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Spring 2017 Distinguished Speakers

Spring 2017 Baldy Speakers

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Distinguished Speaker

Mitra Sharafi, March 3

“Corruption and Forensic Experts in British India”

Co-sponsored by Asian Studies

March 3, 2017
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Mitra Sharafi
Associate Professor of Law
University of Wisconsin, Law School

About the speaker: Mitra Sharafi is a legal historian of South Asia. She holds law degrees from Cambridge and Oxford (the UK equivalent of a JD and LLM) and a doctorate in history from Princeton. Sharafi's book, Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947 (Cambridge University Press, 2014) won the Law and Society Association's J. Willard Hurst Prize for socio-legal history in 2015. The book explores the legal culture of the Parsis or Zoroastrians of British India, an ethno-religious minority that was unusually invested in colonial law. Her research interests include South Asian legal history; the history of the legal profession; the history of colonialism; the history of contract law; law and society; law and religion; law and minorities; legal consciousness; legal pluralism; and the history of science and medicine. Sharafi is a regular contributor to the Legal History Blog. Since 2010, her South Asian Legal History Resources website has shared research guides and other tools for the historical study of law in South Asia. Follow her blogposts   and follow her on Twitter @mjsharafi  Read more.

Distinguished Speaker

Erin F. Delaney, March 10

"A Federal Case for Judicial Review: From Structure to Rights.”

March 10, 2017
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Erin F. Delaney
Associate Professor of Law
Department of Political Science, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

About the speaker: Erin Delaney is an Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University Law School with a courtesy appointment in political science.  In 2014, she held the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the Theory and Practice of Constitutionalism and Federalism at McGill University.   Her research focuses on constitutional design and comparative constitutional law, with particular attention to the role of courts in multi-level governance systems. Read more.

Distinguished Speaker

Douglas NeJaime, March 17

“Assimilating Difference.”

March 17, 2017
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Douglas NeJaime
Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law

About the speaker: Douglas NeJaime is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Director of the Williams Institute. He teaches in the areas of family law, law and sexuality, constitutional law, and legal ethics. NeJaime is on leave for the 2016-17 academic year. He is the Martin R. Flug Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School (Fall 2016) and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (Spring 2017).

NeJaime is the co-author of Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law (with William Rubenstein, Carlos Ball, and Jane Schacter) (5th ed. West 2014).  His recent scholarship includes "Marriage Equality and the New Parenthood," 129 Harvard Law Review 1185 (2016); “Conscience Wars: Complicity-Based Conscience Claims in Religion and Politics,” 124 Yale Law Journal 2516 (2015), with Reva Siegel; “Before Marriage: The Unexplored History of Nonmarital Recognition and Its Relationship to Marriage,” 102 California Law Review 87 (2014); “Constitutional Change, Courts, and Social Movements,” 113 Michigan Law Review 877 (2013); “Marriage Inequality: Same-Sex Relationships, Religious Exemptions, and the Production of Sexual Orientation Discrimination,” 100 California Law Review 1169 (2012); “Winning Through Losing,” 96 Iowa Law Review 941 (2011); and “Lawyering for Marriage Equality,” 57 UCLA Law Review 1235 (2010), with Scott Cummings.

NeJaime is a two-time recipient of the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation legal scholarship published in the previous year.  He is also the 2014 recipient of UCI Law’s Professor of the Year Award and the 2011 recipient of Loyola Law School’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Read more.

Distinguished Speaker

Hiroshi Motomura, April 14

“Migrants, Refugees, and Citizens: What’s Next for Immigration Law and Policy?"

April 14, 2017
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Hiroshi Motomura
Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law
UCLA School of Law

About the speaker: Hiroshi Motomura is an influential teacher and scholar of immigration and citizenship law.  His book, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States (Oxford 2006) won the Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PROSE) Award from the Association of American Publishers as the year’s best book in Law and Legal Studies, and was chosen by the U.S. Department of State for its Suggested Reading List for Foreign Service Officers.  He is a co-author of two immigration-related casebooks: Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy (8th ed. West 2016), and Forced Migration: Law and Policy (2d ed. West 2013), and he has published many widely cited articles on immigration and citizenship.  His most recent book, Immigration Outside the Law (Oxford 2014), won the Association of American Publishers' Law and Legal Studies 2015 PROSE Award and was chosen by the Association of College and Research Libraries as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title.  Read more.

