Free by Lea Ypi: autobiography and international political theory

This event will be in Zoom

“I never asked myself about the meaning of freedom until the day I hugged Stalin.”

This BISA Ethics & World Politics event explores the remarkable memoir Free: Coming of Age at the End of History, engaging in conversation with both the author, Professor Lea Ypi (LSE), and discussant Professor Catherine Lu (McGill University).

The book is a gripping account of Ypi’s childhood recollections from her time growing up in socialist and post-socialist Albania: set against a backdrop of resistance movements, a transition to liberalism, and the country’s relationship to the colonial and the international. This is interwoven with grounded, embodied, highly insightful reflections on the contrasts and intersections between socialist and liberal conceptions of freedom.

Aside from covering the book and its broader themes, this event will also be of interest to anyone interested in exploring the potential of autobiography and autoethnography as research methods in international political theory.

The book is the winner of the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize. It was chosen as a book of the year by Daily Mail, Financial Times, the Guardian, New Statesman, Spectator, Sunday Times and TLS, and was named Waterstones’ best non-fiction book of the month in June 2022.

Speaker: Professor Lea Ypi, LSE

Chair: Dr David Jason Karp, University of Sussex

Discussant: Professor Catherine Lu, McGill University

Registration will close two hours before the event begins.

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