In Memoriam: Dr. R. P. Nair

It is with great sadness that I convey the news that Dr. R. P. Nair of American College has passed away. Dr. Nair was a friend and mentor to generations of Shansi Reps and Fellows to American College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. He spent 1967-1968 in Oberlin as a Shansi Visiting Scholar, and in the midst of a distinguished career on the English faculty at American College, he helped found the Study Centre on Indian Literature in English and Translation (SCILET) in 1985. Along with Paul Love and Premila Paul, he turned SCILET into an invaluable resource center and a hub for the study of writers and writing and the promotion of literature.


For me, and I know for many other Shansi folk, a visit to Madurai was never complete without a visit to SCILET and a meal with Dr. Nair. From anecdotes about his time in Oberlin and New York during the 1960s to trenchant observations about the political and social issues of the day, he always kept me on my toes. He was a kind, generous, and always thoughtful friend, partner, and guide. He will be missed by so many in the Shansi community.


Pictured below you can see R.P. Nair on the far left entertaining (from left) Prof. Premila Paul of SCILET and American College, Prof. Anuradha Needham from Oberlin College, Prof. Rajeswari Sunderrajan of New York University, and myself.


Dr. Nair will be missed by the Oberlin and Shansi communities, and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends, and everyone at SCILET and American College.


Gavin Tritt

Executive Director

Oberlin Shansi


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