Baldy Speaker

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, February 10

“The Spirit of the Law in Chile: Judge Karen Atala’s Transformative Shamanic Vision and her LGBT Rights Child Custody Case.”

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo

February 10, 2017
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Mariella Bacigalupo
Professor, Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences, University at Buffalo

Research Fellow, The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy


As a lesbian mother, Judge Karen Atala drew on the discourse of human rights and the power obtained from her shamanic vision to challenge the Catholic moral criteria used by the Chilean Supreme Court to deny her custody of her children. After having a vision in 1995, Judge Atala began using common law to attempt to resolve disputes before they ended up in court, and her new practice of law developed into a spiritual crisis at both the professional and personal levels. Atala soon identified herself as a lesbian, and after she divorced her husband in 2002, the Chilean Supreme Court denied her custody of her daughters. Atala fought this decision, and in 2012 she filed a lawsuit against the Chilean state with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Atala highlighted the differences between the concept of moral and legal rights held by the Chilean state and that held by international human rights law. She charged Chile with unethical, discriminatory treatment and arbitrary interference in her private life due to her sexual orientation. The IACHR’s landmark ruling not only found that the secular Chilean state had violated Atala’s right to equality based on Catholic doctrines, but affirmed for the first time in its history that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected categories and that discrimination against them violates the ethics of international law. This new finding protects all homosexual and gender-variant parents, as well as Mapuche shamans with their co-gender identities, diverse sexualities, and embodied approach to justice.

Baldy Speaker

Margaret Boittin, March 31

Enforcement and Accommodation: Tier-Based Patterns in the Policing of Prostitution in China

Co-sponsored by Asian Studies

March 31, 2017
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Margaret Boittin
Assistant Professor
York University, Toronto, Canada

Research Interests: Criminal Law, International and Comparative Law, Human Rights, China, Empirical Methods, Prostitution, Human Trafficking. Read more.


Fall 2016 Speakers

Distinguished Speaker

Kenneth W. Abbott, September 9

“Experimentalist Governance 2.0: Taking ‘Experiments' (More) Seriously”

Kenneth Abbott

September 9, 2016
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Kenneth W. Abbott
Jack E. Brown Professor of Law
Faculty Co-Director, Center for Law and Global Affairs
Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science and Innovation
Professor of Global Studies, School of Politics & Global Studies
Senior Sustainability Scholar, Global Institute for Sustainability

About the speaker: Kenneth Abbott’s teaching and research focus on the interdisciplinary study of international law and international relations, including public and private institutions, environmental issues, development policy, global health, and international trade and economic law. He also has a faculty appointment in the ASU School of Global Studies, where he co-directs the global environmental governance program. Read more.

About the book: International Organizations as Orchestrators reveals how IOs leverage their limited authority and resources to increase their effectiveness, power, and autonomy from states. By 'orchestrating' intermediaries - including NGOs - IOs can shape and steer global governance without engaging in hard, direct regulation. This volume is organized around a theoretical model that emphasizes voluntary collaboration and support. An outstanding group of scholars investigate the significance of orchestration across key issue areas, including trade, finance, environment and labor, and in leading organizations, including the GEF, G20, WTO, EU, Kimberley Process, UNEP and ILO. The empirical studies find that orchestration is pervasive. They broadly confirm the theoretical hypotheses while providing important new insights, especially that states often welcome IO orchestration as achieving governance without creating strong institutions. This volume changes our understanding of the relationships among IOs, nonstate actors and states in global governance, using a theoretical framework applicable to domestic governance.

Distinguished Speaker

Ahmed White

“Its Own Dubious Battle: The Impossible Defense of an Effective Right to Strike.”

October 14, 2016
Friday, 12:30 pm
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Ahmed White
Professor of Law
University of Colorado Law School
Criminal Law, Labor and Employment Law, Forced Labor, Critical Legal Studies, Marxism and Law

The Last Great Strike: Little Steel, the CIO, and the Struggle for Labor Rights in New Deal America

About the speaker: Ahmed White joined the faculty at the Colorado Law School in 2000, after spending three semesters as a visiting professor at Northwestern University Law School. Professor White's interest in legal scholarship and teaching was first developed during his time as a student at Yale Law School and during a two-year research fellowship that followed. Before entering teaching, he served as a legal analyst at the Louisiana State Senate. His scholarship centers on the intersection of labor and criminal law and on the concept of rule of law. Read more.

