readinggroup3

Reading groups

They say life is the thing, but I prefer reading

Logan Pearsall Smith


As our colleague Gerry Simpson likes to say, reading a book is the only way to find out what’s inside. We like doing that, and we hope you do too. But we don’t just read law, we like other stuff too. If you don’t believe us, check out the range of reading/viewing/listening groups offered by LSE Law academics and staff.

Our reading groups are open to anyone with an LSE email. Each group has its own time slot and meeting schedule, see individual listings for details. 

To register and obtain Zoom links for any our groups, visit our moodle page, or follow any direct links posted below.

 


 

Summer Term Reading Groups


 

Abenaa Owusu-Bempah

Black book and film club, with Abenaa Owusu-Bempah 

The Black Book and Film Club is open to anyone with an interest in contemporary Black film and literature. The club provides a forum for Black students and staff to engage with Black culture, while offering an opportunity for others to broaden their perspectives and knowledge base. 

In Summer Term we will meet on Thursday 6 May at 5pm to discuss The Last Tree (available to watch on Netflix). The film is a drama about a young man grappling with issues of identity and culture after moving from his foster family in Lincolnshire to live with his mother in London. Register here   

On Wednesday 9 June at 5pm we will meet to discuss the book, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. The novel has been described as ‘a highly entertaining, often very moving story about one young woman’s life as affected – in fact, almost destroyed – by her love life, with the politics of blackness permeating the pages.’ Register here



 

Lent Term Reading Groups


 

Sarah_Paterson_2013

Debt in Literature Reading Group, with Sarah Paterson

The Debt in Literature Reading Group will meet for a further 3 sessions in Lent Term.  This term meetings will take place via Zoom on: Monday 1 February; Monday 1 March; and Monday 29 March, in each case from 14:30 - 15:30 London Time.  

At out first meeting for the term, on Monday 1 February, we will be discussing Tom Wolfe's novel, 'A Man in Full'.  In our subsequent sessions we will be discussing Martin Lewis, 'The Big Short' and the role of debt and money in Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'.  For those of you who do not wish to add to your reading lists, there is an excellent film adaptation of 'The Big Short' and multiple adaptations of 'Pride and Prejudice', including an excellent BBC adapatation available on BoB National (Box of Broadcasts) through the LSE at:  https://www.lse.ac.uk/library/using-the-library/library-resources-guide/news-resources

As we discuss a different book each time we meet, do feel free to drop into any of the sessions.  Registration is required and the registration link is available here: https://lse.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0vf-igqj8qHtQJwlW5C8UGYTCz4-Y8R4_A

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 


 

hugh-collins-2Jo Braithwaite-2014

London Reading Group, with Jo Braithwaite and Hugh Collins

In this group we will talk about London: the group will explore LSE’s unique home and deepen your understanding and appreciation of this global city. We will weave together discussion of art, books, history and even some law. We will share internet resources, links to galleries and interesting books and sources that you can use to explore London online. 

In Lent Term, the group will meet on Zoom from 2-3:30pm (UK time) in weeks 2, 4, 7, 9 and 11. The zoom link is on the Convene Moodle page.All LSE law students are welcome and you may attend all the meetings, or as many as you wish.   

Each meeting is based around a particular area or feature of the city. In our meetings we will talk about the layers of culture and history associated with our selected part of the city and we consider the implications for modern London. Our meetings will follow on from each other on the basis of thematic clues rather than a chronological way.Lent term's meetings will explore: the City of London, a journey by river to Hampton Court and Westminster, amongst other historic areas of London. 

Further details: This reading group is run by Professor Hugh Collins and Dr Jo Braithwaite. Hugh went to school in London and has lived here most of his life. Jo has lived in London for nearly twenty years and knows many interesting parts of London thanks to her daily dog walks. Please contact Jo with any queries: j.p.braithwaite@lse.ac.uk  

 


 

Abenaa Owusu-Bempah

Black book and film club, with Abenaa Owusu-Bempah 

The Black Book and Film Club is open to anyone with an interest in contemporary Black film and literature. The club provides a forum for Black students and staff to engage with Black culture, while offering an opportunity for others to broaden their perspectives and knowledge base. 

