See below for forthcoming events 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

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

Extradition and the Erosion of Human Rights

Speakers: Gareth Peirce, Professor Saskia Sassen, Professor Jeanne Theoharis
Chair: Professor Susan Marks
Wednesday 28 January 2015, 6.30-8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Since 9/11 the rules governing extradition from the UK to the US have been systematically relaxed, and safeguards designed to protect against injustice have been dismantled. British citizens are extradited on untested charges to face justice in US courts and prisons, but what standard of justice?

There has been little coverage of what happens in US courts and prisons following these extraditions. The conditions that suspects face in the notorious Supermax prisons, along with the use of secret evidence and material support bans raise serious human and civil rights concerns. 

Gareth Peirce is senior partner at Birnberg Peirce and Partners.
Saskia Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University.
Jeanne Theoharis is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.
Susan Marks (chair) is Professor of International Law at LSE.

This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis.
More info: LSE public events webpage|,|,  020 7955 6043

Twitter:  #LSEextradition 

Department of Sociology book launch:

Democratizing Inequalities: dilemmas of the new public participation

Speakers: Craig Calhoun, Caroline Lee, Michael McQuarrie, Edward Walker
Chair: Robin Archer

Tuesday 3 February, 7-8.30pm
NAB 2.04, New Academic Building, LSE 

Opportunities to ‘have your say,’ ‘get involved,’ and ‘join the conversation’ are everywhere in public life. From crowdsourcing and town hall meetings to government experiments with social media, participatory politics increasingly seem like a revolutionary antidote to the decline of civic engagement and the thinning of the contemporary public sphere. Many argue that, with new technologies, flexible organizational cultures, and a supportive policymaking context, we now hold the keys to large-scale democratic revitalization.

Democratizing Inequalities (eds. Caroline W. Lee, Michael McQuarrie, Edward T. Walker, NYU Press) shows that the equation may not be so simple. Modern societies face a variety of structural problems that limit potentials for true democratization, as well as vast inequalities in political action and voice that are not easily resolved by participatory solutions. Popular participation may even reinforce elite power in unexpected ways.

Professor Craig Calhoun is Director of LSE.
Dr Caroline W. Lee is Associate Professor of Sociology at Lafayette College.
Dr Michael McQuarrie is Associate Professor in Sociology at LSE.
Dr Edward T. Walker is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr Robin Archer is Associate Professor in Political Sociology at LSE.

This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis.
Info: email|.  

Save the date: Ulrich Beck public lecture on 'The Metamorphosis of World Cities' on 19 February. 


Recent Events (MT 2014)

Pressed for Time cover JWDepartment of Sociology public lecture:

Pressed for Time: the acceleration of life in digital capitalism

Speaker: Professor Judy Wajcman
Respondent: Genevieve Bell
Chair: Professor Lord Anthony Giddens

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

The technologically tethered, iPhone-addicted figure is an image we can easily conjure. Most of us complain that there aren't enough hours in the day and too many e-mails in our thumb-accessible inboxes. This widespread perception that life is faster than it used to be is now ingrained in our culture, and smartphones and the Internet are continually being blamed. But isn't the sole purpose of the smartphone to give us such quick access to people and information that we'll be free to do other things? Isn't technology supposed to make our lives easier?

In her new book Pressed for Time (University of Chicago Press) Judy Wajcman explores why it is that we both blame technology for speeding up everyday life and yet turn to digital devices for the solution.

Judy Wajcman is the Anthony Giddens Professor of Sociology at LSE.  Genevieve Bell is Vice President of User Experience at Intel Labs.  Anthony Giddens is a former director of LSE.

Pressed for Time podcast and video|


Atrocity Suffering and Human Rights Research Group Film Screening and Q&A:

Who is Dayani Cristal?

Chair: Dr Claire Moon

Friday 14 November 2014, 6-8.15pm, Wolfson Theatre, NAB

See event webpage|.


Department of Sociology book launch:

The Rise of the British Comedy Snob

Speakers: Dr Sam Friedman, Professor Mike Savage, Brian Logan, Lydia Hampson

Wednesday 12 November 2014, 6.30-8pm, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

To mark the publication of Comedy and Distinction: The Cultural Currency of a 'Good' Sense of Humour, LSE Sociology invites you to an early evening book launch. Dr Sam Friedman will begin with a short talk about the book and this will be followed by a panel discussion with three leading figures from the sociology of culture and the British comedy industry. Professor Mike Savage, from LSE Sociology, will discuss comedy taste as a form of 'emerging cultural capital'. Brian Logan, comedy critic at The Guardian, will reflect on the role of critics as comedy tastemakers and Lydia Hampson, a freelance comedy agent, will offer reflections on her work as a comedy scout. 

Sam Friedman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. 

Log in for British Comedy Snob podcast |(available to LSE staff and students).


Sociology Forum event:

New Faces New Passions

Introducing new faculty members Fabien Accominotti, Sam Friedman, Rozlyn Redd and Leon Wansleben.

Wednesday 12 November, 4-6pm in the McKenzie Room (STC 219).

BJS annual public lecture:

A Post-Genomic Surprise: the molecular reinscription of race in science, law, and medicine

Speaker: Professor Troy Duster
Chair: Professor Nigel Dodd

Thursday 6 November 2014, 6.30-8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, NAB

A Post-Genomic Surprise podcast and video|

Department of Sociology public lecture:

The Social Life of Money

Speaker: Professor Nigel Dodd
Respondent: Professor Keith Hart
Chair: Professor Stuart Corbridge

Thursday 23 October 2014, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre, Old Building

Questions about the nature of money have gained a new urgency in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Even as many people have less of it, there are more forms and systems of money, from local currencies and social lending to mobile money and Bitcoin. Yet our understanding of what money is—and what it might be—hasn’t kept pace. In The Social Life of Money (Princeton University Press, 2014), Nigel Dodd, one of today’s leading sociologists of money, reformulates the theory of the subject for a postcrisis world in which new kinds of money are proliferating.

Nigel Dodd (@nigelbdodd) is Professor of Sociology at LSE and author of The Social Life of Money.

Keith Hart is Centennial Professor of Economic Anthropology in the Department of International Development at LSE.

Social Life of Money podcast and video|


Department of Geography and Environment and Department of Sociology public lecture: 

Inequality and the 1%: What goes wrong when the rich become too rich? 

Speaker: Professor Danny Dorling
Chair: Professor Stuart Corbridge

Tuesday 7 October 2014, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

It is widely accepted that high rates of inequality are damaging to society, although some skeptics remain to be convinced. Perhaps it is because the most damaging form of economic inequality now appears to occur when the very richest 1% take more and more, even if the other 99% are becoming more equal. So what exactly is it about inequality that causes most harm? 

Danny Dorling (@dannydorling) is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, Oxford. He advises government and the office for national statistics, appears regularly on TV and radio, and writes for the Guardian, New Statesman and other papers. His new book Inequality and the 1% is published by Verso Books.  

Inequality podcast and video|


Previous 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). 

Department 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 

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|

The 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|

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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