(dominic: this list of papers was originally recommended to me by Brain Noguchi @bnoguchi, and was a great start to understanding distributed systems)
Here's a selection of papers that I think you would find helpful and interesting:
Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System
The seminal paper about event ordering and concurrency. The important result is that events in a distributed system define a partially ordered set. The connection to what we're working on is fundamental, as this defines how to detect concurrent updates. Moreover, the chosen algorithm to turn the partially ordered set into a totally ordered set defines the conflict resolution algorithm.