Memorial Meeting in Honor of Ian J. Kerr, Dec. 7, 2021

Frank Conlon's picture

Dear Colleagues,

On December 7 at 15:30 (Central European Time), a symposium honoring the career

and contributions of the late Professor Ian J. Kerr will be held via zoom. I have pasted

the announcement below.  An obituary and bibliography of Professor Kerr was posted

on H-ASIA on December 10, 2020:

Frank F. Conlon

University of Washington

To register for this event:

Please register here:

Dec 07

Memorial Meeting for Prof. Ian J. Kerr

by Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August-University Göttingen


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Event Information

Memorial Meeting for Prof. Ian J. Kerr on the occasion of his first death anniversary 7 December 2020 Online-Event

About this event

Ian J. Kerr (1941-2020) transformed the historiography of Indian railways. And he did so as much by his own substantial and versatile contributions as by his generous support for a younger generation of social, economic and cultural historians. India’s railway network, the fourth largest in the world by the turn of the twentieth century, had attracted serious historians even earlier, but their interests had been largely focused on a limited set of economic subjects including railway finance and the effects of the new transport networks on market integration. Ian J. Kerr expanded this largely self-contained niche of historical specialization into an open, fertile and diverse field of interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange. His own work branched out in several directions that included his highly pioneering studies of railway construction labour. But his broadminded approach achieved much more: it encouraged a considerable number of emerging scholars from various disciplines who further expanded the scope of research to histories of cultural imagination, of the structures of everyday life or of infrastructure and circulation. At the same time, he would carefully preserve the links to an increasingly cliometric economic history at a time when such links to other historical disciplines would generally become more tenuous. Since Ian J. Kerr passed away after a severe illness on 3 December 2020, he has been mourned and missed by many historians of South Asia who remember his inspiring presence and generosity in deep gratitude. His extensive research collection, perhaps the largest private collection of source material on the history of Indian railways, is preserved and rendered accessible to the scholarly community at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies of the University of Göttingen.

Introduction: Prof. Ravi Ahuja

Speaking in Memory of Prof. Kerr:

Prof. Chitra Joshi, Association of Indian Labour Historians

Prof. John Hurd II, Norwich University

Dr. Aparajita Mukhopadhyay, University of Kent

Prof. Gerald Friesen, University of Manitoba

Dr. Hugo Silveira Pereira, Universadade Nova des Lisboa

Dr. M. Kaye Kerr, University of Winnipeg

Introducing the Ian J. Kerr Collection at CeMIS: Anna Sailer & Maria Pomohaci

Final Remarks: Dr. Nittin Sinha, Leibniz Centre for Modern Oriental Studies

Date and time

Tue, 7 December 2021

06:30 – 08:30 PST

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Online event

Organiser Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August-University Göttingen

Organiser of Memorial Meeting for Prof. Ian J. Kerr




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