The Frisby Memorial Lectures

The subject area of Sociology, and the School of Social and Political Sciences established the Frisby Memorial Lectures in 2012. The lectures are named in honour of Prof. David Frisby, a highly respected scholar, a very popular lecturer and for many years, and a leading figure in the history of Sociology at Glasgow. His work included pioneering investigations into all aspects of the experience of life in the modern city as well definitive accounts of the work of key writers in the field of German social theory, many of whom became known to an English speaking audience largely as a result of his translations and expositions. More information about the work of Prof. Frisby, including a bibliography and access to previously unpublished material, can be found at the links on the left hand side of this page.

The Frisby lectures are free to attend and open to all. We wish to acknowledge the support of the MacFie bequest in making these lectures possible. 



Prof. Ben Carrington (USC Annenberg School of Communication): 'Against the urgency of people dying, what is the point of sociology? Reflections on the sociological imagination in a moment of crisis.'



Prof. Les Back (Goldsmiths, University of London): 'What we Learn From Music: Hidden Musical Lives and the Craft of Understanding Society'.


Prof. Wolfgang Streeck (Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne): 'Imaging Europe: Beaucratic Narratives and Ideological Dreams'.

A recording of Prof. Streeck's talk can be found here:


Prof. Nancy Scheper-Hughes (University of California, Berkeley): 'Towards an Anthropology of Evil'.


Prof. Sylvia Walby (UNESCO Chair of Gender Research, University of Lancaster) 'Making Sense of the Crisis: Is the Financial Crisis Cascading into a Democratic Crisis in Europe?'

A recording of Prof. Walby's talk can be found here:


Prof. Nancy Fraser (Cambridge University and New School for Social Research) 'Behind Marx’s ‘hidden abode’: Toward an expanded conception of Capitalism'

A recording of Prof. Fraser's talk can be found here:


Prof. Erik Olin Wright (University of Wisconsin): 'Transforming Capitalism Through Real Utopias'

A recording of Prof. Wright's talk can be found here:


Prof. Richard Sennett (London School of Economics and New York University):  ‘The Public Realm, a Century After Simmel’