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LSE's Literary Festival: Food For Your Mind

The London School of Economics and Political Science(LSE) is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and a leading influencer in many fields, such as social sciences and literature. In partnership with the weekly literary review Times Literary Supplement (TLS), the LSE will host its 9th Annual Literary Festival between 20th and 25th February 2017. A few events will be hosted before the official start of the festival on the 14th, 15th and 16th February (visit: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Events/LiteraryFestival/2017/Early-Festival-Events.)

During the festival’s official five days, there will be over 200 interesting events aiming to entertain audiences and explore important cultural and literary issues. There will be engaging discussions led by some of the most influential authors and experts from all over the world, alongside film screenings and workshops that will fulfil the curiosity of both young and old.

This year the theme is ‘Revolutions’.

The Russian Revolution will be a featured discussion during the LSE Literary Festival’s100th anniversary.Other ‘revolutions’ in literature, politics,religion and in science will be explored by the talented writers and panelists.The many fascinating talks will explore revolutions of all types from different points of view; with talks on London’s new bike revolution to the surprising outcome of Brexit and what it means in terms of a revolution in social opinion. For more details the schedual is available at http://www.lse.ac.uk/Events/Events-Assets/PDF/2017/2017-LT01/LitFestProgramme2017.pdf

On the 20thof February the Festival will open with a talk about the revolution in Ukraine, called “The Maidan Revolution – Lessons Learned and Unlearned”. It is hosted by Anne Applebaum who is a journalist for the Washington Post alongside Mustafa Nayeem a Member of Ukrainian Parliament, Vladimir Rashkovan the former Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine and Erik Berglof the director of the Institute of Global Affairs.

You can also catch Stig Abell, editor of the TLS, and Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed UK on the same day. They will talk about the future of news and changing social media landscape.

On the 21st highlights include a talk by Mary Dejevsky a journalist for The Independent, Matthew Goodwin a professor of International Relations at the University of Kent, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett a contributor for The Guardian. They will discuss the possibility to consider Brexit as a populist revolution.

The 22nd features an event called‘The Universe Starring Man? The impact of scientific revolutions on humankind’s view of itself’whereJohn Worrall a professor of philosophy at LSE and Roman Frigg the director of Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science(CPNSS) will discuss the role of the human kind in the universe and all the consequences that the Copernican Revolution had on our perception of ourselves.

As the week wraps up there will be time to look at revolution in literature and what happened a century ago with the arrival of modern writers. Two awarded novelists, Eimear McBride and Ali Smith will discuss modernism and its revolutionary influence on how we write and read. After that the event ‘Existentialism is Easy’ with Sarah Bakewell, Andy Martin and Stella Sanford will try to answer Heidegger’s question: “Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?”

During the last day a contemporary issue, with enormous aftermaths for our future, will be debated at LSE’s event called ‘Growing up Online: A digital revolution?’. It will examine the pros and cons of the Internet and try to understand how a generation born and grown in a digital world will live in the future?

The festival will close with the event called ‘Coming Out: 50 Years of gay literature’, where a panel of novelists will talk about gay identity of writers over the last 50 years of literature.

All events are free to attend but pre-registration is required.

Almost all the events will take place on the LSE campus in Houghton St, London, WC2A 2AE.

For more information, please visit the official LSE’s Literary Festival homepage: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Events/LiteraryFestival/2017

By Alessandro Volpino

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