The John Urry Memorial Lecture

John Urry

Lancaster University is celebrating the life of the eminent Sociologist, Distinguished Professor John Urry with a inaugural John Urry Memorial Lecture. Professor of Sociology Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, will be the special speaker.

Date: Thursday 26th April 2018

Time: Tea and coffee served from 5.30pm, with the lecture beginning at 6pm

Venue: Lancaster University Management School Hub

Cost: This event is free and tickets can be booked here. You can also email us at or call 01524 592994 to book.

To join click here

Background for the memorial lecture “At the paradigm’s edge: Constructing the object of study in the social sciences”

The accumulation of knowledge, data and scholarship across past decades has been a substantial enabler for social scientists, whether working on immigration, the family, inequality, political power, or many other social science fields.

Yet every now and then, social scientists are confronted with emergent conditions which are not well captured by existing models and measures.

In this inaugural John Urry Memorial Lecture, Professor Saskia Sassen explores the search for a mix of categories which have enabled her to capture and conceptualise conditions that cut across established categories, finding configurations that lack a recognised formal ‘home’ – an established specialised sub-discipline.

Professor Sassen will also cite how leading international and Lancaster University sociologist, the late Professor John Urry, stimulated a major contribution to the range of sub-disciplines through his wide-ranging work and opened up the field for new generations of researchers to ask new types of questions.

About the speaker

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and a Member of The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University ( Her latest book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014), now out in 18 languages. She is the recipient of diverse awards, including multiple doctor honoris causa and the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences, and was made a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of Netherland.

About Distinguished Professor John Urry

John Urry was an influential scholar who has shaped several fields of sociology. He died suddenly on 18 March 2016. The John Urry memorial lecture is held in his memory to generate and debate the big ideas in society.

Professor Urry was a former Head of the Scoiology Department at Lancaster University, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and University Dean of Research. From 2003 to 2015 he was Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research and helped to develop the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ in social science research.

John guided the development of the Sociology Department at Lancaster University as well as the direction of research in the wider community of Sociology, and made a significant contribution to the establishment of the Academy of Social Sciences. With a global intellectual presence and international recognition as a public intellectual, he pursued ideas and engagement for social justice through collegiality and collaboration.