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Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett: The Sociology of Public Life

Friday 14th May 2010, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

In this half-day conference in honour of Richard Sennett, who has retired as Professor of Sociology at LSE, two panels explored the themes Richard Sennett has written on and their implications today.  The first panel on 'Public Life and Public Policy' was chaired by Professor Lord Giddens, with speakers Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Bruno Latour, Professor Judy Wajcman and Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.  The second panel 'Cities and the Public Realm' was chaired by Professor Ricky Burdett with architects David Adjaye and Lord Richard Rogers, Geoff Mulgan (Director of the Young Foundaton) and Professor Sennett , who stepped up to the platform as a last minute replacement for The Guardian's Polly Toynbee.  See Conference Programme (PDF). 

To watch the video or listen to the podcast of the conference go to:
Richard Sennett: The Sociology of Public Life.

To view a PowerPoint slide show of the conference go to Slide Show.


LSE Public Lecture Richard Sennett and Rowan Williams

Professor Richard Sennett and Dr Rowan Williams: 'On Narrative and Ritual'

Chair: Howard Davies

Friday 14th May 2010, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

A dialogue between Professor Sennett and the Archbishop of Canterbury.  

To see the video of the lecture go to Videos of Public Lectures.

To listen to the podcast of the lecture go to Podcast.


Workshop: The IMPACT of IMPACT?

30 April 2010, Clement House D302

A workshop organised by the Department of Sociology, the BIOS Centre, and the Gender Institute addressing the introduction of impact as a measure of quality assessment in the next REF.  A panel of speakers and respondents included Professor Valerie Hey (Sussex), Professor Donald Gillies (UCL), Professor Mike Power (LSE), Dr Don Slater (LSE), Dr Fran Tonkiss (LSE). Chairs: Professor Sarah Franklin, Dr Clare Hemmings & Professor Mary Evans.


Public Lecture:

Ulrich Beck: 'Remapping Social Inequalities in the Age of Climate Change'

24th February 2010, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Chair: Professor Judy Wajcman

Ulrich Beck is British Journal of Sociology LSE Centennial Professor.  Two global forces - climate change and human expectations for equal rights - undercut nation-state control and radicalize social inequalities. 


LSE Cities Programme discussion: 'Reading London'

Saturday 13 February, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

Speakers: Will Alsop (replacing Dan Cruickshank), Professor Rosemary Ashton,  Leo Hollis, Hans Ulrich Obrist
Chair: Dr Fran Tonkiss

How do we attempt to understand the sprawling 'modern Babylon' that is London, with its layers of social, political and cultural history? Can art, architecture and literature help us to 'read' this complex city?

Rosemary Ashton is Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at UCL. Her most recent book is 142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London. Leo Hollis has written on both the history of London and Paris. His latest book was The Phoenix: the Men Who Made Modern London (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2008) and he is currently working on The Stones of London: the History of a World City for 2011. Hans Ulrich Obrist became Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery in April 2006.


Richard Sennett: 'Sociology as Literature'

Saturday 13 February, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

Richard Sennett explored the role of narrative in social research and in writing sociology.

Both these events can be heard as a podcast by following this link to LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts


Public Lecture

Paul Gilroy: 'From Double-Consciousness to Public Diplomacy: the changing value of African American culture'

8th February 2010, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

Chair: Dr Suki Ali

Paul Gilroy is Anthony Giddens Professor in Social Theory at LSE.  In this lecture Professor Gilroy considered the gradual transformation of a freedom culture rooted in slavery into something like an anodyne soundtrack to negative globalisation. How did the pursuit of human and civil rights come to be annexed by corporate multiculturalism?

Professor Gilroy's latest book Darker Than Blue: On the Moral Economies of Black Atlantic Culture was published by Harvard University Press in the UK in January 2010.



Public Lecture

Professor Judy Wajcman: 'Organizational time: ICTs and the multiple rhythms of work'

Developing Theoretical Innovation: A Workshop on the Issues Surrounding Sociomateriality

15th - 16th June 2009


Understanding Freedom - a series of talks organised by Patrick Joyce, Visiting Professor at the LSE and Professor Emeritus at University of Manchester

April - July 2009

What is freedom? Freedom is a term as central to contemporary discourse as it is nebulous in meaning. This series of talks and discussions aimed at identifying contemporary and historical usage and at clarifying the terms through which freedom is intellectually analysed.

