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Past Events 2015-16

Centre for the Study of Human Rights public lecture:            

Solidarity: call for specificity            

Date: Friday 20 May 2016 Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                     Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building                                                                                 Speaker: Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak                                                             Chair: Dr Ayça Çubukçu

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is the leading and also one of the most intellectually exciting philosophers and literary theorist of our times. She is University Professor, and a founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, at Columbia University, New York. She has also been a committed activist in rural education and feminist and ecological social movements since 1986. Her 1985 text, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak’ is widely regarded as one of the founding texts of postcolonial scholarship and in the thirty years since its first publication continues to influence and In 2012 she was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for being "a critical theorist and educator speaking for the humanities against intellectual colonialism in relation to the globalized world". She received the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award given by the Republic of India, in 2013.             

More details: event webpage         

Department of Sociology public lecture:              

Capitalism, Temporality and the Crisis of Labour            

Date: Thursday 19 May 2016                                                                                        Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                                     Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building                                                            Speaker: Professor Moishe Postone                                                                           Chair: Professor Craig Calhoun              

This talk seeks to outline a fundamental rethinking of the core categories of Marx's Critique of Political Economy in order to recast its significance as a foundational work of social theory.  This approach undertakes a critique of the fundamental assumptions of traditional Marxism as well as of much post-Marxism while, at the same time, seeking to provide the basis for a different critique of capitalist modernity that could illuminate the contemporary world.             

Moishe Postone is Professor of History, University of Chicago and Senior Fellow, IFK, Vienna.             

Craig Calhoun is Director and President of LSE.
Full details: event webpage.   

Department of Sociology public lecture:            

Respectable: the experience of class            

Date: Tuesday 3 May 2016 Time:  6.30-8pm                                                                    Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Lynsey Hanley                                                                                                    Chair: Professor Mike Savage            

We talk a lot about the role class plays in British society, but how exactly do we move from one 'class' to another - and, if we can do so, what effect does it have on us? In her new book which she will discuss this in lecture, Lynsey Hanley explains that to be 'respectable' is to be neither rough nor posh, neither rich nor especially poor. Drawing on her own experience growing up on the Birmingham estate of Chelmsley Wood - living through the Thatcher years, listening to the Pet Shop Boys and Erasure, reading her parents' Daily Mirror and her grandparents' Sun - Hanley shows how social mobility can be double-edged unless we recognize the psychological impact of class and its creation of self-limiting obstacles.            

Full details: event webpage
Respectable: the experience of class video and podcast                       

LSE Cities public lecture:            

Protect and Develop            

Date: Thursday 5 May 2016 Time: 6.30-8pm                                                            Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building                                            Speaker: Sir David Chipperfield                                                                                       Chair: Professor Ricky Burdett            

In this lecture renowned British Architect David Chipperfield will discuss the current state of planning in London and the importance of finding a balance between development and conservation. The event will be chaired by Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities.            

Drawing on his experiences working on architectural projects across the globe, the lecture offers a perspective on how various stakeholders can better work together to improve cities.            

Sir David Chipperfield is a British Architect who established the global architectural practice David Chipperfield Architects in 1985. He has taught and lectured worldwide and has been recognised for his work with an array of honours and awards            

More details: event webpage            

Department of Sociology public lecture:            

The Life Project: the extraordinary story of 70,000 ordinary lives            

Date: Tuesday 22 March 2016                                                                                   Time:  6.30-8pm                                                                                                         Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House                                                      Speaker: Dr Helen Pearson                                                                                       Chair: Professor Mike Savage

On 5th March 1946 a survey began that is, today, the longest-running study of human development in the world, and has grown to encompass six generations of children and over 70,000 people. They have become some of the best-studied people on the planet. The simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die, and irrevocably altered our understanding of inequality and health. In this lecture Helen Pearson will talk about her new book, The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives, which is the tale of these studies, the scientists who created and sustain them, the discoveries that have come from them. The envy of scientists around the world, they are one of Britain's best-kept secrets.

Helen Pearson is a science journalist and editor for the international science journal Nature. She has been writing for Nature since 2001 and her stories have won accolades including the 2010 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award and two Best Feature awards from the Association of British Science Writers.             

Full details: event webpage
The Life Project video and podcast          

LSE Department of Sociology and Runnymede Trust film screening and discussion, in partnership with the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at UEL:            

Everyday Bordering and the Undermining of Multi-Ethnic Britain            

Date: 14 March 2016 Time: 7-9pm                                                                            Venue: 32LIF.1.04 (32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, room 1.04)                                       Speakers: Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Omar Khan, Pragna Patel,                                Professor Nira Yuval-Davis                                                                                         Chair: Dr Suki Ali            

18 years after the Runnymede Trust set up The Commission for the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, chaired by Lord Bhikhu Parekh, immigration legislation is increasingly outsourcing border-guard roles to ordinary citizens extending the UK border further into everyday life. A recent example are the ‘Right to Rent‘ checks, introduced in the 2014 Immigration Act and compulsory in England since the 1st of February 2016 under which private landlords are obliged to check the identities and immigration status of any adult living in their properties.            

