See below for forthcoming events in the new academic year (more details to follow) and details of public lectures and events held earlier this year, with links to podcasts and videos where available.  Follow the links on the left for all events hosted by our research centres and the research student-led Sociology Forum and Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies (REPS) PhD Network.  See Past Events for lectures and other events in previous years  (also with links to videos and podcasts where available). 

Public lectures at LSE are free and open to all, unless otherwise specified (sometimes a ticket is required).  If you are planning to attend an event and would like details of how to get here and what time to arrive, please refer to Coming to an event at LSE|.

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Forthcoming Events

Save the dates for these public lectures in the new academic year:

7 October: Danny Dorling on Inequality and the 1%: what goes wrong when the rich become too rich| 

23 October: Nigel Dodd on 'The Social Life of Money'

6 November: Troy Duster on ‘A Post-Genomic Surprise: the molecular reinscription of race in science, law, and medicine’ (BJS annual public lecture)

27 November: Judy Wajcman on 'Pressed for Time: the acceleration of life in digital capitalism'

Recent Events  

Department of Sociology public lecture:

Authorities of Freedom: Anthropology, Aesthetics and the Culture Concept

Speaker: Professor Tony Bennett
Chair: Professor Mike Savage

Tuesday 17 June 2014, 6.30-8pm
Room STC.S219 (McKenzie Room), second floor, St Clement's Building, LSE

The anthropological concept of culture as a way of life has often been interpreted as a democratic extension of, and break with, earlier aesthetic definitions of culture. Nothing could be further from the truth. The culture concept that defined the tradition of American anthropology running from Franz Boas to Ruth Benedict interpreted ways of life as the result of a creative patterning modelled on works of art. These patterns provided, at one and the same time, the basis for establishing culture as the object of an autonomous science, distinct from biology and psychology, and a new working on the surface on the social through which the governance of difference was managed in 1920s and 1930s America. Yet, although developed through fieldwork among Native American peoples, the culture concept found its greatest practical applications in the assimilationist policies that regulated the relations between earlier generations of white Americans and new generations of immigrants from southern Europe. The conceptions underlying these policies rested on a distinctive amalgam of anthropological and aesthetic perspectives whose fusion created a new set of ‘authorities of freedom’ who aspired to reorder the relations between cultures through the free activities of their members rather than via state directives. However, although thus partly displacing earlier concepts of race in the governance of difference, the culture concept did not do so entirely as racial coordinates continued to inform the treatment of Native Americans and African Americans. I shall, in reviewing these episodes in the career of the culture concept, articulate their relevance to cultural studies which, although claiming the concept of culture as a way of life as its founding concept, has paid its earlier histories little attention.

Tony Bennett is Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory in the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney. He is a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and of the Academy of the Social Sciences in the UK. His research spans the fields of cultural studies, cultural sociology, and museum studies. His most recent books include Culture, Class, Distinction (2009, co-author), Material Powers (2010, co-editor), Assembling Culture (2011, co-editor), Making Culture, Changing Society (2013), and Challenging (the) Humanities (editor, 2013). 

Moral Background coverDepartment of Sociology public lecture: 

The Moral Background: An Inquiry into the History of Business Ethics

Speaker: Dr Gabriel Abend
Chair: Professor Mike Savage

Wednesday 28 May 2014, 6.30-8pm
Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

In recent years, many disciplines have become interested in the scientific study of morality. However, a conceptual framework for this work is still lacking. In his book The Moral Background, Gabriel Abend develops just such a framework and uses it to investigate the history of business ethics in the United States from the 1850s to the 1930s.

According to Abend, morality consists of three levels: moral and immoral behaviour, or the behavioural level; moral understandings and norms, or the normative level; and the moral background, which includes what moral concepts exist in a society, what moral methods can be used, what reasons can be given, and what objects can be morally evaluated at all. This background underlies the behavioural and normative levels; it supports, facilitates, and enables them.

Through this perspective, Abend historically examines the work of numerous business ethicists and organizations--such as Protestant ministers, business associations, and business schools--and identifies two types of moral background. "Standards of Practice" is characterized by its scientific worldview, moral relativism, and emphasis on individuals' actions and decisions. The "Christian Merchant" type is characterized by its Christian worldview, moral objectivism, and conception of a person's life as a unity.

