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Public events and seminar series

The department runs a number of seminar series and lectures throughout the Winter, Autumn and Spring terms. This year we have had several regional and thematic seminar series. We also have a time-honoured weekly Research Seminar on Anthropological Theory, which has been the venue for cutting-edge, intensive debate on current research in the discipline since Malinowski's time at the LSE. You are welcome and encouraged to attend all departmental seminars.

We hold the annual Malinowski Memorial Lecture which, unlike most named lectures, is awarded to outstanding anthropologists at an early stage of their career. 

In addition to these events we hold occasional Ethnographic film showings on a diverse range of topics. For seminars related to specific research projects please visit their Research Pages.

All events are open to the public on a first come, first served basis where space is limited unless otherwise stated.

Friday seminars

Our Research Seminar on Anthropological Theory this term will be held in the Old Anthropology Library, 6th Floor, Old Building from 11.00am -1.00pm on Fridays.  

For further information please contact

Spring Term 2024

3 May 2024
Political Atmospheres of Marginalisation: Understanding the Contingencies of State Transformation
Tatjana Thelen, University of Vienna

10 May 2024
Anachisale’s life: narration and ethics in feminist anthropology. Reflections on work in progress
Jessica Johnson, University of Birmingham

17 May 2024 
Hosting speech. Radio and mediation in late twentieth century Mali
Aïssatou Mbodj-Pouye, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Institut des Mondes Africains

31 May 2024 
Ghostly Invasions: Fire and Anti-Indigenous Environmentalism in Bolivia
Mareike Winchell, LSE

7 June 2024 
Thoughts as Space: DEAF mind-mapping cosmogony
Kelly Fagan Robinson, Cambridge University

14 June 2024
Families Without Wives: Marriage, Kinship and the Indian Men's Rights Movement
Srimati Basu, University of Kentucky 


David Graeber Memorial Lectures and seminars 

David Graeber Memorial Lecture

David Graeber Memorial lecture is co-presented by the Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics; École d'innovation sociale Élisabeth Bruyère, St Paul; Zanîngeha, Rojova; Institute de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla; Anthropology and Social Change, California Institute of Integral Studies. 

2nd David Graeber Memorial Lecture 2022 
5 April, 2pm Eastern Time.

Register here to attend. 

Professor Michael Hardt
Professor of Literature, Duke University
Michael Hardt

‘Three experiments in dual organization in the 1970s: The Black Panther Party, Autonomia, and Devrimci Yol’ 

1st David Graeber Memorial Lecture 2021
11 May 

Professor Alpa Shah 
Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics 
Alpa Image for DG Seminar

‘What if We Selected our Leaders by Lottery? Democracy by Sortition, Liberal Elections and Communist Revolutionaries’ 

Watch the lecture here:
Watch the YouTube video

Abstract: What if we selected our leaders by lottery? Zooming out from the mud huts of indigenous communities in the forested hills of eastern India, this article compares three different models of leadership and democracy: liberal electoral democracy; Marxist-Leninist Maoist democracy; and democracy by sortition — the random selection of rotating leaders. The significance of sortition is introduced into discussions of democracy in India (showing connections with practices in Nepal and China) as part of a broader attempt to make scholarship on South Asia more democratic. The author also re-reads ideals of leadership among indigenous people, showing that we need a theoretical and practical vision arguing not for societies without leaders but for societies in which everyone may be a leader. In India, this compels us to push back against the critique of its indigenous communities for not producing leaders and enables a profound re-reading of the history of subaltern anti-colonial rebellions. The final aim of the article is to highlight the virtues of the potential of sortition in creating democratic society globally. How we think about democracy and leadership is thus turned on its head to provide a new vision for the future. 

Dr Shah’s David Graeber Memorial lecture was published by the journal Development and Change. 

A Tribute Series of Events organized by the Department for David Graeber in Michaelmas 2021

To pay tribute to David Graeber we began with the launch of his post-humously published book with David Wengrow, the Dawn of Everything. We also devoted a series of the Department’s flagship Friday Research Seminar on Anthropological Theory to discussing David Graeber’s work. Chaired by Alpa Shah, these events strived to come to terms with our dear colleague and friend’s extraordinary intellectual generosity and optimism. In each session, two anthropologists lead a critical discussion on one of David Graeber’s key gifts of writing, exploring the fissures and cracks, as David liked to, in order to grow our thoughts and actions. The series was also published by the journal Focaal. 