There will be a screening of the film ‘Everyday Borders’ (dir Orson Nava), followed by a panel discussion.            

Registration is required. Full details are on the eventbrite webpage.            

LSE Cities Literary Festival discussion:            

The Future City: cruel or consoling Utopia?            

Date: Saturday 27 February 2016                                                                                      Time: 5-6.30pm Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building                         Speakers: Darran Anderson, Matthew Beaumont, Rachel Cooper                         Chair: Richard Sennett            

              The Future City, as an idea that often relies upon Utopian thinking to sustain itself, can be as cruel as it is consoling. Even as it makes possible investment into urban space as a site of future fulfillment, it regularly fails to deliver upon this promise. This panel asks what futures such Utopian thinking makes available for the city and what present realities it denies? It will query more specifically the Utopias that have come to structure London’s own particular futures. What Utopian thinking is operative, for instance, in a city so firmly structured around the logic of speculation intrinsic to finance capital? And what futures might present citizens be imagining for themselves?            

This event is ticketed. Full details: event webpage

Centre for the Study of Human Rights public lecture co-hosted with KCL Yeo Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law:            

Blood Oil: tyrants, violence and the rules that run the world            

Date: Tuesday 1 March 2016                                                                                      Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                                 Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Professor Leif Wenar            

In this lecture, Leif Wenar will talk about his new book, Blood Oil, which goes behind the headlines in search of the hidden global rule that puts shoppers into business with the men of blood - and discovers an ancient law that once licensed the slave trade, apartheid and genocide. The abolition of this rule marked some of humanity's greatest triumphs - yet the rule zombies on in today's multi-trillion dollar resource trade, enriching tyrants, warlords and terrorists worldwide.            

Leif Wenar is Chair of Philosophy and Law at King's College London. He has been a Visiting Professor at Princeton and Stanford and a Fellow of the Carnegie Council Program in Justice and the World Economy.            

Full details: event webpage.

The Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy, Centre for the Study of Human Rights working paper presentation and discussion:            

Legitimacy and Compliance in the Global Anti-Corruption Business: Corporations as Enforcers of Transnational Criminal Law            

Date: Thursday 11 February 2016                                                                              Time: 6-8pm                                                                                                               Venue: 32L.B.07 (32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Basement room 7)                                      Speaker: Dr Radha Ivory                                                                                                    Chair: Dr Margot Salomon

This seminar explores the governance implications of globalised standards on corporate liability for the crime of foreign bribery, probing the legitimacy of transnational efforts to combat corruption in the global South by delegating law enforcement powers to large corporations in the North. It suggests a multi-dimensional approach to assessing the effectiveness of transnational legal orders on economic crime and raises the possibility of macro-micro studies of their normative dimension.            

Radha Ivory is Visiting Fellow, Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy, Centre for the Study of Human Rights; Lecturer, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Australia            

Margot Salomon is Associate Professor in the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Law Department, and Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy.            

Full details: event webpage.            

Centre for the Study of Human Rights UN International Human Rights Day event, in association with the Department of Law:            

Fighting the Behemoth: Law, politics and human rights in times of debt and austerity            

Date: Thursday 10 December 2015                                                                            Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                            Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Zoe Konstantopoulou                                                                                Chair: Margot Salomon            

Recent events have put Greece in the spotlight and at the forefront of critical questions that connect human rights protection, democracy, debt, and austerity. The situation has exposed grave concerns regarding the failure of international lenders to factor in social rights in the management of the debt and in the crafting of conditionalities imposed on Greece. What if the loans weren’t made in the interest of the people of Greece, should the subsequent debt incurred be illegal? Is the debt ‘sustainable’ if social rights are violated in order to service it in the coming years? The recent handling of the crisis also throws into doubt Europe’s commitment to basic principles of democracy, with strong voices condemning EU Member States for not respecting the outcome of a referendum held in one of its Member States and where creditors are being charged with requiring a Government to act under threat of a humanitarian catastrophe.            

