In Memoriam: John Urry (1946-2016)
We have sadly lost our esteemed colleague John Urry, who died on March 18th. John gave so many of us the spark of curiosity that led to our interest in mobility studies. He had a unique way of synthesizing diverse fields and starting new conversations. His modest brilliance opened up new avenues of thought and new insights, without insisting on any school of theory or disciplinary limits. Through his kind encouragement and searching questions he helped so many students grow into better scholars, and set sail to so many new careers. We will miss him deeply as a caring teacher, a collaborator, a colleague and friend.
John’s deeply historically informed perspective on mobilities has advanced new agendas across a whole array of diverse fields, including transport history and transportation studies. Its impact is still rippling outwards, from his early work on spatial theory and tourism studies, to his recent interests in climate change, complexity, and social futures. Now that seam of productivity comes to a kind of an end, but not the energy that it contains and the many sparks that will continue to fly off of it.
John Urry’s funeral is taking place on Monday April 4th at 2.45 in the Lancaster and Morecombe Crematorium. This will be followed (from 4pm) by the sharing of memories at the Midland Hotel Morecambe, where it is intended not only to mourn but also to celebrate his life.
An inspiring page of tributes is being gathered by Lancaster University at this memorial page. He will be in our thoughts and continue to influence our work for many decades to come. T2M will honour John’s life and his work at our upcoming conference, as we continue with the boundless project of mobility studies which has brought so many of us together.