Dawn of Everything
David Wengrow (Professor of Archaeology, UCL) in conversation with Alpa Shah (Professor of Anthropology, LSE) about his newly published book with the late David Graeber
Watch the video on YouTube

Lost People
Maurice Bloch (LSE Emeritus Prof Anthropology) and Jonathan Parry (LSE Emeritus Prof Anthropology) 
Watch the video on YouTube

Chris Gregory (Australian National University Emeritus Prof Anthropology) and Don Kalb (Bergen Prof Anthropology)

Watch the video on YouTube

Keith Hart (Goldsmiths Anthropology Emeritus Prof Anthropology) and Maka Suarez (Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies Fellow) 

Watch the video on YouTube

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology 
Keir Martin (Oslo Assoc Prof Anthropology) and Ayça Çubukçu (LSE Assoc Prof LSE Sociology) 
Watch the video on YouTube

Megan Laws (LSE Fellow Anthropology) - Giulio Ongaro (LSE Postdoc Anthropology) and Michael Edwards (Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge) 
Watch the video on YouTube

Nayanika Mathur (Oxford Assoc Professor Anthropology) and Michael Herzfeld (Harvard Monrad Research Professor of the Social Sciences)
CANCELLED due to strike action  

Bullshit Jobs 
Mao Mollona (Goldsmiths Senior Lecturer Anthropology) and Andrew Sanchez (Cambridge Associate Professor Anthropology)
Watch the video on YouTube

The Malinowski Lecture

Kimberly Chong

Malinowski Memorial Lecture 2024

Thursday, 23 May 2024
Shaw Library, Old Building, Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE

Conceptual colour: Race and the anthropology of financialization

Listen to the audio recording

Dr Kimberly Chong, Associate Professor in Anthropology at University College London

Economic anthropologists now carry-out fieldwork in settings for which the ethnographic method was never designed, amongst powerful financial actors who are notoriously difficult to access, and in contexts which transcend geographical boundaries. This has engendered a re-orientation of anthropology, to consider not only the economic lives of people but also the social life of devices and concepts. Drawing on ethnographic readings of corporate documents as well as fieldwork with various fee-earning intermediaries, this lecture looks at concepts of economy, specifically, concepts that are directed towards the making of investible places and investible subjects, and thus play a critical role in the production of financialization. Although often portrayed as neutral forms of knowledge, it is argued that such concepts of economy are implicated in processes of racialization and that financialization is enacted through and produces racial forms. 

Kimberly Chong is Associate Professor of Anthropology at University College London. Kimberly’s research explores the production of financialized capitalism through expert practices, and spans the anthropology of value, work, organisations and finance. 

 Read about previous Malinowski Memorial Lectures


Public events

Book Launch 'Extraction/Exclusion'

Join Neger Elodie Behzadi, Katy Gardner, Onya McCausland, Stephanie Postar, Han Smith and Gisa Weszkalnys for a panel discussion to launch 'Extraction Exclusion: Beyond Binaries of Exclusion and Inclusion in Natural Resources Extraction'.

May the 7th, 5:30-7:00pm
Old Anthropology Library, LSE 


Anthropology of Economy/Inclusive Economies Seminar

Departments of Anthropology and International Development, LSE

Autumn Term 2023
Wednesdays, 5 – 6.30pm
St Clements S 419, plus zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 854 3804 7161
Passcode: 067807

Week 9: 22nd November
Skilling race: Affective labor and “white” pedagogies in the Chilean service economy
Sofia Ugarte, Anthropology, LSE

Week 10: 29th November
Family, Private Property and the Aloha State: Sea level rise and family legacies in Hawai’i
Sylvia Yanagisako, Stanford and Anthropology, LSE [venue to be confirmed]

Week 11: 6th December
‘They don’t even want to do business’: exploring women’s advicescapes in Bangladesh
Becky Bowers, Anthropology and International Development, LSE

Contact: Deborah James -

Past events

ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY & LSE book launch Prof Chris Fuller (LSE)

Anthropologist and Imperialist H. H. Risley and British India, 1873-1911

Wednesday 25th October, 6 to 8pm

Free and open to all at The Royal Asiatic Society
14 Stephenson Way, NW1 2HD
Because of the HS2 building site, access to the RAS in Stephenson Way is only possible via North Gower Street, not via Melton Street and Euston Street.

Chris Fuller carried out extensive ethnographic research in India between 1971 and 2008, and published several books, including The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India (1992; rev. ed. 2004), The Renewal of the Priesthood: Modernity and Traditionalism in a South Indian Temple (2003) and, with Haripriya Narasimhan, Tamil Brahmans: The Making of a Middle-Class Caste (2014).