Full details: event webpage            


Urban Age 10 Global Debates 19 November - 3 December 2015:            

6.30-8.00pm | Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

LSE Cities and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, in association with Guardian Cities, is holding a series of public Global Debates to celebrate ten years of the Urban Age programme. The debates will discuss five core themes that have been the focus of research and debate at the Urban Age since 2005. These include the role that cities play in high-level international and national policy debates on climate change, sustainability and infrastructure, to more grounded concerns on how to regulate, design and manage cities and neighbourhoods that are more inclusive, tolerant and open.

 Confronting Climate Change: can cities be the solution?                                              Thursday 19 November 6.30 – 8.00pm
Steering Urban Growth: can planning and architecture manage?                             Monday 23 November 6.30 – 8.00pm
The Politics of Equity: who owns the city?                                                             Wednesday 25 November 6.30 – 8.00pm
Designing Urban Infrastructure: investing for now or tomorrow?                               Thursday 26 November 6.30 – 8.00pm
Narratives of Inclusion: can cities help us live together?                                               Thursday 3 December 6.30 – 8.00pm            

These events are ticketed.  Full details: event webpage.            

Department of Sociology public discussion:            

New Forms of Cultural Capital            

Date: Monday 16 November 2015                                                                              Time: 5.30-7pm                                                                                                             Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers:  Professor Philippe Coulangeon, Dr Sam Friedman, Dr Laurie Hanquinet Chair: Professor Mike Savage

A panel of leading international experts discuss whether traditional forms of 'highbrow' cultural capital associated with the dominance of the classical and historical canon are being eclipsed by  newer and more fluid kinds of cultural tastes, associated with contemporary music and art, sport, and engaging with the social media and computer games.

Philippe Coulangeon is Director of Research at SNRS, SciencesPo and Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology at LSE.            

Full details: event webpage            

Cultural Capital podcast and video            

Department of Sociology public lecture:            

Sociology and the Digital Revolution - the Transformation of Everything            

Date: Tuesday 10 November 2015                                                                              Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                          Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor Lord Giddens                                                                               Chair: Howard Covington

From personal life to the global economy and the frontiers of science – nothing has been left untouched by the digital revolution, a set of transformations almost certainly only as yet in their early stages. Arguably these already amount to the greatest period of innovation ever in human history in terms of its intensity, speed and global scope. In the social sciences, they have thus far mostly been interpreted in terms of the rise of the internet and the social media. The digital revolution should be seen, however, as the increasingly complex integration of the internet, supercomputers and robotics, in which supercomputers have the prime role. It is a fundamental mistake to allocate such a development to a separate space of ‘tech’, since the implications for our lives are so profound. One of the prime tasks of sociology today must be to track these implications and relate them to the core concerns of the discipline.

Anthony Giddens is a former Director of LSE and a member of the House of Lords.

Howard Covington is Chairman of the Alan Turing Institute, and of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University.            

The talk will be introduced by Professor Ricky Burdett (LSE Cities/LSE Sociology).            

Full details: event webpage           

Department of Sociology public lecture:            

Social Media and Social Change: analyzing debates over valuation            

Date: Thursday 5 November 2015                                                                              Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                          Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House                                                   Speaker: Professor Walter W Powell                                                                        Chair: Professor Judy Wajcman

Civil society is challenged to demonstrate its impact. Network and linguistic analyses of webpages reveal intense struggles among governments, businesses, and nonprofits to define effectiveness.

Walter W. Powell is Professor of Education, Sociology, Organizational Behavior, Management Science and Engineering, and Public Policy, Stanford University and Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology at LSE (MT).

Full details: event webpage            

Social Media video and podcast


Department of Sociology and International Inequalities Institute public lecture:            

Social Class in the 21st Century                        

Date: Monday 2 November 2015                                                                                  Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                           Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building                                       Speakers: Dr Niall Cunningham, Professor Fiona Devine, Dr Sam Friedman, Dr Daniel Laurison, Dr Lisa McKenzie, Dr Andrew Miles, Professor Mike Savage, Dr Helene Snee, Dr Paul Wakeling                                                                                 Chair: Professor Nicola Lacey            

A fresh take on social class from the experts behind the BBC's 'Great British Class Survey'.  Social class has re-emerged as a topic of enormous scholarly and public attention. In this new book, Social Class in the 21st Century,  Mike Savage and the team of sociologists responsible for the Great British Class Survey report their definitive findings and propose a new way of thinking about social class in Britain today.  The book presents the ideas and facts behind their new conceptualization of class: a new British class system composed of seven classes that reflect the unequal distribution of three kinds of capital: economic (inequalities in income and wealth); social (the different kinds of people we know) and cultural (the ways in which our leisure and cultural preferences are exclusive). This book looks beyond labels to explore how and why our society is changing and what this means for the people who find themselves in the margins as well as in the centre.                        

