ISAS is proud to announce the launch of a new annual lecture series, the Bhattacharya Lectureship on the Future of India, a lecture series that asks leading thinkersscholars, artists, activists, political, economic, and social leadersto address the possibilities and challenges for India in the future.
The lectureship is supported by The Bhattacharya India Fund, a fund established in 2016 by Kimi and Shankar Bhattacharya, both longtime supporters of Bangla Studies at Berkeley and of the ISAS. In addition to the lectureship, the fund also provides funding to UC Berkeley graduate students to undertake research travel to India (two awards of $1000 each) or domestic conference travel for presentations on topics related to contemporary India (four awards of $500 each).
Our inaugural lecture in this series will be delivered by Author and Historian, Ramachandra Guha.
About the Speaker
Ramachandra Guha is an author and columnist based in Bangalore. Born in Dehradun in 1958, he studied at St.Stephens College, the Delhi School of Economics, and the Indian Institute of Management at Kolkata, where he wrote a doctoral thesis on the history and prehistory of the Chipko movement. Now a full-time writer, he has previously taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, the Sundaraja Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, and the prestigious Phillipe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.
Guhas books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (Oxford University Press, 1989); Savaging the Civilized (University of Chicago Press, 1999), A life of the anthropologist-activist Verrier Elwin which the Times Literary Supplement called the best biography by an Indian for many years, an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador), and India after Gandhi (Picador, 2007), a widely discussed (and also award-winning) history of India since independence. His most recent publication is Gandhi before India, a book on Mohandas Gandhis years in South Africa.
Aside from his scholarly work, Guha writes regularly on social and political issues for the general public. Between 1997 and 2009 he wrote a fortnightly column for The Hindu, Indias national newspaper. He now writes columns in The Telegraph and the Hindustan Times, with these articles appearing in translation in other Indian newspapers (such as Hindustan, Dainik Bhaskar, Prajavani, and Andhra Jyoti). Guhas awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society prize, the R. K. Narayan Prize, and the Padma Bhushan. The New York Times has referred to him as perhaps the best among Indias non fiction writers; Time Magazine has called him Indian democracys preeminent chronicler.
The Bhattacharya India Fund was established in Fall 2016 with a generous gift from Kimi and Shankar Bhattacharya, UC Berkeley alums and longtime supporters of Bangla Studies at Berkeley and of the ISAS. This new fund supports two critical programs, the annual Bhattacharya Lectureship on the Future of India, and the Bhattacharya Graduate Fellowship. The Lectureship asks leading thinkersscholars, artists, activists, political, economic, and social leadersto address the possibilities and challenges for India in the future. The competitive Fellowship enables us to support the best graduate student research in India and research dissemination at conferences.