From 24th of February to 1st March 2014 the London School of Economics will hold its 6th Annual Literary Festival, under the theme ‘Reflections’. The festival will explore how the social sciences and the arts help us understand the world around us and our place within it. To celebrate and support the festival, we’re launching a series of special Academic Inspiration segments featuring prominent LSE academics and event speakers. 

david stepheson collage

The annual LSE Literary Festival offers a space for thought, discussion, and analysis, and encourages interaction between authors and academics. With this in mind, the LSE Review of Books team asked prominent LSE faculty to speak about the books that inspired them into their academic subject.

In this podcast, David Stevenson, Professor of International History at the LSE, tell us about the books on World War I that have had the most impact on his academic career. Professor Stevenson will chair at this year’s Literary Festival titled “Why Remember? Reflections on the First World War Centenary” on 26th February.

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Browse the full LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival programme here. 

Presented by Amy Mollett. Produced by Cheryl Brumley. Other contributor: David Stevenson. Music courtesy of Nic Bommarito for his song Casiotone Waltz on


LSE Review of Books Literary Festival discussion: Sex and Psychopaths: celebrating 100 years of Freud’s On Narcissism

Date: Thursday 27 February 2014
Time: 12.30-2pm
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
Speakers: Professor Marianna Fotaki, Professor Yiannis Gabriel, Dr Miranda Horvath and David Morgan
Chair:  Elizabeth Cotton

Book free tickets here 

This session will look at how we can understand the apparent growth in narcissism and withdrawals from intimacy in a digital age. From the impact of Facebook and online porn on sex to how whether we’re losing the capacity to be close to the people we work with. Join us to explore whether we’re all turning into narcissists or can we do something to salvage intimacy with other people?

Marianna Fotaki is professor of business ethics at Warwick Business School, and holds a visiting professorship at The University of Manchester. Before joining academia Marianna has worked as EU resident adviser to the governments in transition and as a medical doctor for Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins Du Monde for ten years in total. She is a graduate of medicine, public health, and has obtained a PhD in public policy from LSE. Her research is on the marketization of public services, health inequalities, gender and otherness in organizations and business in society. She has published over 30 papers on those subjects and has four books forthcoming: a monograph, on fantasy and reality of patient choice (Edward Elgar). Gender and the Organization (with Nancy Harding, Routledge), Affect in Organizations (co-edited with Kate Kenny, Palgrave) and Global Challenges to Business in Society (with Kate Kenny and Juliane Reinecke, Sage).

Yiannis Gabriel is professor of organizational theory at the University of Bath. He has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Yiannis is known for his work into the psychoanalysis of organizational and social life. He has written on organizational storytelling and narratives, leadership, management learning and the culture and politics of contemporary consumption. He has developed a psychoanalytic interpretation of organizational stories as a way of studying numerous social and organizational phenomena including leader-follower relations, group dynamics and fantasies, nostalgia, insults and apologies. He has been editor of Management Learning and associate editor of Human Relations and is currently senior editor of Organization Studies. His enduring fascination as a researcher lies in what he describes as the unmanageable qualities of life in and out of organizations.

Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. The author of twenty books, his most recent work focuses on the future of humanity. 2014 will see the publication of two books: Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History (Acumen) and, with Veronika Lipinska, The Proactionary Imperative: A Foundation for Transhumanism (Palgrave).

David Morgan is a fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, senior member of the British Psychoanalytic Association, and has been consultant psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic for 20 years. He is a training analyst, supervisor and lecturer, and is consultant psychotherapist at WhistleblowersUK. He is also a consultant psychotherapist and psychoanalyst in private practice.

Elizabeth Cotton blogs as Surviving Work and is an academic at Middlesex University Business School. Her academic background is in political philosophy and current writing includes precarious work and employment relations, activism and mental health at work. She has worked as an activist and educator in over thirty countries, working with trade unions and Global Union Federations at senior level. Some of this work is reflected in her co-authored publication, Global Unions Global Business, described as “the essential guide to global trade unionism”. Elizabeth lived and worked abroad until returning to the UK in 2007 to write and start the process of training in adult psychotherapy. She is founding director of The Resilience Space and runs the Surviving Work Library.

This event forms part of LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February – Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme ‘Reflections’.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest

Ticket Information

All events in the Literary Festival are free and open to all, but an e-ticket is required. Tickets will be available to book via LSE E-Shop after 10am on Tuesday 4 February 2014.

For any queries email


LSE Review of Books Literary Festival discussion: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover: reflecting content through design

Date: Saturday 1 March 2014
Time: 1-2.30pm
Venue:  Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Polly Courtney, Isabelle de Cat, Jonathan Gibbs
Chair: Toby Lichtig

Book free tickets here 

Fiction publishing has long held that an eye catching cover is key to successful sales. But academic publishing struggles to try to reflect complex contents through one stand-out image on a book cover. The growth of e-books and online publishing in many ways makes the cover design of a book more important, and sharing a cover on social media may give it more prominence than it has ever had. So this panel asks how crucial is how a book cover looks? And what can serious fiction and non-fiction publishing learn from its more populist cousins?

Polly Courtney (@PollyCourtney) is the author of six published novels. She started out as an investment banker and wrote her first book, Golden Handcuffs, because she wanted to expose the reality of life in the Square Mile. Subsequent novels have covered sexism, racism, fame culture and the summer riots and her most recent novel, Feral Youth, is about disenfranchised youth in a summer of discontent. In late 2011, Polly famously walked out on her publisher, HarperCollins, for the ‘girly’ titles and covers assigned to her books – most notably, It’s a Man’s World, the hard-hitting take on the lads’ mag industry and its impact on society.

Isabelle de Cat is art editor for the Press division of Penguin Books. She has over 12 years’ experience working in the book industry. In her current role, she designs, commissions and sources cover artworks for a wide range of titles across Penguin’s fiction and non-fiction imprints: Allen Lane, Penguin Classics, Modern Classics and Particular Books.

Jonathan Gibbs (@Tiny_Camels) is a books journalist and writer living in London. He writes a weekly blog on book design for The Independent as well as writing more widely on books for The Independent, the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph and theTimes Literary Supplement. His debut novel, Randallor The Painted Grape, will be published in 2014 by Galley Beggar Press. He teaches undergraduate modules at the University of East Anglia on Creative Writing and The Writing of Journalism.

Toby Lichtig is Assistant Editor at the Times Literary Supplement. He is also a freelance journalist, editor and writer.

This event forms part of  the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February – Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme ‘Reflections’.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #lselitfest

Ticket Information

All events in the Literary Festival are free and open to all, but an e-ticket is required.  Tickets will be available to book via LSE E-Shop after 10am on Tuesday 4 February 2014.

For any queries email


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