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.
Classes of Labour: work and life in a central Indian steel town
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Wednesday 11 November 2020
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).
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.
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.
Student Finance, Consumer Debt and Potential Solutions
Thursday, October 17
LSE, PAN G.01
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
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.
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 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.
- 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)
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
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
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: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/neoliberalism-social-oppression-and-class-relations-tickets-40939389817
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.
The 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: email@example.com 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
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