Co-sponsored Speaker

Nancy Kwak, October 28

“Selling American Homeownership in the Global South”

Nancy Kwak

October 28, 2016
Friday, 12:30-2:00pm
532 Park Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Nancy Kwak
Associate Professor of History
University of California, San Diego

Sponsored by the Cities and Society Workshop of the Humanities Institute

Spring 2016 Speakers

Distinguished Speakers

Adriaan Lanni "Law and Order in Classical Athens"

February 26, 2016
Friday, 12:30 p.m., (lunch at 12:00)
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker: Adriaan Lanni is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Adjudication, and the Criminal Justice Workshop, as well as courses on ancient Greek and Roman law. Her publications include Law and Justice in the Courts of Classical Athens (CUP 2006) and several articles on ancient law and the modern criminal jury. She is currently completing a book manuscript, Law and Order in Ancient Athens, for Cambridge University Press. She received a B.A., summa cum laude, in Classical Civilization from Yale University, an M.Phil. in Classics from Cambridge University, where she was a Marshall Scholar, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan.

Marianne Constable, "The Justification was Perfect": Chicago Husband-Killing and the New Unwritten Law

April 15, 2016
Friday, 12:30 p.m. (lunch at 12:00)
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker: Marianne Constable has published broadly on a range of topics in legal rhetoric and philosophy. Her book on law and language, entitled "Our Word is Our Bond: How Legal Speech Acts," is currently in press (Stanford University Press, 2014). She is also working on a book-length manuscript on the "new unwritten law," which ostensibly exonerated women who killed their husbands in Chicago a century ago, as a way of exploring the rhetoric of law and the rhetoric of history. She is the author of Just Silences: The Limits and Possibilities of Modern Law (2005). See faculty profile page.

Douglas Kysar, “Living with Owning”

April 29, 2016
Friday, 12:00 p.m. (lunch at 12:00)
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker:
Douglas Kysar is the Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His teaching and research areas include torts, environmental law, and risk regulation. He has published articles on environmental law and tort law topics, and is co-author of a leading casebook, The Torts Process. His recent book, Regulating from Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity (YUP 2010), seeks to reinvigorate environmental law and policy by offering novel theoretical insights on cost-benefit analysis, the precautionary principle, and sustainable development. See faculty profile page.

Work in Progress Speakers

February 11, 2016 - Justin Simard, "The Technocrats: Lawyers and Capitalism in Early National America, 1780-1870"

February 11, 2016
Thursday, 12:00-1:00,
532 Park Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker:  Justin L. Simard, 2015-17 Baldy Postdoctoral Fellow, earned his JD and his PhD in History at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation examines how American lawyers in the 19th century built a capitalist state. Using day books, ledgers, and letters, the dissertation provides a bottom-up history of an elite profession. These sources demonstrate that lawyers contributed to the growth and expansion of American capitalism not with grand gestures, but by solving day-to-day problems on behalf of their clients. By collecting debts, managing property sales, and drafting contracts, lawyers regulated the market, organized life on the American frontier, and facilitated the growth of complex commercial transactions.

March 11, 2016 - Anya Bernstein, "Constructing Context: How Courts Interpret Statutes"

March 11, 2016
Friday, 12:30 p.m. (lunch at 12:00)
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker: 
Anya Bernstein received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she spent much of her time working at the Civil Liberties & National Security Clinic. She served as a law clerk to Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School before joining the SUNY Buffalo law faculty. Before law school, Bernstein received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation, Why “Taiwan is Too Democratic”: Administration, Legitimation, and Political Participation in Taipei, argued that democracy fails to legitimate political projects and laws in contemporary democratic Taiwan, and explored other forms of legitimation used by Taiwanese government administrators and political activists. Bernstein’s research and teaching focus on the organization of the state and its relation to its subjects. Her research includes administrative law, national security, federal liability and federal jurisdiction, immigration, law and culture, and legality and political culture in Greater China.