Here is the programme for Lent Term: 

Thursday 4 February, 5pm to 6pm:  We will meet discuss the film Mangrove

Thursday 4 March, 5pm to 6pm: We will be discussing the novel Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Thursday, 25 March, 5pm-6pm: Our final meet-up for LT is on 25 March at 5pm to discuss the documentary, ‘Terms and Conditions: A UK Drill Story’. The documentary examines the rise in popularity of drill music (a subgenre of rap) and the controversies surrounding it, including ongoing debates about whether drill is a cause of or reaction to violent crime, as well as whether the legal response to the perceived threat of drill has been disproportionate and discriminatory. The documentary is available to watch on YouTube. Register for this meet-up here >

Register for our sessions via Moodle > 

 


 

diazsorry

Contemporary Legal Questions: A Journey through Movies

Contemporary Legal Questions is a “reading” group run by the PhD students of LSE Law and open to all LLB and LLM students in the Department. The aim is to explore current controversies and debates surrounding law’s impact on society, always starting from visual material (it can be a movie, an episode of a TV series or a documentary). Five contemporary questions surrounding law are explored throughout the year, each comprising at least two meetings: Security and Violence; Law and the Problems of Modern Economy; Law and Tech; and What Fiction Tells Us about Law. Participants can decide either to attend the entire reading group or only the sessions on the questions they prefer.

Theme: Contemporary legal questions through movies

PhD students involved: Alexandra Sinclair, Fletch Williams, Francesca Uberti, Jacob Van De Beeten, Katie Nolan, Mattia Pinto, Mikolaj Szafranski, Roberto Russo, Shree Agnihotri

Click here for the programme

 


 

trotter

Contemporary Issues in Family Law

This is a group for anyone who is interested in the endlessly fascinating and challenging subject that is FAMILY LAW. Perhaps you are a current family law student or one who is writing a dissertation in the subject, in which case you’ll already have been gently pushed in the direction of this group by me (and it’s therefore great to see you reading this blurb); or maybe you studied family law last year and would like to carry on with it in some way this year (in which case, hello again and welcome to round two); or perhaps you’re curious about the subject because it seems to be quite interesting (which it really is, so welcome). You don’t need to have any background in family law to join this group: it’s open to all members of the LSE Law world. What we’ll be doing primarily is considering and reading about contemporary issues in family law; and our aim in doing this will be not only to enhance our collective understanding and knowledge of the field but also more specifically to think about the production of certain narratives both within family law and that affect family law. These are narratives about, for example, what it means to be a child, what consent means in the context of intimate and family life, and what the role of the State is in relation to family life. Our main question will be, as in the tradition of the LSE Family Law course: how should we think about family law?     

Each meeting will be focused on the issue on the programme that week, though you are of course welcome to bring additional material to the debate and to propose other points of discussion. The programme below is simply a working programme in that sense and is therefore up for revision. Meetings themselves will be relatively informal – a friendly space for discussing our common interest in family law – and they will absolutely not be like classes, even though the group itself is linked to an LLB option. Naturally, because of the time we are in, meetings will take place over Zoom; but among the benefits of this are that you can come irrespective of whether or not you can go outside your front door on the particular day in question, you can in this particular case join while making your dinner or doing domestic tasks (if your multitasking skills are up to it), you can bring along anyone you live with, and you will get to know other people from across the LSE Law community who you would otherwise not necessarily have been able to meet this year due to COVID-19. So basically, it will be very interesting and really fun.  

The group will run every other Thursday from Week 2 (28 January), from 4-5pm

The Zoom link is here: Register in advance for this meeting.

