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)
104 Gordon House
29 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 5576



The Clash of Civilisations and Ignorance


Date: Friday 27 May 2016
Location: Cruciform B404 Lecture Theatre 2, followed by a wine reception in the Cruciform Seminar Room 1
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Baltic-Nordic Regionalism


Date: 10 June 2016
Location: Common Ground Space, Wilkins Building, South Wing
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Civilisation in Time and Space


Date: 1 and 2 July 2016
Location: Common Ground Space, Wilkins Building, South Wing
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Food, Drink and Civilization: International Conference


Date: 21-22 September 2016
Location: TBA
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Could Modern Civilization Collapse?

A multidisciplinary approach from Archaeology, Climatology and History on Climate Change and the possible Collapse of Civilization


Date: December 2016
Location: TBD
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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?

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