'Living Water': ethnographic film screening and discussion with director Pavel Borecky

8 December 2022

A feature documentary film 
2020, 77 min.
Czech Republic, Switzerland, Jordan 

The film, which emerged from a year of doctoral ethnographic fieldwork, explores the clash between the state of Jordan, agricultural businesses and Wadi Rum indigenous communities over the last abundant source of drinking water. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with the film’s researcher, director and editor, visual anthropologist Pavel Borecký.  

Watch the film trailer here. See the film’s website here.  

Adivasi Art and Activism: Curation in a Nationalist Age

This panel discussion will launch Alice Tilche's book Adivasi Art and Activism: Curation in a Nationalist Age (U of Washington Press, 2022)

The Critical South Asia Group (CSAG) and the Warwick Interdisciplinary Centre for International Development (WICID), along with the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE) invite you to a book launch and panel discussion on

Thursday, 19 May 2022
2 pm - 3:30 pm UK time

Nine Paths: what it means to be a minority woman in a majoritarian state

Monday 06 June 2022 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Hosted by the Department of Anthropology and the International Inequalities Institute

Against the backdrop of a rising Hindu majoritarianism and marked social and economic inequality, what does it mean to be a Muslim woman in India today?

This event marks the launch of Lexi Stadlen’s newly published Nine Paths which explores the intimate lives of nine women and their families on an island in the Sunderban, at the eastern edge of India, over the course of a year. There are weddings to celebrate and deaths to mourn, families to care for, difficult marriages to navigate and tragedies to overcome, as we observe the everyday drudgery, unexpected turmoil and the dreams of something better. A conversation chaired by Alpa Shah with Lexi Stadlen, sociologist Patricia Jeffrey who has conducted four decades of research in a Muslim village in Uttar Pradesh and journalist Sonia Faleiro who most recently wrote the The Good Girls, the ordinary killing of two low caste girls in a village in Uttar Pradesh.

Meet our speakers and chair

Sonia Faleiro (@soniafaleiro) is an award winning journalist and writer. She is the author, most recently, of Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing, praised by the GuardianObserverSunday TimesNew York Times and Financial Times.

Patricia Jeffrey, the author of many books and articles on India, is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at University of Edinburgh and is finalising a manuscript on the transitions of ordinary life in a Muslim village in Uttar Pradesh over more than forty years.

Lexi Stadlen has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and won the 2019 Bayly Prize, awarded by the Royal Asiatic Society for an outstanding thesis on an Asian topic completed at a British University. 

Alpa Shah (@alpashah001) is the author of Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas, a finalist for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing, the New India Book Foundation Prize and winner of the 2020 Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Book Prize. She is Professor of Anthropology and Convenor of the ‘Global Economies of Care’ research theme at the International Inequalities Institute, LSE

Cultivating Democracy: Politics and Citizenship in Agrarian India (OUP, 2021) by Mukulika Banerjee


Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

Thomas Hansen, Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Anthropology, Stanford university

Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology, LSE

Cultivating Democracy is the first study of the world’s largest democracy that shows how the values of republicanism are essential for successful democratic practice. The discussion of Indian politics in this book attends to both its institutional form and its democratic culture and shows how the project of democracy is incomplete unless it is also accompanied by a continual cultivation of active citizenship of republicanism.

This is an anthropological study in one particular rural setting in India, studied from 1998 to 2013. It draws on deep ethnographic engagement with the people and social life in two villages, both during elections and in the time in between them, to show how these two temporalities connect. The analysis shows how an agrarian village society produces the social imaginaries required for democratic and republican values. The ethnographic microscope on a single paddy growing setting allows us to examine how the various social institutions of kinship, economy, and religion are critical sites for the continual civic cultivation of cooperation, vigilance, redistribution, inviolate commitment, and hope—values that are essential for democracy.
Watch the recording on YouTube

More than money? How Anthropology can offer richer analysis for economists

Thursday 7 October 2021, 2-3.30pm

Hosted by Department of International Development and Department of Anthropology

Anthropology has often been seen as an academic version of Indiana Jones - namely a discipline devoted to exotic travel that does not have much relevance for the modern world.

However, Gillian Tett argues that this image is completely wrong today, and anthropology can make a vital contribution to public policy, corporate and financial life, as well as our communities as we try to 'build back better' after COVID-19. Indeed, she argues that a world drowning in artificial intelligence and other digital innovations desperately needs a second type of 'AI' - Anthropology Intelligence - to enable us to flourish.

But what does this mean for the economics profession? Could economists benefit by embracing this new type of AI? Gillian Tett will debate this with Deborah Rowland. 

