Talk: Pandemics and the Archives (Chinmay Tumbe, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India)

March 24, 2021 @ 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Loading Events
  • This event has passed.


Archives are to society what memory is to human beings.” This talk outlines how researchers use archives to create historical narratives on a wide variety of issues. Alongside physical material stored in archives, oral histories also constitute an important and emerging source of information for researchers. The talk is based on the author’s work in the fields of migration and urban studies, pandemics, business and economic history and also the experience in helping set up the IIMA Archives. In particular, it articulates the need for those working on ‘policies’ to develop a historical perspective and the value of archives in contextualizing many pressing concerns of the present.
Book Summary

From lockdowns to lockups, viruses to vaccination, the movement of people to the movement of bowels, from rats to cats, and more, The Age of Pandemics chronicles the many facets of the cholera, plague and influenza pandemics, which claimed over 70 million lives between 1817 and 1920, with India being the epicentre in all these episodes.

The book argues that the period between the early nineteenth century to the early twentieth century – an age otherwise known for the worldwide spread of the industrial revolution, imperialism and globalization – was also the ‘age of pandemics’. It documents the scale of devastation, the likely causes and consequences, and the resilience with which people faced those pandemics.

The book also provides the first comprehensive coverage of the world’s greatest demographic disaster ever to descend upon a country in a short period of time – the influenza pandemic in India in 1918, which claimed more lives than all the battle casualties of World War I. And it shows the continuing relevance of learning from those times to tackle contemporary challenges, such as COVID-19.


About the Speaker
Chinmay Tumbe loves to laugh and learn. He is passionate about migration, cities and history,
and is currently a faculty member in the Economics Area at the Indian Institute of Management
Ahmedabad. An alumnus of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Indian
Institute of Management Bangalore; Ruia College, Mumbai; and Rishi Valley School,
Madanapalle; he has been a faculty member at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad.
He was a 2013 Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, and the
2018 Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History at Harvard
Business School, Boston. His first book,
India Moving: A History of Migration, was published in
2018 and second book
The Age of Pandemics, 1817-1920: How they shaped India and the World, was
published in 2020. He is a member of the
The Lancet Covid-19 India Taskforce and was a
member of the Working Group on Migration of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty
Alleviation in 2016-17. He has published widely in leading journals and newspapers and helped
set up the IIMA Archives.


March 24, 2021
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Event Category:


India + Google Map



IPPN Conference 2024

12:00 am - 11:59 pmIIT Bombay

Panel Discussion • Indian Higher Education in Global Context

3:30 pm - 5:00 pmBoard Room, Fourth Floor, VMCC

Talk • Ranking and World Class Universities

3:30 pm - 5:00 pmVMCC Hall No.22

Talk • Culture as Policy and Policy as Culture

5:30 pm - 7:00 pmADCPS Conference Room