Three Indian Academics Win British Academy Fellowship

PB Mehta, Sukanta Chaudhari and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak have been elected as fellows this year.

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The British Academy, an independent fellowship of world leading scholars and researchers, on 23 July announced its list of incoming fellows, including three professors of Indian origin, to recognise outstanding achievement in humanities and social sciences.

Columnist and former Ashoka University professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Columbia University academic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Kolkata's Jadavpur University professor emeritus Sukanta Chaudhari have been elected as Corresponding Fellows at The British Academy.


Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Jodhpur-born Pratap Bhanu Mehta is an academic and a columnist. He is the editorial consultant to The Indian Express and his columns widely appear in the daily. He occasionally writes for the Financial Times, The Hindu, The Tribune as well. He is an expert in the fields of political theory, intellectual history and constitutional law.

He has been the president of a Delhi-based think tank centre for policy research and was the vice chancellor at Ashoka University for two years before he resigned, citing "academic reasons". Apart from Ashoka, he has taught at the NYU school of Law, Harvard University, and JNU. He will soon be joining Princeton University.

Mehta was a member-convenor of the prime minister's National Knowledge Commission, the vice chair of the World Economic Forum's council on Global Governance and was on the board of International development Research Centre.

He has been awarded the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences and the 2010 Malcolm Adiseshiah award.


Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

A University professor at Columbia University, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is considered one of the most influential postcolonial intellectuals. She is a professor of comparative literature, a literary feminist and a postcolonial theorist. She is a follower of Western philosophy and Marxism.

Born in Kolkata, Spivak studied at Cornell and Cambridge after which she taught literature at the University of Pittsburgh, Texas, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Columbia. As a member of Subaltern Studies Collective, she is said to have worked on several historical studies and literary critiques of imperialism and international feminism.

She has been credited with translations of works of philosopher Jacques Derrida, and critical writings such as Essays in Cultural Politics, The Post Colonia Critics, Other Asians, Outside the Teaching Machine among others.

She was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour in 2013 and the 2012 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy.


Sukanta Chaudhari

Sukanta Chaudhari is an Indian literary scholar and translator. He is professor emeritus at Jadavpur University, a columnist in India's leading dailies, an honorary fellow of the Asiatic Society, and member of the executive committee of the International Shakespeare Association.

Chaudhari was educated at Kolkata's Presidency College and at the University of Oxford. He has been credited with translations of classic Bengali works of Tagore, Chattopadhyay, Rajshekhar Basu, Sukumar Ray among others. He has also translated the limericks of Edward Lear and Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci into Bengali.

He is said to have worked on editing several collections of essays on the Renaissance and sections of Bacon's essays and Elizabethan poetry for the Oxford University Press.

Apart from writing and translating, Chaudhari has taught at many illustrious institutions including Presidency College, Loyola University in Chicago, All Souls College, Oxford, Cambridge, University of Virginia among others.

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