Academic life

Find out about academic life at LSE through the years with this selection of blog posts about both influential and lesser-known academics and students from LSE’s past, and their lives on campus.

LSE Law Centenary – a history of the Department

This is the first in the LSE Law Centenary series of blog posts celebrating a century since the formal beginnings of a Department of Law at LSE. The Department of Law was created in 1919, formalising a tradition of teaching law at LSE since its earliest days. 

For over a century LSE has pioneered legal education and scholarship as a central part of […]

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    A brief history of Mathematics at LSE – part one 1895-1987

A brief history of Mathematics at LSE – part one 1895-1987

In the first part of a new mini-series, Norman Biggs, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Mathematics, gives a brief history of mathematics at LSE. He covers the period from the foundation of LSE and evolution of the teaching of statistics, to the creation of the first Chair of Mathematics and a new BSc in the 1960s, finishing with changes afoot […]

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    Conjectures and refutations – Karl Popper and the growth of LSE Philosophy

Conjectures and refutations – Karl Popper and the growth of LSE Philosophy

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the promotion to Professor of the hugely influential philosopher, and founder of LSE’s Philosophy Department, Karl Popper. To celebrate this event Ewan Rodgers goes back to the archives to trace the story of LSE’s earliest forays into philosophy and the historical events that gave birth to the now world-renowned Department of Philosophy, Logic […]

Maureen Colquhoun – first openly gay woman in Parliament

Women’s rights activist and former Labour Member of Parliament for Northampton North Maureen Colquhoun was elected to the House of Commons in 1974. She became the first openly gay woman to serve in Parliament after coming out a year later, write Louise Armitage and Megan Marsh. Maureen studied at LSE in the mid-late 1940s and served as a local councillor […]

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    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, LSE and the origins of International Relations

Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, LSE and the origins of International Relations

Over the past few years there has been renewed scholarly interest in the early history of the discipline of International Relations (IR) and the seminal role played by such figures as E H Carr, Hans J Morgenthau and key liberal theorists who helped build the foundations upon which the subject of IR came to be constructed in the twentieth century. Professor […]

Hilde Himmelweit – pioneer of social psychology

In the mid 1960s Social Psychology emerged from Sociology as an independent department – the precursor of today’s Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, looks at the career of Hilde Himmelweit who led the discipline through its formative years at LSE.

Hildegarde Therese Litthauer was born in Berlin on 20 February 1918. Her father, Dr Siegfried […]

A mother and daughter at LSE – Herabai and Mithan Tata

LSE often runs in the family with several generations making their way to Houghton Street. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly writes about an unusual mother and daughter duo.

In 1919 a young Indian woman, Mithan Ardeshir Tata enrolled to study at LSE. Mithan was born in 1898 into a Parsi family in Mumbai (then known as Bombay), the daughter of Herabai […]

Lilian Knowles (1870-1926) – the pioneer

Jennie Stayner introduces pioneering female academic Lilian Knowles, first female professor of Economic History at LSE, and first female Dean of Faculty in the University of London.
Intentionally or unintentionally, it seemed to be her lot to be breaking down barriers.
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Lilian Charlotte Anne Knowles (Tomn) was born in 1870 in Cornwall and spent a happy childhood riding horses and winning […]

Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) – a term at LSE

In 1952 Kwame Nkrumah became Prime Minister of the Gold Coast and in 1957 the country gained its independence under the new name of Ghana. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about Nkrumah’s brief time at LSE.

Kwame Nkrumah was born in Nkroful on the Gold Coast in 1909. The precise date of his birth is unknown but he usually gave […]

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    Lucy Philip Mair – leading writer on colonial administration, early international relations scholar, and anthropologist

Lucy Philip Mair – leading writer on colonial administration, early international relations scholar, and anthropologist

Lucy Philip Mair was a well-known anthropologist at LSE; she is far less known for her significant contributions to the history of the discipline of International Relations. Professor Patricia Owens, director of a new Leverhulme project on the history of women’s international thought, highlights this neglected, early aspect of Lucy Mair’s academic life.

Lucy Philip Mair was born on 28 […]