March 25, 2016 - Rachael Hinkle, "Measuring and Evaluating the Impact of Briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court"

March 25, 2016
Friday, 12:30 p.m. (lunch at 12:00)
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker: 
Rachael K. Hinkle earned her PhD in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and her J.D. from Ohio Northern University. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Her research agenda focuses on judicial politics with particular attention to gleaning insights into legal development from the content of judicial opinions through the use of computational text analytic techniques. This work is informed by her experience clerking for the Honorable David W. McKeague in the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Honorable Robert C. Broomfield in the U.S District Court.

Co-sponsored Speakers

April 4, 2016 - Renee Cramer, "Pregnant with the Stars: The Celebrity Baby Bump as a Site of Neoliberal Governance"

Organized by the UB Department of Sociology. Co-sponsored by the Baldy Center.

April 4, 2016
Monday, 12:30 p.m. (lunch at 12:00)
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker: 
Renee Ann Cramer (PhD in Politics; New York University, 2001) is associate professor and chair of Law, Politics, and Society at Drake University. She is interested in the ways that law is mobilized for legitimacy, and the failures of law to achieve the meaningful change often sought by those who engage it.   Her second book, /Pregnant with the Stars: Watching and Wanting the Celebrity Baby Bump,/on our obsession with celebrity pregnancy, was just published by Stanford University Press. Cramer is currently working on a project mapping the regulation of homebirth midwifery, funded by the National Science Foundation.  Committed to undergraduate legal studies education, she teaches a wide range of courses, and serves as president of the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs.

April 26, 2016 - Nancy Foner, “Fear, Anxiety, and Immigration: Barriers and Belonging in the United States and Western Europe”

Sponsored by the Jean Monnet Chair in Cultural Anthropology, CEUS at UB. Co-sponsored by the Baldy Center.

April 26, 2016
Tuesday, 3:00 p.m.509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

About the speaker: 
Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, received her B.A. from Brandeis University and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her main area of interest is immigration. She has studied Jamaicans in their home society as well as in New York and London, done research on nursing home workers, and written extensively on immigration to New York City. She is particularly interested in the comparative study of immigration – comparing immigration today with earlier periods in the United States and immigrants in the United States and Europe.

April 27, 2016 - Cheng-Yi Huang, "Unpopular Sovereignty"

April 27, 2016
Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. (lunch at 12:00)
509 O'Brian Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Cheng-Yi Huang is an Associate Research Professor in the Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He holds a JSD from the University of Chicago Law School, as well as degrees in law and political science from National Taiwan University. His dissertation received an Honorable Mention in the the Law and Society Association's Dissertation Award in 2010, and he has published in Law & Social Inquiry. He is the founder of the Comparative Administrative Law in Asia project ( His research focuses on comparative public law, with a particular interest in the new insights that developing democracies can have for political theory.

Spring 2016 Public Lecture Series

February 12 - The 2016 James McCormick Mitchell Lecture (Part 1)

Mitchell Lecture Series: Legal Education for a Changing Profession

—> Bryant Garth, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, UC Irvine

—> Gillian Hadfield, Kirtland Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, USC 

—> David Wilkins, Kissel Professor of Law, Harvard 

2:00-4:30 p.m., public reception to follow 

106 O’Brian Hall

April 8 - The 2016 James McCormick Mitchell Lecture (Part 2)

Mitchell Lecture Series: Legal Education for a Changing Profession

—>Susan Carle, Professor of Law and Pauline Moore Ruyle Scholar, American University Washington College of Law

—>Kevin R. Johnson, Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Professor of Chicana/o Studies, University of California-Davis School of Law

—>Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Bowen School of Law
2:00-4:30 p.m., public reception to follow 

1:00 p.m.

106 O’Brian Hall

April 20, 21, 22 - George F. Hourani Lecture Series 2016 to feature Rae Langton

Rae Helen Langton

The UB Philosophy Department is indebted to George F. Hourani, whose generous endowment allows them to host many talented philosophers.

April 20, 21, 22, 2016

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
4:00 to 6:00pm
107 Capen Hall, Honors College, UB North Campus

Rae Helen Langton is an Australian and British professor of philosophy in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and taught previously at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Langton's areas of research include History of Philosophy, Ethics, Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Feminist Philosophy.