse galley of Americans, from freedpeople, farmers, and feminists to jurists, progressive reformers, and social scientists, understood the risks of financial obligation and how they used the law to address their ethical concerns. In tracing the lives of the legal experiments they refined and the public debates they engendered, the book uncovers a neglected history of acculturation to the modern indebted world. On the strength of new notions of dependency and service, order and efficiency, longstanding preoccupations with the sovereignty of the financial self were curbed and a more debt-dependent American economy was permitted to grow and thrive.

Manuscript Readers

  • Lawrence Glickman, Cornell University
  • Amy Dru Stanley, University of Chicago
  • K-Sue Park, Georgetown University
  • Jamie Pietruska, Rutgers University


Event Registration
The event is free and open to the public with advance registration. To register for the event and access the manuscript, email



Spring 2021 Book Manuscript Workshop

SETTLING NATURE: The Biopolitics of Conservation in Palestine/Israel

Dr. Irus Braverman

Online April 30, 2021 

Settling Nature presents a bricolage of stories that wander in between more or less protected nature reserves and more or less protected animal bodies, illuminating the co-production of settler colonialism and wildlife conservation. Drawing on more than sixty in-depth interviews with Israeli nature officials and on observations of their work conducted between 2015 and 2021, the book examines the biopolitical premises underlying wildlife management in Palestine/Israel. 


  • Emily Reisman, Assistant Professor, Department of Environment and Sustainability, University at Buffalo


Book Manuscript Workshops hosted by The Baldy Center since 1999

April 5, 2019
509 Baldy Hall, North Campus
12:00 Lunch;  12:30 Workshop
Laura Ford, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Bard College
Baldy Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2014-2016

"The Intellectual Property of Nations: Sociological and Historical Perspectives on a Modern Legal Institution,
 is under contract with Cambridge University Press.
Description: In the book, Laura offers a macro-historical, sociological perspective on the emergence of intellectual property, as a new type of legal property. Drawing on the work of sociological theorists, such as Michael Mann and Max Weber, she argues that intellectual property emerged as part of a lengthy process in the ramping up of social power, one that played a central role in constituting the modern nation-state system. In tracing the emergence of intellectual property from its ancient and medieval roots, we are reminded that law is fundamentally about obligation, often co-extensive with religion.  It is this obliging force of law that makes it a bonding agent in communities and social groups, and that accordingly makes it an agent of social power.  From a Weberian theoretical perspective, it is this obliging force of law that, in helping to constitute the modern nation-state system, also enabled intellectual property to emerge with such powerful effects, as seen concretely in contemporary capitalistic organizations like McDonald’s and Facebook. Through this book Laura hopes to contribute to reflection on the role that intellectual property is playing in our contemporary political communities and societies; on the close relationship between law and religion; and on the extent to which law’s obliging force depends on written traditions stretching back to antiquity.


Erin Hatton, UB Sociology

"Between Work and Slavery: Coerced Labor in Contemporary America"
Commentators: Allison Pugh, Professor Sociology, University of Virginia; Adia Wingfield, Professor of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis; Noah Zatz, Professor of Law, UCLA Law

Megan Holland, UB Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy

Two Paths Diverged: Race, Class and Inequality in the College-Going High School, (with e-commentary)  

Jennifer Gaynor, UB Department of Histor
"Intertidal History, Submerged Genealogy, and the Legacy of Coastal Capture in Island Southeast Asia"
Commentators: Barbara Watson Andaya (University of Hawaii), Eric Tagliacozzo (Cornell University), Kerry Ward (Rice University)

Irus Braverman, SUNY Buffalo Law School

“Wild Life: The Nature of In Situ and Ex Situ Conservation”
Commentators: Carrie Friese, London School of Economics & Political Science; James Igoe, Anthropology, University of Virginia; Jamie Lorimer, School of Geography & the Environment, Hertford College; Michael Smith, School of Environmental Studies, Queen's University


Toni Pressley-Sanon, UB Department of Transnational Studies
Istwa: Haitian History, Memory and the Cultural Imagination
Commentators: Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Department of Africology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; LeGrace Benson, Arts of Haiti


Ellen Berrey, UB Sociology
"Bottom‐Line Diversity: Race and Productive Pluralism in the Post-­Civil Rights Era"
Commentators: Khiara Bridges (Boston University), Douglas Hartmann (University of Minnesota), Nancy Maclean (Duke University)


LaKisha Michelle Simmons, UB Global Gender Studies and American Studies
Within the Double Bind: Black Girlhood, Sexuality, and Segregation in New Orleans
Commentators: Thadious Davis (University of Pennsylvania), Rhonda Williams (Case Western Reserve University


Irus Braverman, UB School of Law
Zooveillance: The Institution of Captivity
Commentators: Jody Emel, Clarke University; David Delaney, Amherst College; David Murakami Wood, Queen’s University

Dinissa Duvanova, UB Political Science
The Power of Association: Collective Goods, Selective Incentives, and Predatory States
Commentators: Scott Gehlbach, Peter Rutland

Carl Nightingale, UB American Studies

Segregation is Everywhere
Commentators: Thomas J. Sugrue, History, University of Pennsylvania; Zine Magubane, Sociology, Boston College; Richard Harris, Geography, McMaster University


Erin Hatton, UB Sociology
TempWORK: The Temp Industry and the Transformation of Work in America
Commentators: Julie Kmec, Washington State University, Sociology; Vicki Smith, UC Davis, Sociology