Fall 2021

The Baldy Center Podcast

Illustration: 1904, Puck Magazine Cover, courtesy of U.S. Library of Congress; 2020 DK digital image remix for the Baldy Center.

Illustration: 1904, Puck Magazine Cover, courtesy of U.S. Library of Congress; 2020 DK digital image remix for The Baldy Center.

Episode 21: John Henry Schlegel and David A. Westbrook discuss “the adventure of thinking”

Published November 5, 2021

From the heights of his long tenure at the University at Buffalo School of Law, in Episode 21 of The Baldy Center Podcast, Distinguished Professor John Schlegel discusses US economic history, American Legal Realism, and his lived experience with legal education over the last half century, in particular, Critical Legal Studies.

In this extemporaneous conversation, Del Cotto Professor David Westbrook affectionately provokes Schlegel to grapple with the necessary and complex ongoing negotiations between our concepts of adventure and stability, serious and fun, the endeavor of intellectual freedom... and the Borg.

Keywords: critical legal studies, American legal realism, serious fun.

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How do we give people a sense of openness without telling them what it is? I can’t tell you how to be open to change. It is pointless for me to do so. All I can do is to help you gain the confidence to notice it when it happens and say 'well what might we do here?'

It’s that openness to the world, to the change, to the fun of living in it, that is so hard to get across in the classroom, in the seminar, in an annual meeting. That is, I think, a really important part of the teaching we’re doing and we need to keep doing."
            —John H. Schlegel

               “The Greatest Adventure Is Thinking”
                    —Siegmund Warburg                    


John Henry Schlegel, Distinguished Professor, School of Law, University at Buffalo

RESEARCH FOCUS: American Legal Realism, Legal History of the American Economy, Corporate Finance Economic Redevelopment of Rust Belt Cities

John H. Schlegel.

John H. Schlegel

John H. Schlegel joined the School of Law faculty in 1973. His primary research interest has been in legal history. For over 20 years his scholarship was focused on the history of legal education and the activities in the 1920s and ’30s of a group of scholars at Columbia, Yale and Johns Hopkins universities known as the American Legal Realists. His current project, a book on law and economy in the United States since the Civil War, attempts to understand change in the national economy and its social consequences, using Buffalo as a case study.

David A. Westbrook, Louis A. Del Cotto Professor of Law, UB School of Law

RESEARCH FOCUS: Globalization and the Contemporary, Corporations and Capital Markets, Environmental Law and Technology, Political Economy and Social Theory

David A. Westbrook.

David A. Westbrook

David A. Westbrook thinks and writes about the social and intellectual consequences of contemporary political economy. His work influences numerous disciplines, including law, economics, finance, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and design. He has spoken on six continents to academics, business and financial leaders, members of the security community, civil institutions and governments, often with the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department. Westbrook has published many books.

2021-22 Podcast Producer

Edgar Girtain, Podcast 2021-22 Host/Producer.

Edgar Girtain, Podcast 2021-22 Host/Producer

Edgar Girtain is host/producer of the 2021-22 Edition of The Baldy Center Podcast. He is a PhD student in the music department at SUNY Buffalo, where he studies with David Felder. Girtain is a director of the Casa de Las Artes at the University of Southern Chile (UACh), and president of the Southern Chilean Composers Forum (FoCo Sur).He is an eminent composer, pianist, and writer of his own biographies. Girtain's diverse areas of work are often collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and international in ambition if not in practice.

Executive Producers

Samantha Barbas, PhD
Professor, UB School of Law
Director, The Baldy Center

Caroline Funk, PhD
Associate Director, The Baldy Center

We welcome your comments

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