The Dawn of Everything

Wednesday 13 October 2021 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Hosted by the Department of Anthropology and International Inequalities Institute

Join us for this event in which David Wengrow will be in conversation with Alpa Shah about his new book co-authored with the late David Graeber, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity.

A new science of history, it overturns our ideas of social evolution, and reveals new possibilities for human emancipation. Drawing on path-breaking research in archaeology and anthropology, Graeber and Wengrow question our fundamental assumptions about the origins of inequality, showing how history contains many more hopeful moments than we’ve been led to believe, once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there.

David Graeber's parting gift, this is his last book which he completed just before he died. We honour David Graeber in this event.

You can order the book, The Dawn of Everything, (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

Meet our speakers and chair

Alpa Shah (@alpashah001) is Professor of Anthropology at LSE, convenes a research theme at the LSE International Inequalities Institute and is author of the award-winning Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas.

David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) is Professor of Comparative Archaeology at UCL, and author of What Makes Civilisation? The Ancient Near East and the Future of the World. Photo credit - Antonio Olmos. 

Francisco Ferreira (@fhgferreira) is the Amartya Sen Professor of Inequality Studies and Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE.

Coalition Poster (2)

Censorship in Education - a panel discussion on pedagogical autonomy

Wednesday 2 December 2020 at 13:00 UTC

Hosted by Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics and The Argonaut: LSE Anthropology Magazine

In response to the recent UK governmental guidance which defines anti-capitalism as an "extreme political stance" and insists that schools should under no circumstances use resources from organisations who have a “publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow… capitalism”, this event brings together scholars who have worked on issues of censorship in education around the world. With voices from India, Turkey, and the UK, the aim is to keep open the spaces for educational autonomy.


Professor Esra Oyzurek (Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge) speaking about the Turkish experience

Professor Kalpana Kannabiran (Professor of Sociology and Director, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad) speaking about the Indian experience

Dr Sruti Bala (University of Amsterdam) representing the International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India

Professor John Holmwood (Professor Emeritus Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham) on UK guidance

Dr Desne Masie(Economist) on UK guidance

Dr Victoria Showunmi (UCL Institute of Education) on UK guidance.

This event is hosted in collaboration with the LSE Department of Anthropology and the LSE International Inequalities Institute, The Argonaut and the LSE Anthropology Society.



JP Book Cover picPhoto Parry


Classes of Labour: work and life in a central Indian steel town

Watch the recording

Listen to the podcast

Wednesday 11 November 2020
5-6.30pm (London)

Hosted by the Department of Anthropology and the International Inequalities Institute 

Jonathan Parry (author) 
Maxim Bolt (discussant) 
Geert De Neve (discussant) 
Nayanika Mathur (discussant) 
Massimiliano Mollona (discussant) 
Nate Roberts (discussant) 
Christian Strümpell (discussant) 
Alpa Shah (chair)

How should we understand the human conditions of the Indian workforce? This event will discuss Professor Jonathan Parry’s magnum opus Classes of Labour: Work and Life in a central Indian Steel Town. A classic in the social sciences, the book is based on more than twenty years of fieldwork in the hot dusty plains amidst the industrial sprawl that sprouted up around a gigantic steel plant erected with Russian backing as Nehru’s temple of modernity. The writing is lucid; we feel the burning furnaces of the coke ovens; are drawn into the romance and tragedies of marriage and sexual liaisons of women construction workers; and are overwhelmed by the stories of the sacrifices of humans needed to construct the steel plant. What unfolds is a salient division of the working class - between those considered the aristocracy of labour who had salaried regular jobs, and the rest whose conditions are extremely precarious. This division runs through both work and life - in marriage practices, suicide patterns, ideas of childhood. At the heart of the book is an analysis of the intersections of class, caste, gender and regional ethnicity in contemporary India. Parry argues that today class is more salient than all other identities in most contexts, and that the working class has become increasingly differentiated as the structuration of caste has declined. Driving this analysis is the question of whether the working class could ever unite to challenge the inequalities that frame their condition.

Jonathan Parry is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Anthropology at LSE. He is the author of several books including Caste and Kinship in Kangra (1979), Death in Benares (1994) and Classes of Labour: Work and Life in a Central Indian Steel Town (2018). 

Maxim Bolt is Associate Professor of Development Studies and Fellow of St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford. He is an anthropologist working largely on questions of economy in southern Africa – particularly labour, migration, borders, the social dynamics of money, and property inheritance. He is the author of Zimbabwe’s Migrants and South Africa’s Border Farms: The Roots of Impermanence (2015).