Gabriel Abend is an assistant professor of sociology at New York University. He read political science and history at the Universidad de la República, received his doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University, and is a 2013-2014 fellow of the Institut d’études avancées de Paris. The Moral Background: An Inquiry into the History of Business Ethics was published by Princeton University Press in April 2014.

Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Department of Sociology public lecture:

Nationalism, Internationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Some Lessons from Modern Indian History

Speaker: Professor Partha Chatterjee
Chair: Dr Ayça Çubukçu

Thursday 3 April 2014, 6.30pm - 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

Suggested twitter hashtag: #LSEChatterjee

This lecture deals with four strands of trans-regional political movement in India’s anti-colonial history. The first is that of Islamic jihad which took inspiration from Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi’s campaigns in Sind, Afghanistan and Punjab in the early 19th century, was a submerged current in the 1857 revolt, sought to restore the Ottoman Khilafat after World War I and assumed the somewhat quixotic form of Obaidulla Sindhi’s attempt in the 1920s to mount an anti-British jihad from Kabul, Moscow and Ankara. The second consists of the international connections and alliances of nationalist armed revolutionaries, from the Ghadar party, Britain and US-based organizers such as Hardayal and Savarkar, the connections of the Bengal revolutionaries with Germany, the Irish rebels and anarchist groups in Europe, to the alliance of Subhas Chandra Bose with Germany and Japan during World War II. The third were the strong connections of Indian communists with the international communist movement. Finally, there were important critics such as Tagore who deplored the narrow self-aggrandizement of nationalism and pleaded for an opening to world humanity. All of these strands, with their possibilities and limits, continue to be vibrant today. 

Partha Chatterjee is a Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University and Professor of Political Science at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Calcutta, India. This lecture will inaugurate the Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity research group convened by Dr Ayça Çubukçu at LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights.

Nationalism, Internationalism and Cosmopolitanism podcast|


Stratification and Culture Research NetworkThe Precarious Precariat Workshop

26 March 2014, 11am-4pm,  Robert McKenzie Room
(STC 219), St Clement's Building, LSE

Speakers included Tracey Shildrick on 'Low Pay No Pay', Val Gillies on 'Precarious Mothering',  a speaker from the The Young Foundationon 'Inequalities and Disruptive intervention', Lisa Mckenzie on 'Stigma and stereotype' and Tracey Jenson on 'Broken Britain'.  For programme see Stratification and Culture Research Network website|

Lent Term 2014

Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Cluster Seminar:

Racialised ‘price-tag’: Commodification of migrant workers from post-socialist EU and its effects within East-West labour relations

Speaker: Dr Barbara Samaluk

Tuesday 4 March 2014, 6.30-8pm
Robert McKenzie Room, STC 219, St. Clement’s Building, LSE

We are pleased to announce the first session in the REPS Cluster’s Seminar Series. The REPS Seminars aim to develop opportunities for intellectual exchange in a friendly and relaxed environment with intellectuals from outside the LSE, engaged in path breaking research.

This talk explores intersectional commodification of migrant workers from post-socialist EU Accession 8 (A8) countries and its effects within transnationalised East-West labour relations. The talk exposes the colonial post-socialist order, widens understanding of A8 labour migration to the UK and leads to insights into the remaking of class, race and gender politics on the local and global scales.

Barbara Samaluk is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Work and Employment Research Unit at the University of Greenwich Business School.


Beck Climate Change poster cropDepartment of Sociology public lecture:

How Climate Change Might Save the World?

Speaker: Professor Ulrich Beck
Chair: Professor Mike Savage

Thursday 27 February 2014, 6.30-8pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Public discourse and politics of climate change are blocked by the dominance of apocalyptic imaginaries and by the inability of sociological thinking to analyse the transformation of politics and to imagine new openings.

To combat the sources of climate pessimism, we need a new cosmopolitan outlook, in research and politics, capable of grasping the epochal transformations of society and politics set in motion by the global risks of climate change. For poster (PDF) click on image.

Ulrich Beck is professor of sociology at the University of Munich and Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology.

