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Past Events 2016-17


Ralph Miliband Programme and 
Department of Sociology Public Event

Mao Zedong and Cultural Revolution: history versus myth

Thursday 16th March 
18.30-20.00 | Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speakers: Professor Andrew Walder
Chair: Dr Robin Archer

As the Mao era, and in particular the Cultural Revolution fade in memory, its history has fallen out of focus and has been infused with myth. Drawing on his recent book, China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed, Andrew Walder will take up two related questions. First, what were Mao's intentions and what were the actual outcomes of his radical initiatives? Second, why did these outcomes occur? Mao emerges from the historical record as a revolutionary whose radicalism was undiminished by the passage of time. His initiatives frequently had consequences that he had not intended and that frustrated his designs. Despite creating China's first unified modern national state and initiating its modern industrialisation drive, Mao left China divided, backward, and weak.

Andrew Walder is the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Senior Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. A political sociologist, Walder specializes on the sources of conflict, stability, and change in contemporary China. He received his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Michigan in 1981. Before coming to Stanford in 1997 he taught at Columbia, Harvard, and also headed the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 

Robin Archer is Director of the Ralph Miliband Programme at LSE.

The Ralph Miliband Programme (@RMilibandLSE) is one of LSE's most prestigious lecture series and seeks to advance Ralph Miliband's spirit of free social inquiry.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMao


Department of Sociology Public Discussion

Housing, Financialisation, and Human Rights: A conversation with Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing

Monday 6th March 
18.30-20.00 | Parish Hall - PAR1.02

Speakers: Leilani Farha
Chair: David Madden

From mass foreclosures to unoccupied luxury towers, the housing sector across the world is increasingly dominated by corporate finance and global investors. What impact does this have on social wellbeing and governance? How can housing be reclaimed as a human right in the face of these forces? What difference would it make if states and financial actors were held accountable to human rights obligations regarding housing?
This event will explore these issues through a conversation with Leilani Farha, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. Ms Farha will discuss the human rights dimensions of the financialisation of housing, as addressed in her forthcoming UN report. She will be in dialogue with Bruce Porter, Director of the Social Rights Advocacy Centre in Canada and an expert on access to socio-economic justice, and Dr David Madden, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the LSE and co-author of In Defense of Housing: The politics of crisis (Verso, 2016).



Department of Sociology Public Lecture and Book Launch

Understanding Self-Injury: A Symposium for National Self-Injury Awareness Day

Wednesday 1st March 
18.30-20.00 | Old Theatre, Old Building

Speakers: Kay Inckle (LSE); Conor McCafferty and Noella McConnellogue (Zest, NI); Wedge  (LifeSIGNS UK)
Chair: Liene Ozolina 

March 1st is the National Self-injury Awareness Day. This event will include speakers from across the researcher, practitioner and service-user spectrum. It will explore and focus on three essential requirements for understanding and responding helpfully to self-injury: social justice, embodiment and harm-reduction. 

The presentation will also draw from and launch Kay Inckle's latest book 'Safe with Self-Injury: A Practical Guide to Understanding, Responding and Harm-Reduction'  (published with PCCS Books). 

Admissions if free but please pre-register for the event by emailing: sociology.events@lse.ac.uk




LSE Public Lecture

Auguste Comte Memorial Lecture

Donald MacKenzie (Edinburgh): “A Material Sociology of Markets: the Case of ‘Futures Lag’ in High-Frequency Trading” 

Thursday 23rd February
18.30-20.00 |  Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: Professor Donald MacKenzie 
Chair: Dr Bryan W. Roberts, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, LSE

It is very tempting to think of today’s financial system as abstract and virtual, to imagine that globalisation has led to a “flat world” and “the end of geography”, and assume that both time and space have shrunk. MacKenzie’s talk will cast doubt on those assumptions by focusing on the physicality of finance.

He will discuss the “high-frequency trading” of US shares. HFT is automated, ultra-fast and typically involves very large numbers of trades. His focus will be on how HFT algorithms predict prices, and the main example given will be “futures lead”: algorithms’ use of data from the stock-index futures market to predict movements in the stock market. MacKenzie will show how “futures lead” was created and is held in place by the relationship between US financial regulation and the political system, and also how it takes material form in underground cables, microwave towers, and computer data centres (explaining, for example, why today’s automated trading is sometimes affected when it rains, or during summer sunrise and sunset over the Great Lakes). 

This event is free to attend and does not require registration.




