The Origins of Our Discontents: the inheritance of caste and hierarchy in America

Hosted by the Ralph Miliband Programme

Online public event


Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson


Dr Robin Archer

Dr Robin Archer

Isabel Wilkerson will explore how societies, with an emphasis on the United States, have been shaped by an underlying phenomenon of caste and how arbitrary hierarchies still divide and damage us today. Hers is an urgent call for a freer, fairer world.

Isabel Wilkerson (@Isabelwilkerson) is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a daughter of the Great Migration, the mass movement that she would go on to write about. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1994, as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. She then devoted fifteen years and interviewed more than 1,200 people to tell the story of the six million people, among them her parents, who defected from the Jim Crow South. Isabel's new book is Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

You can order the book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney

Robin Archer is Director of the Ralph Miliband Programme and Director of the Postgraduate Programme in Political Sociology 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.

This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, a series of debates about the direction the world could and should be taking after the crisis.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECOVID19


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1-2 working days after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

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How can I attend? Add to calendar

This online public event is free and open to all but pre-registration is required.

Registration will open after 10am via Zoom on Thurday 22 October.

For any queries email


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