Twitter: #LSEclimate 

Latour War and Peace poster cropDepartment of Sociology public lecture:

War and Peace in Time of Ecological Conflicts

Speaker: Professor Bruno Latour
Chair: Professor Judy Wajcman

Thursday 20 February 2014, 6.30-8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Although it is still useful to insist on the distinction between science and politics, the scale and importance of ecological mutations make it more and more difficult to use it effectively. The problem is that the alternative requires a redefinition of the two terms "science" and "politics". The lecture will explore in which way an alternative definition could help us to cope with the geopolitical debates that will become more and more intense in the future. For poster (PDF) click on image.

Bruno Latour is professor at Sciences Po, Paris and LSE Centennial Professor in the Department of Sociology.

War and Peace video and podcast|


Gender Institute and Department of Sociology discussion:

Risky Tranformations? Sex and the Negotiation of Hormone Treatment Risks

Speaker: Dr Sari Irni
Chair: Professor Charis Thompson

Thursday 20 February 2014 2.30-4pm
Graham Wallace Room, Old Building, Houghton Street, LSE

In this talk Sari will discuss some of the specific ways in Finland in which hormone treatments have been proposed to be ‘risky’. Most often in feminist theory the risks of hormone treatments are understood as health risks. Here however, Sari focuses on the ways in which hormone treatments have been considered risky primarily because they have seemed to challenge the two-sex binary. She is University (senior) Lecturer in Gender Studies, University of Tampere, Finland.

Youth on Religion book launch event

A panel discussion on Youth On Religion: The development, negotiation and impact of faith and non-faith identity by Nicola Madge, Peter J Hemming and Kevin Stenson was  held in Room NAB 2.04 from 6.30pm on Thursday 16 January 2014.

Kevin Stenson is a Visiting Professor in the Mannheim Centre for Criminology, and this event was co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology at LSE and Brunel University. Please follow link to event flyer| (PDF) for more details.

Michaelmas Term 2013


Culture and Social Change: The role of aesthetics

Speakers: Peter Bearman (Columbia); Vikki Bell (Goldsmiths); Claudio Benzecry (Connecticut); Georgina Born (Oxford); James Brassett (Warwick); Roberto Franzosi (Emory); Laurie Hanquinet (York); Sarah Nettleton (York); Cristiana Olcese (LSE); Marco Santoro (Bologna); Mike Savage (LSE).

16 and 17 December 2013, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Bourdieu’s seminal work has influenced the agenda of sociology of culture like no other. As a result, art – as symbolic representations of culture – is still mainly perceived as a means of distinction. Attention has been given to dynamics of art production and art consumption actively contributing to the reproduction of existing power relations. This focus has been at the expenses of other relevant cross-class dynamics: mainly the role of aesthetics in meaning development, and its impact on social relations. This conference aims to put aesthetics at the centre of the sociology of culture’s emerging research agenda and to lay the basis for an understanding of culture and the arts beyond entertainment and the consolidation of existing social boundaries.

Conference Programme| (PDF)

Launch of Critical Contemporary Culture Issue III:

Crisis and Considering Crisis in Critical Contemporary Culture

27th November 2013, NAB 1.07, 6.30-9pm

Following the second issue on fakeness (launched November 2012), CCC’s third issue examines the centrality of the idea of Crisis and attempts to uncover its fluid, ambivalent forms within the contemporary sphere. We are not seeking another theorization or a repetition of the apparent manifold state and the concept of crisis. Instead, we would like to talk about the blind spots within the concept. What is expected and not expected of a crisis? What are the current forms of crisis? Can crisis provide a tool for transformation and social change? In which ways does crisis become a trigger for acting in current circumstances? How does it relate to our understanding of creativity and pulsations towards freedom? How might we rethink the multiple and continuous transformative elements of crisis as moments of clarity?

Chair: Professor Mike Savage
Presenters: Alex Massouras (artwork), Alexis Milne (artwork), Nikolas Barnes (play), Rob Oldfield (play), Daniel Koczy (paper)

Critical Contemporary Culture is an online journal that envisions an alternative cultural-intellectual public space. In our contemporary moment, the combination of theoretical reflection with engaged cultural practice is as important as ever. We want to have a conversation with artists and students about the status of culture because we believe that we all have common interests and a shared culture.

