Priya Kuriyan is a book illustrator, comic book artist and an animator. She has directed educational films for the Sesame street show (India) and the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and illustrated numerous children’s books for various Indian publishers. Apart from writing and illustrating short comics for the Indian express, The hindu business line, India today and other magazines, She has contributed to Indian comics anthologies like Pao, This side that side, Eat the sky drink the ocean and First hand 2 (an anthology of non-fiction comics). She was also part of the Indo German collaboration ‘Elephant in the room’ published by Zubaan books. She’s currently collaborated with the writer Devapriya Roy on a graphic biography of Indira Gandhi for young adults.
Vidyun Sabhaney is a writer, editor, and illustrator of graphic narratives and comics based in New Delhi. Her work has been published by Penguin India, Yoda Press, Blaft Publications Pvt. Ltd., Zubaan, COMIX.INDIA, and Pratham Books. She runs Captain Bijli Comics, an independent comics publishing project which aims to develop new content, distribution and dialogue around the form – thus far it has produced two comics independently, and a collection of non-fiction comics titled First Hand: Graphic Non Fiction from India in May 2016, in collaboration with publisher Yoda Press. First Hand Volume 2: Exclusion is currently in production.
Appupen, is a comics creator, visual artist and musician who tells stories from the mythical dimension called Halahala. Appupen’s fourth graphic novel, ‘The Snake and the Lotus’, is being published by Context (March, 2018). His other graphic novels include ‘Moonward’ (Blaft,2009), ‘Legends of Halahala’ (2012) and ‘Aspyrus’, (2014) both from HarperCollins. Appupen launched his online comic series with the popular superhero satire ‘Rashtraman’ and ‘Dystopian Times’ in 2015. He is the founder/editor of Brainded India. Halahala.in & brainded.in . You can also find Appupen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Babu Thaliath is Professor of Philosophy and German Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi since 2013. He studied Civil Engineering and German Philology in India and pursued his PhD in Philosophy at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg and at the University of Basel between 1997 and 2003. Subsequently, he completed several post-doctoral research projects in the area of Early Modern Mechanical Philosophy at the Humboldt University of Berlin and at the University of Cambridge (2005-2013). He has published extensively in the areas of Theoretical Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy of Science, Theory of Perception and Aesthetics. He has four monographs to his credit: Perspektivierung als Modalität der Symbolisierung. Erwin Panofskys Unternehmung zur Ausweitung und Präzisierung des Symbolisierungsprozesses in der Philosophie der symbolischen Formen von Ernst Cassirer (Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2005); Natur und Struktur der Kräfte (Nature and Structure of Forces; Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2010); Wissenschaft und Kontext in der frühen Neuzeit (Science and Context in Early Modern Age; Karl Alber Verlag, Freiburg i. Br. 2016); Die Verkörperung der Sinnlichkeit (The Embodiment of Senses; Karl Alber Verlag, Freiburg i. Br. 2017)
Sreevalsan J. Menon is one among the most renowned personalities in Carnatic as well as popular music who has tread a path of his own. His fresh and innovative music albums have made him very popular among the common music lovers while he equally mesmerises the audience of Carnatic music through his magical voice. He started learning music from Rajalakshmi Krishnan and later became the favourite disciple of the Late Neyyattinkara Vasudevan. Sreevalsan J. Menon got international recognition for his background score for Saint Dracula which has been nominated for the 85th Academy Awards and his music for the Malayalam movie Ottal got special mention at the Berlin Film Festival in 2016. He also works as professor at Kerala Agricultural University and holds Phd in Agricultural Extension. Sreevalsan J. Menon is one of the most prolific film music composers as well a very talented Carnatic vocalist.
Ezhacherry Ramachandran carved out his own niche in the arena of Malayalam literature through his various poetic and prose writings. He is well known to the Kerala society as a poet, lyricist and journalist. His poems express a new kind of sensibility that is hitherto unknown to the Malayalam literary arena. He has also written more than 30 film songs. Ezhacherry is also noted for his contributions to Deshabhimani Weekly, especially during his tenure as the editor in chief of the Weekly. He has won the best lyricist award for professional dramas several times.