Full details: event webpage            

Social Class video, podcast and slides        

Centre for the Study of Human Rights joint event with HRLA:            

Articles 6 & 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights: Right to a Fair Trial and No Punishment Without Trial            

Date: Thursday 22 October 2015                                                                               Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                          Venue: NAB.LG.03, New Academic Building
Speakers: Sir Keir Starmer QC, Joel Bennathan QC, Jago Russell                      Chair: Alison Gerry            

Join the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and the Young Lawyers' Committee of the HRLA for an evening discussing Articles 6 & 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The event is followed by a drinks reception to launch the inaugural edition of The Young Human Rights Lawyer.            

Full details: event webpage       

LSE Cities book launch:            

New Urban Diversities: London perspectives            

Date: Thursday 22 October 2015                                                                               Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                          Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building                                               Speakers: Suzanne Hall, Emma Jackson, Susanne Wessendorf            

Please join us for a discussion of how new diversities and (im)mobilities are lived in the contemporary urban space of the ‘world’ city. The discussion will be directed through a presentation of two key ethnographies, both of which are based in London, and engage with the accelerated diversification of the city through the lens of everyday life.            

Full details: event webpage            


Centre for the Study of Human Rights in partnership with LSE South Asia Centre and the India Study Group:            

Justice, Accountability and Human Rights in India            

Date: Wednesday 21 October 2015                                                                            Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                          Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Dushyant Dave                                                                                           Chair: Professor Chetan Bhatt

India has faced serious challenges from internal and external armed groups and terrorists. Tens of thousands of citizens and several thousand security personnel have lost their lives in recent years. Reprisals by security forces have in turn led to serious human rights violations.            

Full details: event webpage     

Centre for the Study of Human Rights in partnership with LSE SU Korea Future Forum:            

My Escape From North Korea            

Date: Friday 16 October 2015                                                                                     Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                             Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Hyeonseo Lee                                                                                                Chair: Chetan Bhatt            

A unique opportunity to learn about, discuss, and ask questions about the severe violation of human rights in North Korea and North Korean refugee issues, offered in partnership with the LSE SU Korea Future Forum. Hyeonseo Lee will present her story of survival, resilience and hope as a North Korean defector and refugee. Having delivered a testimony at the UN Security Council and a speech on TEDx previously, she will reveal her personal experiences and address the broader issues facing refugees and defectors around the world. Her memoir, ‘The Girl with Seven Names – A North Korean Defector’s Story’, was published in July 2015 in more than 20 countries, and has since appeared in publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.            

Full details: event webpage            

British Journal of Sociology 2015 Annual Public Lecture:            

Before Theory Comes Theorizing or How to Make Social Science More Interesting            

Date: Thursday 15 October 2015                                                                               Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                           Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building                                     Speaker:  Professor Richard Swedberg                                                                   Chair: Professor Nigel Dodd

By paying more attention to what happens in actual practice before a theory is formulated – what may be called the methods of habits of theorizing – social science and sociology may be considerably improved.              

Richard Swedberg is Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. His two main specialties are economic sociology and social theory.

Full details: event webpage
Listen to the podcast.          

Department of Sociology book launch event:            

The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Arts and Culture            

Date: Wednesday 7 October 2015                                                                              Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                             Venue: CLM 6.02, Clement House

The Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Arts and Culture offers a comprehensive overview of sociology of art and culture, focusing especially – though not exclusively – on the visual arts, literature, music, and digital culture. Extending, and critiquing, Bourdieu’s influential analysis of cultural capital, the distinguished international contributors explore the extent to which cultural omnivorousness has eclipsed highbrow culture, the role of age, gender and class on cultural practices, the character of aesthetic preferences, the contemporary significance of screen culture, and the restructuring of popular culture. The editors, Laurie Hanquinet (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of York) and Mike Savage (Professor of Sociology, LSE) will introduce the Handbook, and there will be a response by Tony Bennett (Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory, University of Western Sydney). Several of the contributors to the book will also be present and will contribute to the discussion.            

Full details: event flyer (PDF)     

LSE Cities launch event (film screening):            

Ordinary Streets            

Date: Tuesday 6 October 2015                                                                                    Time: 6.30-8pm                                                                                                          Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

‘Ordinary Streets’ is a short film based on an ethnographic and visual exploration of the spaces, economies and cultures of ‘street’. Through the lens of Rye Lane in Peckham in south London, the film engages with issues of migration, urban multiculture and regeneration.            

‘Ordinary Streets’ is a film by Sophie Yetton, based on research led by Dr Suzanne Hall (Assistant Professor, LSE Sociology and Research Fellow LSE Cities).  Myfanwy Taylor from Just space will provide a commentary on the film.

Full details: event webpage