Dynamics of Civilisation

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Impression of a jade seal designed by Professor Wang Mingming for CREDOC, containing the Chinese characters Xue (interpretation) and Wenming (civilisation).

Contact Us

Centre for Research into the Dynamics of Civilisation (CREDOC)
B05 Gordon House
29 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7522



Watch Civilisation and Language with subtitles:


CREDOC Seminar 1: Civilisation in Political Thought

Cole Destruction pic

Thursday 23th October 2014

Time: 5.30-7pm

Location: UCL Institute of Archaeology, room 612

31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY 

7-8pm Reception in Archaeology Senior Common Room.

Click here for more details.

Civilisation, Infrastructure and the City (generously supported by CREDOC)

CREDOC city  

Friday 7th November 2014

Time: 9:30am - 4.30pm

Location: University College London, Taviton 433, 16 Taviton Street

London WC1H 0BW

Click here for more details.

A CREDOC Lecture: Wendy Doniger

Hinduism: Civilisations in Contest and Conflict


Thursday 13th November 2014

Time: 6.30-8pm

Location: Gordon Street (25) E28 Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre

followed by a reception from 8-9pm, Location: Gordon House 106

University College London, Gower St, London WC1H 0PY

Click here for more details, and here to register.



Friday 14th November 2014

Time: 2-5pm, with a reception from 5-6pm

Location: UCL Institute of Archaeology, Staff common room

31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY 

All are welcome. Click here for more details.

Civilisation and its critiques: Perspectives from Archaeology


Monday 8th December 2014

Time: 4pm

Location: Room 612, Institute of Archaeology

University College London, Gower St, London WC1H 0PY

Click here for more details.


Questions Woman

CREDOC is focusing critical attention on three cross-regional sets of fundamental questions. These questions underlie a series of workshops CREDOC will hold to encourage debate across regions, periods, and disciplines.

Constructions of Civilisation

What contemporary needs are being addressed through the discourse of civilisation? Where are such discourses generated? How do they come to influence public policy? What kind of narratives and counter-narratives are generated by the concept of civilisation? How might they differ from discourses about ‘culture’, ‘society’, or ‘nature’? And how have they evolved from antiquity to the present?

Civilisation in Time & Space

How might we reclaim a civilisational scale of analysis for human cultures and societies, in the absence of a single narrative of ‘progress’ or ‘evolution’? What are the spatial dynamics of civilisations? What kind of boundaries do they create, and how are these to be negotiated? What new insights would be generated by a return to the genuinely long-term and large-scale analysis of social and cultural phenomena? What kind of innovative methods and techniques could be brought to bear on such an analysis?

Mind, Body, and Civilisation

How are civilisations reproduced and transformed through the cognitive habits and bodily practices of individuals? How are concepts of civilisation, including distinctions of value and hierarchy, internalised and translated into social relationships? How might the distribution in time and space of these forms of relatedness differ in extent from the boundaries of self-conscious ethnic, religious, or national-imperial groupings? How might their study bring to light new configurations and trajectories of global historical development, to replace the old dichotomies between ‘literate’ and ‘non-literate’, ‘urban’ and ‘rural’, ‘complex’ and ‘simple’ societies?

Page last modified on 12 nov 13 11:21