Dr. K G Paulose, one of the most renowned Sanskrit scholars of Kerala is well known for his unique contributions in the field of Natyasastra and he has endeavoured for the popularisation of Koodiyattom throughout the state of Kerala. He was the first Vice chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art and Culture. He has held positions of the Registrar of Sree Sankaracharya University, Kalady and the Principal of Govt. Sanskrit College, Tripunithura. He is also noted for his contributions in areas of Comparative Aesthetics and ancient drama. One who writes voluminously on the classic art forms of Kerala, DR. K G Paulose has authored more than twenty books and has produced several research papers. He was the Chief Editor of three research journals Purnatrayi, Aryavadyan and Dhimahi. Two of his important publications are Several distinctions were bestowed upon him including the awards of Kerala Sahitya Akademi and Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi. Thirupati Sanskrit Viswavidyalaya conferred on him the title of Vachaspati in 2009. Currently, Professor Paulose is the Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
A prolific speaker who always takes up issues related to politics, ecology and arts, Sadanand Menon is a nationally reputed arts editor, popular teacher of cultural journalism, photographer and stage lights designer. Currently, he is adjunct faculty at Asian College of Journalism and IIT, Chennai. Sadanand is member, Apex Advisory Committee, National Museum, Delhi; Advisory Committee, National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru; Advisory Council, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi; Governing Council, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; and Managing Trustee, SPACES, an arts foundation, Chennai. A close companion of the legendary choreographer Chandralekha, he is very deeply associated with discussions concerning contemporary Indian dance. He has also curated a major Retrospective Exhibition of Fifty Years of Dashrath Patel’s work in painting, ceramics, photography and design for NGMA, Delhi and Mumbai.
The Indian publishing field gained a novel face with Indira (Indu) Chandrasekhar entering the publishing industry. Publisher and Managing Editor of Tulika Books, New Delhi, she has been associated with publishing since the early 1980s. She began her publishing career with Macmillan India and worked for several years as a freelance editor, with brief stints at teaching in Bangalore and Delhi University in the intervening years, before setting up Tulika Books in 1995. Tulika Books remains a well-known independent publisher of academic books in Humanities and Social Sciences and have published books of several well known left intellectuals and academics. Indu Chandrashekhar is also a founding partner of the Independent Publishers’ Distribution Alternatives (IPDA), a distribution network set up by eight independent publishers to promote alternative/independent writing.
Anil Bhatti, the eminent scholar and theoretician who joined the Centre of German Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in 1971 was appointed Professor at the Centre in 1983. He retired as Professor in August 2009 and is now Professor Emeritus of the University. He has repeatedly been the Chairperson of the Centre and has served a term as Dean of the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies and another term as Dean, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. He has been member from time to time of National level committees and panels related to the development of Foreign Language Studies in India and member of selection committees for the appointment of faculty to Universities in India. He is an expert in Literary and Cultural Theories, Modern German Literature, Comparative Literature and Comparative Culture Studies between Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and India/Asia. He is also well versed in Orientalism and Postcolonial Studies. His contributions to German language have gained several recognition’s. He has authored a number of books in English and German.
T. M. Krishna, the radical voice of Carnatic Music hails from a Tamil Brahmin family and conquered the field of southern classical music through his most powerful voice and the most revolutionary thoughts. The postmodern ideas of plurality and multiplicity that T. M. Krishna spread shocked the upper elite who are deemed as the traditional custodians of classical art forms. As a public intellectual, he speaks and writes about weighty issues concerning culture in particular and human condition in general. He is the driving force behind many cultural festivals and initiatives like the Chennai Purambokke Paadal. T. M. Krishna has also authored several books which analyse Carnatic Music and culture from a very different angle and he continues to be the diva who makes divine connections between music and common man.
The Executive Editor of The Caravan and an award-winning journalist, Vinod K Jose has previously worked as a producer from South Asia for public radio stations in the US and Europe. Jose has an MA in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School, where he was a Bollinger Presidential Fellow. He also has graduate degrees in Communication and English, and a PhD in Sociology. Vinod K. Jose first received attention for his reporting about those accused and those convicted in the 2001 Indian Parliament attack. Jose’s contributions to Indian journalism are in the area of narrative or literary journalism, similar to the style of Granta, The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Mother Jones. Major Works and Articles Maoist India: The Search for Economic Justice, Falling Man: Manmohan Singh at the centre of the storm and The Emperor Uncrowned: The rise of Narendra Modi,” Awards: Ramnath Goenka Award “Honorable mention” at the 2011 Kurt Schork Awards
A poet of immense spirit, Kureepuzha Sreekumar represents the unrepresented and explores the unexplored. His postmodern poetical musings reflect the deterioration of the contemporary society. He represented India in the Afro-Asian Young Writers Conference. Major Works: Habibinte Dinakkurippukal, Sreekumarinte Dukkangal, Rahulan Urangunnilla, Amma Malayalam,Keezhaalan, Penangunni, Narakathilekkoru Ticket, Kureepuzha Sreekumarinte Kavithakal and Suicide Point. Awards: He won the Best Poet Award in 1975 from Kerala University, the 1987 Vyloppilli Award for Malayalam poetry, and the Kerala Sahithya Akademi Sree Padmanabhaswamy Award for 2003 for the best work in children’s literature for his work Penangunni. He refused to accept the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Award as it was named after a Hindu God.
