Thinking through writing

Module leader
Dr Mattia Gallotti
Course content

Writing is a thinking habit. Wording thoughts in written form affords insight and structure, and it allows you to communicate clearly. Thinking through Writing is an advanced qualitative-method module aimed at enhancing the ability of students to analyse interdisciplinary texts and reproduce features of the texts’ constitutive registers in their own writing.  

Historically, styles of writing and genres are associated with different mindsets and disciplinary bodies of knowledge. Yet, more than any other genre in the history of written communication, the art of manifesto making captures and exemplifies the nature of interdisciplinary thinking. Manifestos mix elements of different registers – the critical, the performative, the metaphorical, the utopian, etc, into powerful new syntheses of purpose and action. By engaging with a sample of manifestos, students will learn to recognise, cultivate, and switch between disciplinary mindsets, thus improving their capacity to read and reproduce registers across written texts.  

Teaching team

Dr James Everest


Delivery mode

All sessions of this module will be delivered in-person. The second session of the week will be a seminar.


1. Individual Manifesto.

A manifesto on a problem of interest to the student. The manifesto will be completed over a five-week period in the second half of term. Various iterations will receive feedback, and the final version will be submitted at the end of term.

2. Individual Essay.

An essay on a problem of interest to the student chosen from a list of essay questions drawn by the Module Leader on topics of study from course material and discussion.  

Student Testimonials
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Your interdisciplinary faculty

Prof Carl Gombrich
Dean, Academic Lead and Director of Teaching & Learning

Carl is the Lead Academic at LIS and oversees curriculum design, teaching, and learning. He was previously a Professorial Teaching Fellow of Interdisciplinary Education at UCL and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Dr Amelia Peterson
Associate Professor, Head of Learning and Teaching

Amelia is a social scientist with a background in policy and consulting. She studies how education systems adapt to societal and economic change. Prior to LIS, Amelia taught in the Social Policy department at LSE. She received her PhD from Harvard and her BA from Oxford.

Dr Mattia Gallotti
Associate Professor, Head of Research & Development

Mattia is a philosopher with a background in economics and interests in academic governance and innovation. His work is conceptual and the subject is social philosophy. Over the years, he has sought to connect and integrate concepts of social ontology across a range of intellectual discourses and styles, from cognitive science to theology. Before joining LIS as an Associate Professor, Mattia lectured on the philosophy of the social sciences at LSE and he managed a multidisciplinary program on the human mind in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. As a postdoc, he held fellowships at Columbia University and the Jean Nicod Institute in Paris.


Dr Ash Brockwell
Associate Professor

Ash is an interdisciplinary educator, writer, and consultant. He holds an MBiochem degree in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Kent, and a PhD in Education for Sustainability from Wageningen University and Research Centre in The Netherlands.


Dr Michael Englard

Michael is the Registrar at LIS. In this role, Michael led the team in securing new Degree Awarding Powers. This milestone ensured that LIS was the first Higher Education Institution to begin with the ability to award its own degrees for over fifty years. Michael has set up and run two charities: Causeway Education (focused on supporting access to higher education and the professions) and the LIS Foundation (LIS’s sister charity). Michael sits on the Board of LIS, is a Trustee of Causeway Education, a parent governor of STEP Academy, and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Michael teaches elective modules focused on the narratives of wicked problems.

Isaiah Wellington-Lynn
Assistant Professor

Isaiah is an anthropologist, product designer, and storyteller. He is reading for a PhD at the University of Oxford, holds a BSc in Anthropology from UCL, and was a visiting undergraduate at Harvard. Isaiah's interests include belonging, meritocracy, inclusive product design, sustainable fashion, and social mobility.

Dr Anson Cheung
Associate Professor

Anson is a theoretical physicist with a background in building models in condensed matter theory. He specialises in complex systems with many-body interactions. He received his undergraduate degree and PhD from Cambridge University where he was a research fellow and remains an affiliated lecturer. Keenly interested in the pedagogical development of problem-solving skills at the secondary-tertiary interface, he is a trustee of the British Physics Olympiad, and he has also served in middle management in secondary schools.