April 1: Professor Richard Sennett - 'Charisma, politics and freedom'

May 6: Professor Paul Gilroy - 'Get free or die tryin' '

June 3: Professor Nikolas Rose - 'Freedom in an age of insecurity'

July 1: Professor Patrick Joyce - 'Freedom and the British'


Public Lecture

Professor Ulrich Beck, British Journal of Sociology LSE Centennial Professor

'Climate for Change: global warming as political opportunity'

25th February 2009, Old Theatre

How did the global construction of the 'undisputable fact' of man-made climate change become possible? Does climate change radicalise inequalities? Is climate change a 'global opportunity' for a cosmopolitical revival of politics?



Professor Nasser Hussain:

'Global Warfare and Legality: from colonialism to the "war on terror"'

Hobhouse Memorial Lecture Series

11 March 2008, Clement House

Professor Hussain discussd 'hyperlegality': a particular kind of legal administration that operates by sub-dividing and classifying people into legal categories, and by creating special commissions and tribunals that fracture the criminal justice system.

Professor Hussain teaches at the Department of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College. He is the author of

The Jurisprudence of Emergency: Colonialism and the Rule of Law (Michigan Press 2003) and of the edited collection Forgiveness, Mercy and Clemency (Stanford 2006).


Professor Ulrich Beck:

'A God of One's Own: individualisation and cosmopolitanisation of religion'

13th February 2008, Old Theatre

Religious movements seen from the angle of societies that have adopted the autonomy of individuals, thereby creating a god of their own.


British Journal of Sociology Public Lecture 2007

Professor Judith Butler:

Sexual politics, debates on secularism and the problem of this time: Sexual Politics: the limits of Secularism, the Time of Coalition

Repondent: Professor Chetan Bhatt

30th October 2007, Old Theatre

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She writes on cultural and literary theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism, and sexual politics.



Professor Robert Tavernor, Director of the Cities Programme:

Inaugural Lecture - 'Smoot's Ear: The Measure of Humanity'

2 May 2007, Old Theatre

Robert Tavernor focused on the various measuring systems human beings have devised over two millennia. Looking beyond the notion that measuring is strictly a scientific activity, divorced from human concerns, he set measures and measuring in cultural context to show how deeply they are connected to human experience and history. His book, bearing the same title, was published by Yale University Press in the spring of 2007.


Professor Mahmood Mamdani:

'The Politics of Culture Talk in the Contemporary War on Terror'.

Hobhouse Memorial Lecture Series

8th March 2007, Hong Kong Theatre

Mahmood Mamdani is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the Departments of Anthropology and Political Science at Columbia University, New York. He is also the current President of the Council for Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA) Dakar, Senegal. For a transcript of the lecture click here (PDF).


Professor Ulrich Beck, LSE Centennial Professor:

'A Cosmopolitan Perspective on the Sociology of Generations'

14th February 2007, Old Theatre

The space of experience of the younger generation is no longer fixed to the nation-state. Therefore, sociology needs to overcome 'methodological nationalism'.



Professor Paul Gilroy, Anthony Giddens Professor in Social Theory

Inaugural Lecture -

Multi-culture in Times of War (PDF)

10 May 2006

Britain's 'multi-culturalism' was officially pronounced dead in July 2005, and Professor Gilroy explored elements of its afterlife in this lecture, discussing some ways of approaching the social and cultural life of Britain's diverse polity which do not derive from the currently influential idea that civilisations are in conflict. Arguments on the one hand for the revival of empire and, on the other, for a new mode of assimilation, formed the framework of Professor Gilroy's observations.


Professor Sarah Franklin, Professor of the Social Study of Biomedicine

Inaugural Lecture - 'The Reproductive Revolution: how far have we come?'

24th November 2005, Old Theatre

Professor Franklin was appointed to a chair in the social study of biomedicine at the School in September 2004, and is one of the founders of this field. Her work has received international acclaim for its originality and breadth, and she is one of the leading figures in the social and cultural analysis of new reproductive and genetic technologies.


LSE Sociology's One-Hundredth Anniversary Celebration

On 13 May, 2005, the Department hosted a very successful all-day Centenary Event