John Urry Memorial Lecture: Exploring the big ideas in society

Thursday 26 April 2018, 5:30pm to 7:30pm


Lums Hub Cafe, Management School - View Map

Open to

Alumni, Applicants, Postgraduates, Prospective Students, Public, Staff, Undergraduates


Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info

To register for your free tickets please go to, call 01524 592994 or email

Event Details

The inaugural John Urry Memorial Lecture celebrates the life of Lancaster University's eminent Sociologist, Distinguished Professor John Urry.

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.

Tea and coffee will be served in the Lancaster University Management School Hub from 5.30pm, with the lecture beginning at 6pm. There will be time for questions after the lecture, which will be followed by wine and soft drinks at 7pm.

About the speaker

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and 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, the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences, and 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.

To register for your free tickets please go to, call 01524 592994 or email

Contact Details

Name Dr Rhian McLaughlin

Telephone number

+44 1524 592994