Geert De Neve is Professor of Social Anthropology and South Asian Studies at the University of Sussex. He has published on relations of labour, debt, unfreedom and inequality under India’s contemporary neoliberal regime, the politics of inclusion, social protection and citizenship, with a focus on Dalits in Tamil Nadu. He is the author of The Everyday Politics of Labour: Working Lives in India’s Informal Economy (2005). 

Nayanika Mathur is Associate Professor in the Anthropology of South Asia and Fellow of Wolfson College at the University of Oxford. She has written on bureaucracy, the state, materiality, multispecies ethnography, the Anthropocene, and anthropological methods with an area focus on India and the Himalaya. She is the author of Paper Tigers: Law, Bureaucracy and the Developmental State in Himalayan India (2016) and, Crooked Cats: Beastly Encounters in the Anthropocene (2021, forthcoming) 

Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona is an anthropologist based in Goldsmiths, University London. He was Director of the Athens Biennale 2015–2017; co-director of the Bergen Assembly in 2016, and he is founding director of the Institute of Radical Imagination (IRI). His books include Made in Sheffield: An Ethnography of Industrial Work and Politics (2009) and Brazilian Steel Town: Machines, Land, Money and Commoning in the Making of the Working Class (2019). 

Nate Roberts is an anthropologist and lecturer in the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Goettingen. His primary concern is the relation between class struggle and non-class systems of control (caste, race, gender, religious identity, nationality). He is the author of To be Cared For: The Power of Conversion and Foreigness of Belonging in an Indian Slum (2016). 

Christian Strümpell is research associate at the Department of Anthropology, Hamburg University. He specialises in the anthropology of labour and work, and class, caste and indigeneity in India and Bangladesh, with a special focus on the steel and garment industries.

Alpa Shah (Chair) is Associate Professor of Anthropology and leads the Research Theme ‘Global Economies of Care’ at the International Inequalities Institute at London School of Economics. She is the author of Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas (2018); co-author of Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India (2018) and author of In the Shadows of the State: Indigenous Politics, Environmentalism and Insurgency in Jharkhand, India (2010).


Fragile Conviction: the shaping of the post-Soviet world

Thursday 05 March 2020 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Hosted by LSE Festival: Shape the World

How do specific secular and religious ideologies – such as nationalism, neoliberalism, evangelical Christianity, Tablighi Islam – gain popularity and when do they lose traction?

This round table takes as its starting point a recent monograph by LSE anthropologist Mathijs Pelkmans – Fragile Conviction: Changing Ideological Landscapes in Urban Kyrgyzstan. Ethnographically rooted in the everyday life of a former mining town, the book explores how residents have dealt with the existential and epistemic crises that arose after the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Observing that ideological commitment was often intense but rarely long-lasting, Fragile Conviction introduces the concept of pulsation to develop a novel temporal and relational theory of belief, which draws attention to the fact that ideas do not necessarily have a stable presence, but require boosts of energy to gain and retain their force. This dynamic is particularly evident in contexts of uncertainty, such as in Kyrgyzstan’s tumultuous trajectory following the collapse of the USSR. Invited speakers Catherine Alexander and Chris Hann will discuss the broader relevance of these findings and compare them with other settings in Central Asia. As such, the speakers will engage in a conversation about the role of belief, commitment, and doubt in the shaping of the (post-Soviet) world.

Lady Black

The View from the Bench: in conversation with Supreme Court Justice, Lady Black of Derwent

Hosted by the Department of Law and Department of Anthropology

Jill Margaret Black was appointed to the UK Supreme Court in 2017, only the second female judge to reach the position. Lady Black attended Penrhos College in North Wales before studying at Durham University. The first lawyer in her family, her initial career at the Bar involved a broad range of criminal and civil work, although she later specialised in family law. For a period in the 1980s she taught law at Leeds Polytechnic. She was a founding author of the definitive guide to family law practice in England and Wales, and continues to serve as a consulting editor. Lady Black was appointed to the High Court in 1999, assigned to the Family Division. In 2004 she became the Chairman of the Judicial Studies Board's Family Committee, until her appointment as a Judicial Appointments Commissioner in 2008, where she served until 2013. Lady Black was appointed a Lady Justice of Appeal in 2010. She was previously Head of International Family Justice.

Zimran Samuel is a Visiting Fellow at LSE and a Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers.


CZ image 200 x 200

Student Finance, Consumer Debt and Potential Solutions

Thursday, October 17

This public event will explore the student financial complex and potential alternatives to it.