Crisis video and podcast|


Old new politics of class hatsInaugural Lecture: 

The Old New Politics of Class

Speaker: Professor Mike Savage
Discussant: Professor Bev Skeggs (Goldsmith's)
Chair: Professor John Hills

Wednesday 20 November, 6.30-8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

In his inaugural lecture at LSE, Professor Savage will unravel ‘the paradox of class’: that overt class politics and consciousness decline as divisions become more entrenched. He draws on research from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey and the public reaction to its findings. See event poster (PDF).

Mike Savage is professor of sociology at LSE. Twitter: #LSEclass

Old New Politics of Class video and podcast|


Friese Cloning Wild Life coverBook launch:

Cloning Wild Life: Zoos, captivity, and the future of endangered animals

Speaker: Dr Carrie Friese
Discussant: Professor Charis Thompson
Chair: Professor Judy Wajcman

Tuesday 12 November 2013, 6.30-8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

The natural world is marked by an ever-increasing loss of varied habitats, species extinctions, and new kinds of dilemmas posed by global warming. At the same time, humans are working to actively shape this natural world through contemporary bioscience and biotechnology, as humans seek scientific solutions to environmental crisis. Cloned endangered animals in zoos sit at the apex of these trends. In her new book Carrie Friese argues that cloning technologies significantly affect our conceptualizations of and engagements with wildlife and nature. Cloning Wild Life is published by NYU Press.

Carrie Friese is associate professor of sociology at LSE. 

Poster Iran and Human Sciences cropDepartment of Sociology public lecture:

The "Human Sciences'' on Trial in Iran

Speaker: Professor Ali Mirsepassi
Chair: Dr Ayça Çubukçu

Thursday 7 November 2013, 6.30-8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Why have the "human sciences" become the target of a major government crackdown in Iran today? This talk will focus thematically upon a specific conceptual shift. Today’s religious-reformist intellectuals articulating Iran’s contemporary mass movement for democracy draw their vision of change from the social sciences rather than philosophy, reflecting complex underlying conceptual-theoretical and organizational-practical shifts since the long struggle over independence and the future that shaped the twentieth century.

Ali Mirsepassi is professor of Middle Eastern studies and sociology and director of the Iranian Studies Initiative at New York University, and Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology at LSE during MT 2013.
Twitter: #LSEIran

Human Sciences on Trial video and podcast|


Department of Sociology public lecture:

Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe?

Speaker: Professor Lord Giddens
Chair: Professor Craig Calhoun

Thursday 31 October 2013, 6.30-8pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

The European malaise goes deeper than the euro crisis alone, protracted and still unresolved though that may be. The EU and its member states must respond to deep-rooted changes affecting all the industrial countries. Pro-Europeans (as I am) should recognise that now is the time for a far-reaching rethink of the European project as a whole to create a model appropriate to the exigencies of the twenty-first century.

This event marks the publication of Anthony Giddens' new book Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe?

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

2013 BJS public lecture: 

Values beyond value? Is anything beyond the logic of capital?

Speaker: Bev Skeggs, Sociology at Goldsmiths, London
Chair: Don Slater, Editor in Chief, British Journal of Sociology

Thursday, 17 October 2013, 6.30-8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Many theories adopt the metaphors of capital to explore power
(e.g. Bourdieu), others propose that capital has subsumed all areas of life.
Professor Beverley Skeggs explored what looking through the logic of capital
reveals and obscures.

LSE Cities public lecture:

Global migration and urban renewal

Speakers: Philip Kasinitz, Michael Keith
Respondents: Rob Berkeley, Tim Finch, Sharon Zukin
Chair: Mike Savage

Thursday 10 October 2013, 6.30-8pm,
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Philip Kasinitz and Michael Keith respectively explored US and British perspectives on global migration. This event brought together leading experts on migration, urban culture, policy and racial justice, to productively engage with migration as a central part of our urban future.

Philip Kasinitz is professor of sociology at City University, New York.
Michael Keith is director of the Centre of Migration, Policy and Social Change at the University of Oxford.
Sharon Zukin is professor of sociology at City University, New York; she and Philip Kasinitz lead the Transnational Streets project.
Tim Finch is Director of Communications at IPPR.
Rob Berkeley is Director of the Runnymede Trust. 

Watch the video|

Sociology Forum

The Forum usually holds several events each term, including roundtable discussions, well-known external speakers, debates, and papers from academics and research students, open to all faculty and students in the Sociology Department and sometimes to a wider audience.  To find out more about it see Sociology Forum|.


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