 


 

trotter

Truth

Dates and times: Thursday 4 February 5-6pm (Week 3) (Brit Bennett, The Mothers (2016, Riverhead; 2020, Dialogue Books))

Thursday 25 February 5-6pm (Week 6) (Anne Enright, The Forgotten Waltz (2011, Jonathan Cape; 2012, Vintage Books)) 

The idea for this group came from thinking about the way in which truth is portrayed in cases relating to family life in European human rights law. There are cases of contested paternity, for example, in which a distinction is drawn between ‘biological truth’ (involving an appeal to genetic fact and the right to knowledge of genetic origins) and social reality (in which the focus is on, e.g., the stability of the child’s current environment and the risks of disturbing that). In this group we will read two books that raise equally interesting questions about truth in relation to intimate relationships: Brit Bennett’s The Mothers (2016, Riverhead; 2020, Dialogue Books) (4 February),  and Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz (2011, Jonathan Cape; 2012, Vintage Books) (25 February).

Sign-up details: Register in advance for this meeting.  

 

 

Michaelmas Term Reading Groups

Abenaa Owusu-Bempah

Black book and film club, with Abenaa Owusu-Bempah 

The Black Book and Film Club is open to anyone with an interest in contemporary Black film and literature. The club provides a forum for Black students and staff to engage with Black culture, while offering an opportunity for others to broaden their perspectives and knowledge base. We will meet twice a term, once to discuss a book and once to discuss a film. Each book and film is chosen by a poll. Nominated materials include a range of fiction and non-fiction, comedy, drama and documentaries, touching on prominent themes in Black literature and film, including: race and racism; justice and equality; colonialism and post-colonialism; feminism; patriarchy; religion; kinship; love; and, of course, the law. 

In Michaelmas Term we are watching Rocks and reading Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala.

Format: two meetings per term, one to discuss a book and one to discuss a film. In MT, meetings will be held on 12 November at 5pm (film club) and 3 December at 5pm (book club). 

Register for the MT film club here

Register for the MT book club here

  


 

Sarah_Paterson_2013

Debt in Literature Reading Group, with Sarah Paterson

In this reading group we will work our way through a range of fiction and non-fiction books which have debt as a central theme.  We will start with Margaret Atwood's Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, not least because Atwood explicitly considers debt as a motif and theme in (particularly nineteenth century) literature, so this should set us up nicely to think about the role of debt in the other books we will read together.  We will then cover debt and the community (Amy Goldstein, Janesville: An American Story); leveraged debt (Tom Wolfe A Man in Full); debt and the 2008 financial crisis (Michael Lewis, The Big Short); and personal debt (Helen Dunmore, Your Blue-Eyed Boy).  And we will finish with Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit, focusing on the ways in which attitudes to debt have changed in the modern literature we have read and some of the ways in which it hasn't.  

Most of the books are readily available.  The exception is the Helen Dunmore which is out of print.  It is available as a Kindle book for those of you equipped with a Kindle, but it is also available at reasonable prices from many different second hand book sellers via Abebooks

Format: 14:00 - 15:00 on Tuesday 13 October; Tuesday 3 November; and Tuesday 24 November.

 


 

Jacco_Bomhoff-2015

London Literary: Trying Out the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement, with Jacco Bomhoff 

London is home to two influential literary journals: the LRB (London Review of Books) and the TLS (Times Literary Supplement). You could read these journals to get a sense of what’s going on in the London arts world, to see which new books or films might be worth reading or watching, or museums worth visiting. They are full of short, often very well-written pieces, on fascinating topics that typically have nothing to do with law. In this reading group we will sample current issues of these journals during Michaelmas Term. I will ask you to buy each journal once (they are a few pounds each), and will provide links or electronic files for a further selection of articles. 

Format: The group will meet Mondays on Oct 19, November 9 & 30, 2020 at 07:00 PM  

Please note:
For our meeting on 30 November 2020, we are browsing through the TLS Issue No. 6139 (of 27 November), and/or the LRB Issue 22 (of 19 November). Both are available through the LSE Library. Do feel welcome to register and attend, also if you have not attended any of our earlier meetings. 