Caitlin Zaloom will discuss her acclaimed book. "Indebted: Family Sacrifice, College Costs and the Age of Student Finance" (Princeton University Press 2019), followed by a conversation with Johnna Montgomerie the author of "Should We Abolish Household Debts?" (Polity Press 2019) and Laura Bear, the author of "Navigating Austerity: Currents of Debt along a South Asian River," (Standford University Press 2015)


Two Meanings of Democracy: Lessons from Senegal and the Phillipines

(In association with the Universities of Birmingham, Durham and Warwick)

Speaker: Frederick Schaffer, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Thursday, 21 March 2019
Room 4.10, Old Building, Houghton Street, LSE


Xinjiang event March 2019

China's Re-education Camps in Xinjiang

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 6.30pm-8.00pm

Large numbers of Uyghurs have been detained by the Chinese government in re-education camps. What do we know about these camps?

Rachel Harris specialises in Uyghur culture and religion and is based at SOAS.

Jude Howell is an expert on authoritarianism and Professor of International Development at LSE.

Rian Thum (@RianThum) is a historian of Xinjiang based at the University of Nottingham.

Hans Steinmüller (@steinmuller) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at LSE.

LSE Anthropology (@LSEAnthropology) is world famous and world leading. We are ranked top Anthropology department in the Guardian League Tables 2018.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEXinjiang

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.


DG Poetry Festival February 2019

Financial Consequences
International Multimedia Poetry Festival
Saturday, 9 February 2019 4pm-11pm
Saw Swee Hock

“Financial Consequences - International MultiMedia Poetry Festival” challenges the perceptions of the economic crises and providing a new point of view via a wide variety of mediums. For the last 10 years, we see entrepreneurs, economists, bankers, technocrats and politicians to dominate the public opinion- now is the time for poets to explain to all of them the social impact of their decisions and their politics. The social awareness and sensitivity of poets - in collaboration with video artists and musicians- invited from countries crushed by the economic crises offer us the best possible view to invisible sites of social life, offer us the opportunity to understand and realize the Financial Consequences of economic crises in the everyday life of all of us and especially of people in suffer.

The Institute for Experimental Arts was founded in 2008 in Athens- Greece as a non-profit platform of creative expression and research in the fields of theater, performance art, digital media, installation, poetry and art theory. The Institute is committed to exist as an open meeting point for poets-writers, directors, actors, theater engineers/ technicians, performance artists, photographers, video artists and the writers who develop new analytical tools on contemporary art, media & communication

Saturday 9 February 2019 at 16:00


Debt Event December 2018

Debt in the UK: Faith-Based and Secular Responses

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Monday 10th December 2018, 6:30pm-8:00pm

Since the financial crisis, the roles of the state and religious organisations in British public life are changing. Faith-based organisations are key providers of relief to those in debt, often while criticising the debt economy as an underlying cause of poverty and inequality. Campaigns around international debt saw new coalitions between faith-based and secular organisations.

In this public panel talk, held by LSE Anthropology in partnership with Theos and St Paul’s Institute, we ask if similar alliances could be built to confront the harms of personal debt. What common ground do religious and secular civil society organisations have in identifying the challenges of debt and providing solutions? How far do faith-based and secular analyses of personal debt in the UK today converge and intersect? What are their differences?

We start from a common recognition that debt is not just a numerical, contractual or technical issue, but also a deeply moral one involving human social relations. Our talks will explore the moral implications of debt as a social issue. 

Speakers include:

  • Ryan Davey, Research Fellow in Policy Studies, University of Bristol and Visiting Fellow in Anthropology, LSE

  • Mohammed Abdel-Haq, Director of the Centre for Islamic Finance, University of Bolton

  • Sarah-Jane Clifton, Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign

  • Barbara Ridpath, Former Director, St Paul's Institute

  • Nathan Mladin, Researcher, Theos Think Tank

  • Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology, LSE (Chair)


Shahidul Alam and Bangladesh

Photography, society and activism: Shahidul Alam and Bangladesh

Shaw Library, LSE, Friday November 2, 6.30
Chair: Professor Deborah James (LSE)
Panel: Katy Gardner, David Lewis, Rupert Grey, Saiful Islam

This panel discussion and photo exhibition explores the photography of award-winning Bangladeshi photojournalist, teacher and activist Shahidul Alam and shows how it relates to broader social issues in that country, as highlighted in the recent research of LSE academics. The event forms part of a nationwide mass exhibition of his work to raise awareness of the international campaign for his release from detention. The exhibition runs as part of the UK-wide exhibition of Alam’s work, initiated by the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland, Autograph, London and Drik, Bangladesh.

Shahidul Alam was imprisoned on 5th August 2018 after speaking out in an interview with Al Jazeera TV about the violent state response to student protests about improving safety on Dhaka’s roads. Hours afterwards, he was abducted from his flat in Dhaka by thirty plain clothes officers hours, tortured while on remand, and charged under Section 57 of the country’s draconian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act. After several unexplained postponements, Shahidul has been refused bail.

