Harsh Sethi was the Consulting Editor of Seminar for over 20 years. He worked briefly with Sage as Acquisitions Editor. He was a Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Developing Societies. He was earlier the Deputy Director of the Indian Council of Social Science Research
Helmut Schippert has been the Director of the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Chennai since June 2014. Having graduated from Heidelberg University in English and Sports, he has also qualified himself in German Studies and has always been keenly involved with Philosophy and Politics. Starting his career as a teacher, he joined the Goethe-Institut, Germany’s cultural institute world-wide, in 1985. After a short mission in Egypt in 1989, he went, in 1990 to Santiago de Chile in South America followed by six years in Paris from 1996- 2002 where the mission was strongly marked by the special friendship of Europe’s closest partners, France and Germany. In 2008 he was appointed Director of the Goethe-Institute’s network in Central America and the Caribbean which was managed from Mexico City which he left in 2014 for a new and different cultural experience in India. Being a specialist in international communication and cooperation, due to the alarming river and water situation in Chennai he has taken water and river ecology as a major focus for Indo-German cultural collaboration.
Himanjali Sankar grew up in Calcutta and did her Masters and MPhil in English Literature from JNU. She taught at the University of Indianapolis in the US for a couple of semesters and worked as an editor with various publishing houses in New Delhi for over a decade. Currently she works as Editorial Director with Simon & Schuster India. She is also an author, and two of her books for children were on the Crossword Award shortlist, in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Mrs C Remembers was her first novel for adults for which she won the FICCI Publishing Award for Upcoming Author of the Year: English in August 2018. She lives in Gurgaon with her dog and some humans too.
Ira Mukhoty is the author of Heroines: Powerful Indian Women of Myth and History, and Daughters of the Sun: Empresses, Queens and Begums of the Mughal Empire. She has two degrees in Natural Sciences and has studied in Delhi and Cambridge. While living in Delhi, she developed an interest in the evolution of mythology and history and its relevance to the status of women in India. Ira is particularly interested in the way history is manipulated to suit changing narratives and the need to present historical non-fiction in an accessible way. She is working on her third project, a biography of Akbar the Great.
J Devika researches and teaches at Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Her work relates to the intertwined and gendered histories of politics, social reform, development, and culture in Kerala. She translates literature from Malayalam to English, and social science writings from English to Malayalam. Her latest work of translation to English is Swarga: A Posthuman Tale, of Ambikasutan Mangad's novel in Malayalam, Enmakaje.
Jacinta Kerketta is a young Hindi poet, freelance journalist, writer and social worker, who belongs to the Adivasi community of Jharkhand. She has two collections of poems to her credit: Angor and Land of the Roots. Her books have been published in Hindi, English, German and Italian and she has read her poems in many universities in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria.
Jai Prakash Chowdhary (also known as Santu) is one of the founders and the General Secretary of Safai Sena, a wastepickers and small waste traders’ organisation. In his late teens, he worked s in the waste sector, first as a sorter and then running a small trading enterprise of his own. He has been involved with fighting, along with several others, for the rights and dignity of waste workers.
James Crabtree is a writer, journalist and author living in Singapore. He is currently an Associate Professor of practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and a senior fellow at the school’s Centre on Asia and Globalisation. His first book, The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age, was published in July 2018. James is also a non-resident Fellow at the Asia programme at Chatham House and writes a fortnightly column for Nikkei Asian Review. Prior to moving into academia, James worked for the Financial Times, leading the newspaper’s coverage of Indian business as Mumbai bureau chief between 2011 and 2016, having previously worked on the opinion page in London, as Comment Editor. He has also written for a range of other global publications, including the New York Times, Economist, Wired, and Foreign Policy. Prior to journalism, James was a senior policy advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He also worked for various think tanks in London and Washington DC and spent many years living in the United States, initially as a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Joeanna Rebello Fernandes is the author of Treasure at the Train Station: A Mumbai Adventure. Joeanna believes she was once an Old Building – home to a hundred different lives that sang, ate and danced within her. It explains why she’s drawn to old buildings in this life. And why her children’s book, Treasure at the Train Station, has a grand old building at the heart of it – Victoria Terminus! She writes and edits for a living.