Register here

 


 

trotter

Hope, with Sarah Trotter and Jacob van de Beeten

In the times we are in, it seems like a good idea to have a reading group about hope – a good idea, and also an interesting one, because when we think about it, questions of hope and its meaning are utterly fundamental to our lives. What is hope? When do we hope? When should we hope? What does it mean, to experience hope? Or to hope well? Or to hope together? Or to hope despite everything? What was hope yesterday? What is it today? What will it be tomorrow? Those are the kinds of questions that we will debate in this group – a group which has as its reason for existence precisely that: to think about hope.  

The group is open to anyone in the LSE Law world. Meeting will be on a weekly basis throughout the Michaelmas Term (from Week 2 onwards), with each session oriented around a different dimension relating to thought about hope. We will read a range of pieces (electronic versions of which will be made available), including two wonderful books: Jonathan Lear’s Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006, Harvard University Press) and Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (2016, Canongate Books). We are aware that in the context of a busy term both the frequency of the sessions and the reading list itself reflect a fair degree of hope on our part, but we hope (…) to welcome as many of you as possible to the meetings and are very much looking forward to discussing the texts and to thinking together about what hope is and means.  

Meeting details:   

Michaelmas Term, Thursdays at 4-5pm from Week 2: October 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 19, 26; December 3, 10  

NB. Part of my research seminar in the Lent Term will further address the question of hope in law.

 


 

trotter

Contemporary Issues in Family Law, with Sarah Trotter

This is a group for anyone who is interested in the endlessly fascinating and challenging subject that is FAMILY LAW. Perhaps you are a current family law student or one who is writing a dissertation in the subject, in which case you’ll already have been gently pushed in the direction of this group by me (and it’s therefore great to see you reading this blurb); or maybe you studied family law last year and would like to carry on with it in some way this year (in which case, hello again and welcome to round two); or perhaps you’re curious about the subject because it seems to be quite interesting (which it really is, so welcome). You don’t need to have any background in family law to join this group: it’s open to all members of the LSE Law world. What we’ll be doing primarily is considering and reading about contemporary issues in family law; and our aim in doing this will be not only to enhance our collective understanding and knowledge of the field but also more specifically to think about the production of certain narratives both within family law and that affect family law. These are narratives about, for example, what it means to be a child, what consent means in the context of intimate and family life, and what the role of the State is in relation to family life. Our main question will be, as in the tradition of the LSE Family Law course: how should we think about family law?     

 

Each meeting will be focused on the issue on the programme that week, though you are of course welcome to bring additional material to the debate and to propose other points of discussion. The programme below is simply a working programme in that sense and is therefore up for revision. Meetings themselves will be relatively informal – a friendly space for discussing our common interest in family law – and they will absolutely not be like classes, even though the group itself is linked to an LLB option. Naturally, because of the time we are in, meetings will take place over Zoom; but among the benefits of this are that you can come irrespective of whether or not you can go outside your front door on the particular day in question, you can in this particular case join while making your dinner or doing domestic tasks (if your multitasking skills are up to it), you can bring along anyone you live with, and you will get to know other people from across the LSE Law community who you would otherwise not necessarily have been able to meet this year due to COVID-19. So basically, it will be very interesting and really fun.  

Meeting details:   

Michaelmas and Lent Terms, Thursdays at 6-7pm fortnightly from Week 2 of the Michaelmas Term: October 8, 22; November 5, 19; December 3; January 28; February 11, 25; March 11, 25  

 (NB. This link is for the Michaelmas Term meetings. Another one will follow for the Lent Term.)  

 


 

diazsorry

Contemporary Legal Questions: A Journey through Movies

Contemporary Legal Questions is a “reading” group run by the PhD students of LSE Law and open to all LLB and LLM students in the Department. The aim is to explore current controversies and debates surrounding law’s impact on society, always starting from visual material (it can be a movie, an episode of a TV series or a documentary). Five contemporary questions surrounding law are explored throughout the year, each comprising at least two meetings: Security and Violence; Law and the Problems of Modern Economy; Law and Tech; and What Fiction Tells Us about Law. Participants can decide either to attend the entire reading group or only the sessions on the questions they prefer.