Shahidul Alam’s case (and those of other activists similarly held) illustrates the recent deterioration of civil and political rights in Bangladesh, and intersects with themes in work by LSE academics who have worked in the country over many years. Research by Professors Katy Gardner, Naila Kabeer and David Lewis speaks to many of the themes in Shahidul Alam’s photographs, including those of migration, activism and civil society, and gender and power.

Shahidul Alam’s work over more than four decades has been concerned with exposing abuses of power. His early pictures documented Bangladesh’s popular struggle to rid the country of military dictatorship. His show Best Years of My Life was the main exhibit at the Global Forum for Migration and Development in Dhaka and Berlin, and at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London. More recently his exhibition on extremism and Islamophobia, Embracing the Other, was shown at Dhaka’s Bait Ur Rouf mosque to international acclaim.

His work has been shown at MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern London, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts Tehran. He received the 2018 Humanitarian Award from the Lucie Foundation who commented “Alam set up the award winning Drik agency, the Bangladesh Photographic Institute, the Chobi Mela festival, the Majority World agency and Pathshala, the South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world…”.

The event is free, but is ticketed:


Katy Gardner is head of the LSE’s Department of Anthropology. Her work has focused on issues of globalisation, migration and economic change in Bangladesh and its transnational communities in the U.K. Her doctoral research examined the transformations associated with overseas migration in a village in Sylhet, and resulted in her monograph Global Migrants, Local Lives: Travel and Transformation in Rural Bangladesh. More recently she is the author of Discordant Development; global capitalism and the struggle for connection in Bangladesh

David Lewis is professor of social policy and development at LSE and has carried out research on a variety of development issues in Bangladesh since the 1980s. He is author of Bangladesh: Economy, Politics and Civil Society.

Rupert Grey is a lawyer and photographer, whose photographs have been exhibited in the UK and Bangladesh. A longstanding friend and colleague of Shahidul Alam, he also represents many of the leading photographic agencies and institutions in the sector and has handled disputes over some of the most prominent and valuable images of the 20th Century.

Saiful Islam is a researcher and CEO of Drik/Majority World. Established in 1989, and based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Drik uses the power of the visual medium to educate, inform and draw powerful emotional responses to influence public opinion. Majority World is a photo agency and social enterprise working with photographers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.


Deborah James is Professor of Anthropology at LSE 


DG the thinker

The Bullshitisation of the Economy Has Only Just Begun: pointless labour, digitisation, and the revolt of the caring classes

Click here to listen to the podcast

Wednesday 17 October 2018 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Old Theatre

The proliferation of useless forms of employment in the professional-managerial sector has placed enormous pressure on the caring professions, leading to a major social conflagration.

David Graeber (@davidgraeber) is Professor of Anthropology at the LSE and author of Bullshit Jobs: a Theory.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEGraeber

This event forms part of the “New World (Dis)Orders” series, held in the run up to the LSE Festival, a week-long series of events taking place from 25 February to 2 March 2019, free to attend and open to all, exploring how social science can tackle global issues. How did we get here? What are the challenges? And, importantly, how can we address them? Full programme available online from January 2019.


The LSE International Inequalities Institute and the Department of Anthropology

Welcome you on 25 January 2018 
to a half day conference on ‘Neoliberalism, Social Oppression and Class Relations’ 
with Philip Bourgois (keynote lecture), Jeffery Webber, Shelley Feldman, Tithi Bhatacharya and Beverley Skeggs 
(1-6pm, Room 9.04, Tower 2, Clements Inn, LSE) 

and an LSE public event evening panel discussion of
‘Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India’
with Alpa Shah, Jens Lerche, Philip Bourgois and Katy Gardner
(6.30-8.00 pm followed by a drinks reception, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE) 

For further details and to get your free ticket for the conference, please see:

Please note that everyone is welcome to attend LSE public events on a first come-first serve basis, so to avoid disappointment, come early to the Old Theatre for the evening discussion.


Angie HeoThe Political Lives of Saints: Christian-Muslim Mediation in Egypt
Speaker: Angie Heo (University of Chicago)
Date: Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Time: 4.00-5.30 pm
Location: Seligman Library (6th Floor, Old Building, LSE) 

From the Arab uprisings in 2011 to ISIS's rise in 2014, Egypt's Copts have been at the center of anxious rhetorics around the politics of Christian-Muslim coexistence in the Middle East.  Despite the unprecedented levels of violence they have suffered in recent years, the current predicament of Copts signals more durable structures of church and state authoritarianism that challenge the ahistorical kernel of persecution politics and Islamophobia.  