Manoranjan Byapari is a writer who has never been to any school. He learnt the alphabet when he was in prison. Having crossed the border with his family after Partition, he lived in a refugee camp till he arrived in Kolkata where he got drawn into the militant political movement of the 1970s. He was awarded the 24 Ghanta Ananya Samman in 2013 and the Suprabha Majumdar Prize by the Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi in 2014.
John Keay has been writing about India for over forty years. His India: A History (2000, 2010) is the standard narrative account of South Asia’s past, while India Discovered (1981 and still in print) has inspired a generation of research into the 19th-century reconstruction of India’s classical past. Also still in print is his The Honourable Company (1991), a sweeping history of the English East India Company. His latest work is an intriguing biographical quest; The Tartan Turban: In Search of Alexander Gardner. He lives in Scotland.
Jonathan Gil Harris is Professor of English at Ashoka University. The author of the best-selling The First Firangis (2015), he is also President of Shakespeare Society of India and author of six books on Shakespeare and his contemporaries. His articles on Shakespeare and Hindi cinema have been published in The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, and The Week. These form the basis of his latest book, Masala Shakespeare: How the Bard Became Indian, which considers the often-unexpected convergences between Shakespeare's drama and Indian story-telling, performance and entertainment traditions.
Joshua Pollock is a Heartfulness meditation coach and co-author of the bestselling book, The Heartfulness Way. He has conducted meditation classes across the United States, India, and Europe. Joshua is a sought-after speaker, lecturing at companies including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, the World Bank, United Nations headquarters, the New York Times, and a host of academic institutions. He has appeared on All India Radio, Doordarshan TV, and ABC and CBS in the United States. An accomplished classical violinist, Joshua has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician and collaborated with celebrated composer A.R. Rahman on numerous films including Ghajini and Delhi 6. He currently resides in New Delhi.
K Parthibaraja (Dr) is Assistant Professor in Tamil at Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur. His area of specialisation is Literary Criticism, Folklore and Theater. He conceived a new platform called 'Campus theatre' to introduce students to a consistent culture of theatre within the campus. He is the founder- director of Maatru Nadaka Iyakkam (Alternative theatre movement), an academic-based theatre programme. He has organised numerous theatre camps and theatre festivals. He is a prominent figure among the Tamil Nadu theatre activists who practise the concept of Theatre in Education. An actor, scriptwriter and director, he is a disciple of Purisai Kalaimamani Kannapa Thambiraan and has studied the Therukoothu art form and staged performances. He has written books on Thavathiru Sankaradas Swamigal's musical theatre. His play Nedumpayanam (Long March), on the pain of migration, was performed across the state. He is an active participant acting and scriptwriting workshops conducted by the National School of Drama. His plays have been performed in theatre festivals in Delhi, Mumbai, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram. He is the recipient of awards like the Sadbhaavana Award, Best Writer Award from the Neyveli Bookfair Committee and the Best Researched Books award from the Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakiya Perumandram.
K VijayRaghavan (Prof) is the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and the Chairperson of Prime Minister’s Science, Technology & Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). He was Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India from January 2013 to 2018. VijayRaghavan is also a Distinguished Professor at the National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS) and at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Bangalore (TIFR). He was the Director of NCBS till 2013. He studied Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and was a Senior Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. His research is on nerves and muscles and how complex behaviour emerges during animal development. VijayRaghavan is a Fellow of the Indian Science Academies, the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2013.
Kalpana Sharma is an independent journalist, author and now Readers' Editor with Scroll.in. In over four decades as a journalist specialising in developmental and environmental issues as well as gender, she has worked with Himmat Weekly, Indian Express, The Times of India and The Hindu, and was Consulting Editor with Economic & Political Weekly. She is the author of Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia’s Largest Slum and editor of Missing: Half the Story, Journalism as if Gender Matters. She has also co-edited with Ammu Joseph, Whose News? The Media and Women’s Issues, and Terror Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out.