Madan Gopal Singh, son of the renowned Punjabi poet Harbhajan Singh is a singer, music composer, lyricist, editor, film theorist and a polyglot. He who is a senior fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi is also teacher of English literature. Gopal Singh is a versatile genius who has written and lectured widely on cinema, cultural history in spite of performing worldwide with his ensemble Chaar Yaar. Besides writing lyrics and dialogues for several critically acclaimed movies like Qissa, Ekti Naadir Naam, Kaya Taran etc., he has translated and sung poets and musicians like Rumi, Shah Hussain, Federico Garcia Lorca, and John Lennon et al.
A multifaceted persona of immense capabilities, Susie Tharu engages herself as a writer, publisher, professor, editor and women’s activist. She is currently Eminent Professor, Department of Cultural Studies. Both her research and teaching focus on feminism, issues of minority, literary and visual arts, and social medicine. In 1978 she helped to found Sthri Shakti Sangatana (SSS-Women Power Organization), an organization whose main focus was women. The organization also has raised question about the Rape Law through a series of street performances and public campaigns. Major Works: Subject to Change: Literary Studies in the Nineties. Delhi: Orient Longman Subaltern Studies (Co-editor) New French Feminisms: An Indian Anthology (Co-editor) Honours: Uganda Government Merit Scholarship, Makerere College, Uganda Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship
In a Delhi seething with anger after the notorious riots of 1984, Parcham, a popular group of singers went around the city with a brave message of peace. Sumangala, the young singer who stood in the forefront was to become one among the many voices of protest in the nation. Sumangala Damodaran, the granddaughter of E M S Namboodiripad is a well-known musician and economist based in Delhi. For her, music is a weapon of protest and she gained strength as a revolutionary singer after being part of Parcham and for her, the age long tradition of popular music of the Indian People Theatre Association (IPTA) too remains the most inspiring one. Currently, she is teaching Economics, Development Studies and Popular Music Studies at Ambedkar University and is also part of a project entitled ‘Insurrections’, a collaboration with South African musicians and poets. She is also doing research on the relation between music and migration, especially, the migration of women under slavery and servitude.
Dr M V Narayanan, a scholar and researcher in the performing arts of Kerala, especially Koodiyattam is also a professor in English at Calicut University. An influential public speaker, he has been delivering speeches on various subjects all over the state. His fascination towards the traditional art forms of Kerala is praiseworthy in keeping the academic interest on them.
An erudite excelling in the fields of feminism and Marxism, Mary E John has been working with a great passion in the arena of women’s studies and feminist politics for many years. She was the Director of CWDS from 2006-2012 Furthermore, She was an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Women’s Studies Programme at JNU, New Delhi from 2001-2006. She has authored a vast collection of journals and articles to voice her ideologies. Major Works: Women’s Studies in India: A Reader, A Question of Silence: The Sexual Economies of Modern India, Discrepant Dislocations: Feminism, Theory, and Postcolonial Histories, Contested Transformations: Changing Economies and Identities in Contemporary India and French Feminism: an Indian Anthology.
The active voice against social injustices and issues, Suja Susan George is a professor, writer, critic and orator. She has a long term association with the progressive writer’s movements in the state. Her dynamic participation on the social media platform and the society are relevant. She has been appointed as the director of Malayalam Mission, an initiative of the government of Kerala to promote the language. Major Works: Ezhuthukaarikalude Madhavikutty, Keralathinum Orissakkum Thammilenth? , Puli varunne Puli, Aamayum Muyalum Koottukaraya Katha, Lakshmanarekha.
P V Ragahva Varier brings with him a rich and vast experience of more than 55 years of glorious Ayurvedic clinical practice. Being a great visionary, he has spearheaded the formulation and development of many disease specific special Ayurvedic therapies. With great enthusiasm and dedication, Dr Varier continues to serve humanity through the great tradition of Ayurveda.
Naresh Fernandes is one of the most prominent journalists in the country. He is the editor of Scroll.in, a digital daily, and a consulting editor at National Geographic Traveller India. Naresh was previously editor-in-chief of Time Out India, which has editions in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. He has also worked at The Times of India and the Associated Press in Mumbai, and The Wall Street Journal in New York. His major areas of interests are urban policy, music and migration. Major Works: Taj Mahal Foxtrot: the definitive history of Bombay’s jazz age. City Adrift: A Short Biography of Bombay. Bombay Meri Jaan : Writings On Mumbai.