This talk examines the political lives of saints to specify the role that religion has played in the making of national unity and sectarian conflict in Egypt since the 1952 coup. Based on years of fieldwork throughout Egypt, it argues that the public imaginary of saints – the Virgin, martyrs (ancient and contemporary), miracle-workers - has served as a key site of mediating social relations between Christians and Muslims.  It further delves into the material aesthetics of Orthodox Christianity to grasp how saintly imaginings broker ties of sacrifice across faiths, reconfigure sacred territory in times of war, and present threats to public order and national security.  Above all, it draws attention to the ways in which an authoritarian politics of sainthood shores up Christian-Muslim unity in the aftermath of war, revolution and coup.  In doing so, this talk directly counters recurrent and prevalent invocations of Christianity's impending extinction in the Arab Muslim world.   

Local Theory of Mind: why people experience the same God differently in different parts of the world

Tuesday 19 January 2016, 6.30-8pm, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Professor Tanya Luhrmann
Chair: Professor Rita Astuti (LSE)

Cognitive science of religion has made significant advances in understandings of supernatural agency. Yet cultures emphasise mental processes in distinctive ways that matter for the experience of God.

Tanya Luhrmann  is Watkins University Professor, Stanford University and contributing opinion writer, New York Times. 

Info: or call 020 7955 6494  #LSEanthro

Anthropology and Neoliberal Capitalism: implications for theory and ethnography

Wednesday 9 December  2015, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Professor Sherry Ortner
Chair: Professor Charles Stafford

In this lecture, Sherry Ortner will argue that the emergence of neoliberal capitalism since the 1980s has had profound effects on anthropology, at the levels of both theory and ethnography. At the level of theory, she will consider shifts in the ancestral status of the Marx-Weber-Durkheim set, and the significance of the rise of Foucauldian theory. At the level of ethnographic description and interpretation, she will consider the proliferation of work in which neoliberalism is either the framework or object of research.  

Sherry Ortner is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UCLA.

Charles Stafford is Professor of Anthropology at the LSE and also the editor and publisher of the popular online review journal, Anthropology of this Century. 

Celebrating LSE’s 120th Anniversary in the Department of Anthropology

Listen to/download audio

On Friday, 11 December 2015, as part of the celebrations for the LSE’s 120th anniversary, the Department of Anthropology will hold a one-day event to explore its history in the formative period of Malinowski’s leadership and the years immediately after. In the 1930s, Malinowski, together with his younger colleagues and research students, who mostly worked in Africa, established the LSE department as the home of the new, fieldwork-based, functionalist social anthropology that would become dominant in Britain in the following years. Although several historians of British anthropology have described Malinowski’s achievements and their importance, most practising anthropologists have only a rough idea about them and, perhaps especially in LSE, Malinowski is often little more than a legendary name. Through a series of short talks and exhibits, designed to inform and entertain both anthropologists and others interested in the LSE’s history, this event will explore the department between the early 1930s and the 1950s, looking at some topics that have been thoroughly investigated by historians, as well as others that have not.

When: Friday, 11 December 2015 from 09:30 to 17:15
Where: Tower 1, Room G.01, LSE 


9:30 – 9:40: welcome/introduction by Katy Gardner, Head of Department

9:40 – 10:30: Michael Young’s new chapter on Malinowski at the LSE (read by Catherine Allerton in his absence) and with Adam Kuper’s commentary 

10:30 – 11:00: coffee break 

11:00 – 11:30: Michael Cox on the place of Anthropology in the LSE, c. 1930-1950

11:30 – 12:00: Sherry Ortner on Hortense Powdermaker, LSE PhD 1928

12:00 – 12:30: Jean La Fontaine on Audrey Richards, LSE PhD 1930 

12:30 – 1:30 lunch 

1:30 – 2:00: Chris Fuller on Anthropology and the LSE’s links with India and China

2:00 – 2:30: Stephan Feuchtwang on Fei Hsiao-t’ung, China, LSE PhD 1938

2:30 – 3:00: Filippo Osella on A. Aiyappan, India, LSE PhD 1937 

3:00 – 3:30: coffee break 

3:30 – 4:00: David Mills on what happens after Malinowski leaves the LSE

4:00 – 4:30: Adrian Mayer, LSE PhD 1953 on being a PhD student at the LSE + the seminar

4:30 – 5:15: Maurice Bloch on the Department in more recent times with commentaries and a round table discussion by Laura Bear and Hans Steinmuller