Department of Sociology and Al Jazeera Film Screening


Tuesday 7th February
18.30-20.00 |  Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Moderator: Richard Gizbert, Al Jazeera English Senior Presenter
Chair: Dr Michael McQuarrie

The American people’s disillusionment with the US establishment is greater now than at any point in history. The institutions that served US citizens are increasingly regarded as self-serving, and the American people are increasingly divided, increasingly polarised along racial, political and economic lines. As new President, Donald Trump, enters the White House on a wave of populism, The Big Picture explores just how America has become so fractured, and how for many, the American Dream has been lost. We chart the history of that mythic dream to unravel the ways in which, throughout the last 70 years, it has been undermined by institutional powers, and how race has always been used for political gain.

The preview screening will be followed by a Q&A with Series Producer Sanjiev Johal and LSE’s Dr. Michael McQuarrie and will be moderated by Al Jazeera English Senior Presenter, Richard Gizbert.

This screening has limited space. Tickets are free and on a first-come, first-served basis.RESERVE YOUR PLACE 



 Department of Sociology Public Lecture

Do We Really Live in an Acceleration Society?

Date: Thursday 12th January
Time: 6.30-8pm 
New Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker:  Professor Hartmut Rosa
Discussants: Professor Judy Wajcman
Chair: Professor Nigel Dodd         

Do We Really Live in an Acceleration Society?

There is a widespread perception that life is faster than it used to be. In his lecture Professor Rosa will be discussing argues that popular and scholarly claims about acceleration gloss over the complex relationship of technology, speed and time.

This event is being hosted to celebrate the launch of 'The Sociology of Speed'  edited by Judy Wajcman and Nigel Dodd 



Department of Sociology Open Discussion

Society and Politics in the Age of Trump: Sociological reflections and critical discussion

Date: Thursday 8th December
Time: 5.00-6.30pm
Venue: Wolfson

How can we understand the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States? What sense can we make of the multiple crises shaping political and social life in the US, the UK, and elsewhere? And how should we—as intellectuals, activists, and citizens—respond to the contemporary moment?

The Sociology Department at the LSE is holding an open discussion on society and politics in the age of Trump. The event will begin with contributions from Dr Ayça ÇubukçuDr Rebecca Elliot, and Dr Michael McQuarrie, who are each invited to make three points to start the discussion. Following this, all attendees are invited to join the debate with questions, critiques, or contributions of their own. The event will be moderated by Dr David Madden


Department of Sociology and Department of Geography

and Environment Public Discussion

In Defense of Housing

*Please note the change of venue*

Date: Tuesday 25 October 2016 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
New Venue: PAR.2.03, Parish Building 

Speaker:  Dr David Madden 
Discussants: Dr Melissa Fernandez,  Dr Suzanne Hall, Dr Paul Watt               Chair: Dr Hyun Bang Shin             

Housing is one of the most pressing urban issues of our time. In In Defense of Housing, Peter Marcuse and David Madden explore the causes and consequences of the housing problem and detail the need for progressive alternatives. They argue that the housing crisis has deep political, social, and economic roots and will not be solved by minor policy shifts. As a critical response, they explore the potential of a radical right to housing.



Department of Sociology Workshop

Sociology After Brexit

*Please note the change of venue*

Date: Monday 10th October 2016 
Time: 14.00 
NEW VENUE: 20 Kingsway - Room KSW.1.04            

Professor Craig Calhoun 
Professor William Outhwaite
Professor Gurminder K. Bhambra 
Dr Will Davies 
Dr Lucy Mayblin 
Dr Lisa McKenzie 

We are delighted to be hosting a workshop on "Sociology After Brexit", which will explore the sociological ramifications of 'Brexit'. We will examine the dimensions of sociology to which the post -Brexit era call attention - migration, finance, inequality, populism/nationalism, anti-elite politics - as well as considering the broader global patterns in which Brexit appears to fit. The workshop will consist of a serises of informal talks by our main speakres, each followed by Q&A - with a 'roundtable' session at the end in which we hope to map some of the broader ramifications of these issues for our discipline.

There will be a drinks reception to follow

Please contact Kalynka Bellman (k.bellman@lse.ac.uk) to book a place. Students within LSE Sociology will be given priority, although we will try to accomodate as many guests as possible.



 British Journal of Sociology 2016 Annual Public Lecture

Sociology of WE Du Bois: why Du Bois is the founder of American scientific sociology

Date: Thursday 20th October 2016 
Time:  6.30-8pm 
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building 

Speaker: Professor Aldon Morris
Chair: Professor Nigel Dodd            

In this talk Aldon Morris discusses evidence from his book, The Scholar Denied, showing Du Bois, an influential 20th century black scholar, was the founding father of modern scientific sociology.            

Full Details: Event Webpage   



 Department of Sociology Research Festival 

 Resist logo_red_FINAL

Resist: Festival of Ideas and Actions

Launching on 26 September 2016 with a public lecture by fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood, followed by three days of events from 28-30 September.  Follow link to Resist webpage from Contents panel or here: www.lse.ac.uk/resist.