Malcolm & Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust

Prof A R Venkatachalapathy

A. R. Venkatachalapathy (1967), Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, took his PhD in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has taught at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, the University of Madras and the University of Chicago, and has held research assignments in Paris, Cambridge, London, and Harvard. He was the ICCR Chair in Indian Studies at the National University of Singapore (2011–12). He has been awarded the V.K.R.V. Rao Prize (History, 2007); Vilakku Pudumaippithan Award for lifetime contribution to Tamil (2018) and Bharati Award (2021).

Chalapathy has published widely on the social, cultural and intellectual history of colonial Tamilnadu. Apart from his scholarly writings in English he has written/edited over thirty books in Tamil. His publications in English include Tamil Characters: Personalities, Politics, Culture (Pan Macmillan 2018); Who Owns That Song?: The Battle for Subramania Bharati’s Copyright (Juggernaut, 2018); The Province of the Book: Scholars, Scribes, and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu (Permanent Black, 2012), In Those Days There Was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History (Yoda Press, New Delhi, 2006), (ed.) Chennai, Not Madras (Marg, Mumbai, 2006), (ed.), In the Tracks of the Mahatma: The Making of a Documentary (Orient Longman, Delhi, 2006), (ed.) Love Stands Alone: Selections from Tamil Sangam Poetry (Penguin, 2010), and (ed.) Red Lilies and Frightened Birds: ‘Muttollayiram’ (Penguin, 2011). He is also the translator of Sundara Ramaswamy’s J.J.: Some Jottings (Penguin, 2016). Presently he is working on biographies of V.O. Chidambaram Pillai and Periyar.

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