Theme: Contemporary legal questions through movies

 

PhD students involved: Alexandra Sinclair, Fletch Williams, Francesca Uberti, Jacob Van De Beeten, Katie Nolan, Mattia Pinto, Mikolaj Szafranski, Roberto Russo, Shree Agnihotri

Click here for the programme

 


 

hugh-collins-2Jo Braithwaite-2014

London, with Professor Hugh Collins and Dr Jo Braithwaite: MT and LT

In this group we will explore LSE’s unique home and deepen your understanding and appreciation of this global city. We will weave together discussion of art, books, history and even some law. We will share some links to galleries and other interesting online resources you can use to explore London. 

Each (zoom) meeting is based around a particular part or feature of the city. In our meetings we will talk about the layers of culture and history associated with our selected part of the city and we consider the implications for modern London. Our meetings will follow on from each other on the basis of thematic clues rather than a chronological way.Our first term’s meetings will explore:  • Holborn and the immediate surroundings of LSE • Sir John Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery • The Thames and Somerset House • Docklands (with Professor Ross Cranston) • ‘Dirty Old London’ where we will discuss LSE author Lee Jackson's Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight Against Filth (Yale University Press, 2014) available new and second hand.  In the Lent term we plan to turn to (1) parts of London particularly associated with financial and commercial activities, such as the architecture and history of the ‘Square Mile’ and (2) more ‘local’ neighbourhoods.

Further details: This reading group is run by Hugh Collins and Jo Braithwaite. Hugh went to school in London and has lived here most of his life. Jo has lived in London for nearly twenty years and knows many interesting parts of London thanks to her daily dog walks. Please contact Jo with any queries: j.p.braithwaite@lse.ac.uk  

In MT, the group will meet on Zoom from 3:30-4:30pm on Wednesdays in weeks 3, 4 and 7, 8.

Please note

The next meeting will be Wednesday Week 11 (9 December), at 2:30-3:30pm. Join us for a Christmas-themed virtual walk around London with a special look at history, food, markets and Christmas traditions. See Moodle for link.

 


 

martin-husovec

Intervening in Tech Cases before ECtHR (Part One), with Martin Husovec 

In this reading group, Dr. Husovec will talk about his experience of intervening in two technology related cases before the European Court of Human Rights. He will explain the process of submitting and drafting interventions, which involves students, and reflect on their potential impact on final decisions. Later in theterm, some LSE students will have a unique opportunity to participate in such a drafting exercise in a real pending case. The cases which will be discussed in the sessions are: Satamedia v Finland (app no. 931/13), concerning conflict of privacy and data journalism, Magyar Jeti v Hungary (app no. 11257/16), concerning liability for hyperlinking, and Kablis v Russia (app nos. 48310/16 and 59663/17)) and Kharitonov v Russia (app no. 10795/14), concerning content blocking. 

 The interventions can be found at: 

https://eisionline.org/index.php/en/7-main/147-eisi-intervenes-in-flavus-v-russia-case-to-support- safeguards-against-over-blocking  

https://eisionline.org/index.php/en/7-main/146-eisi-intervenes-in-kharitonov-v-russia-case-to-address- the-issue-of-over-blocking 

https://eisionline.org/index.php/en/15-projekty/sudy/141-eisi-intervenes-in-magyar-jeti-case-to- support-online-freedom-of-expression 

https://eisionline.org/index.php/en/15-projekty/sudy/133-eisi-intervenes-in-satamedia-case-to- support-data-journalism 

Final decisions are available at: https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/ 

Reading Group 1: 19 October, 5pm

 


 

Emmanuel_Voyiakis-2015

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011), with Emmanuel Voyiakis

 The Financial Times reviewer of the book said: “There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. This is one of the greatest and most engaging collections of insights into the human mind that I have ever read”. Our group will try to figure out what the fuss is all about, over three or four meetings in the Michaelmas term, starting probably in week 4. Our library has just acquired an online version of the book, so feel absolutely welcome to use that. Still, buying your own copy is a good idea and an even better investment, because the book is cheap to get. The paperback edition should set you back between £6 to £9 (for price comparison, see here).

first meeting on Fri, Oct 16, 4-5pm BST.