María Angélica Madero
Associate Professor, Deputy MASc director

María Angélica is an artist, who has exhibited her work in cities such as Los Angeles, London, and Cali. She is a founding faculty member at the LIS, where she leads in Prep Culture and Content Creation. Additionally, she is an Honorary Professor at El Bosque University in Colombia, where she was Head of Art from 2015 to 2020. She holds an MA in Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, and an additional MA in Philosophy and Critical Theory from Kingston University.


Dr James Everest
Assitant Professor

James studied languages at Cambridge, then worked for three years in public sector communications, before completing a Masters in English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London, and a PhD in the history of science at UCL. He has taught on the Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences degree programme at the University of Birmingham and the Arts and Sciences programme at UCL.


Kestral Gaian
Head of Digital, Lecturer

Kestral has worked at the cross-section of technology and society for two decades within the technology, health, and wellbeing industries, and within academia. Her role at the London Interdisciplinary School includes teaching on technocultiralism, user experience design, and futures literacy. She also works as Head of Digital to set the organisation’s pace as an innovator in the use and development of teaching and learning technology.

Dr James Carney
Associate Professor, MASc Project Developer

James is a computational linguist who uses artificial intelligence to understand the relationship between cognition and culture. He is especially interested in the intersection between interpretive, computational, and experimental methods of inquiry. His research has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission, and Innovate UK. Previous to coming to LIS, James worked in Brunel University London, Lancaster University, and the University of Oxford (where he held a Junior Research Fellowship). He is also founding director of Texture AI, a data science company that has had the BBC, Google, ITV, Reach PLC, the UK Cabinet Office and other leading organisations as clients.

Rosita Bannert

Rosita is a UCL BASc graduate living the polymath life with more than one career. She is a self-taught web engineer who loves building with code as well as traditional materials.

Dr Matthew Brett
Associate Professor

Matthew trained and practised as a doctor before specializing in neuroscience. He is an open-source software developer and has worked on the basic packages for data analysis in Python, among other projects. His main passion is thinking about new, accessible and revealing ways of doing and teaching data analysis.

Dr Bronwyn Tarr
Associate Professor

Bronwyn is a human behavioural scientist interested in the evolution of social behaviours, particularly music and dance. She completed her DPhil (PhD) at the University of Oxford and has continued her research in evolutionary anthropology and psychology there.


Dr Catalina Pesce
Assistant Professor

Catalina started her academic journey studying Engineering Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Chile, where she also obtained a MSc in Applied Mathematics. She holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Oxford and her current research focuses on nonlinear partial differential equations and their applications. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is keen on helping students develop mathematical thinking skills through active learning.

Lara Kinneir
Associate Professor

Lara is a designer who trained in architecture and spatial design in Glasgow, Madrid and London. Lara has worked in academia, city regeneration, government policy, design studios, think tanks and global organisations that are focused on the bettering of people and planetary life. Her interests are in social and spatial justice, spatial design, multilateral partnerships and innovative governance.


Emma Ahmed-Rengers
Assistant Professor

Emma was a Lecturer in Law and Data Science at the University of Birmingham before joining LIS. She also previously taught legal theory, political theory, international law, and philosophy of science at the University of Amsterdam. She holds a Master of Law (LLM) from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) from the University of Amsterdam. Emma is currently completing a PhD in Law at the University of Birmingham, focusing on algorithmic regulation.

Waqās Ahmed
Assistant Professor

Waqās is founder of the DaVinci Network, author of The Polymath (Wiley 2019) and creator of the Polymath Festival. His research interests center around human diversity and performance. He holds a BSc in Economics (SOAS) and postgraduate degrees in International History (LSE) and Neuroscience (King's College London). His main professional careers have been in diplomatic journalism and visual art.