Critical Transitions: Genealogies of Intellectual Change - 2-day Workshop, Durham University

full name / name of organization: 
Leverhulme "Tipping Points" Project, hosted by Institute for Hazard Risk and Resilience, Durham University, UK
contact email: 


Launch Workshop – Work Package 5, Leverhulme Trust "Tipping Points" Project

27 – 28 September 2013

Palatine Centre, Durham University (South Road Campus, Durham, UK)


John Adams (London School of Economics)
Derek Attridge (University of York)
Mark Currie (Queen Mary, University of London)
Christopher Norris (Cardiff University)
Santiago Zabala (ICREA/University of Barcelona)

and members and advisors of the Tipping Points project from Durham University:
Patricia Waugh, Sarah Atkinson, John Nash and Marc Botha

Durham University's Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience has the pleasure of inviting you to participate in Critical Transitions, a two-day interdisciplinary workshop to launch the fifth and final part of the Leverhulme Trust Tipping Points project. Critical Transitions refer to events, points, or processes through which significant change occurs. Such transitions characterize situations in which one state gives way, or tips, into another state – whether as a result of a gradual accumulation of tensions or forces, or through the eruption of something absolutely unexpected and new. In every case, however, Critical Transitions refer to dynamic situations. To grasp this dynamism, it is necessary to recognize that the numerous concepts which have been developed to account for the phenomenon of change – concepts such as moment, event, irreversibility, hybrid, hospitality, dissemination, emergency, end, turn, threshold and exception, period, movement and paradigm – exist in a counterpoint, rather than in direct competition with one another.

Scheduled for 27-28 September, 2013, Critical Transitions brings together leading thinkers to address several of these concepts in detail, inaugurating an urgent space for reconsidering the politics and processes of intellectual change head-on.

NB: Attendance of the workshop is free, and will include light lunch and a drinks reception, but places are strictly limited. Please book places as soon as possible by emailing:

The following is the draft programme for the event:

Friday, 27 September 2013

13.30 – 14.00 Registration and refreshments
14.00 – 14.30 Welcome and Opening Remarks: Patricia Waugh and Marc Botha (Durham) – Critical Transitions
14.30 – 15.45 Session 1: Christopher Norris (Cardiff) – Turn
15.45 – 16.00 Refreshments
16.00 – 17.15 Session 2: Mark Currie (Queen Mary) – Moment
18.00 – 19.00 Wine reception

Saturday, 28 September 2013

09.30 – 10.45 Session 3: Dr Jon Adams (LSE) – Dissemination
10.45 – 11.15 Refreshments
11.15 – 12.30 Session 4: Santiago Zabala (ICREA/Barcelona) – Emergency
12.30 – 13.15 Lunch
13.15 – 14.30 Session 5: Derek Attridge (York) – Hospitality
14.30 – 15.30 Session 6: Roundtable Discussion – The Cultural Politics of Futurity
15.30 – 16.00 Refreshments
16.30 – 17.00 Concluding Remarks

The workshop is funded by The Leverhulme Trust and Durham University's Institute for Hazard Risk and Resilience