Amitava Kumar is the author of several works of literary non-fiction, including Passport Photos, Bombay-London-New York, Husband of a Fanatic, and A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb (described by the New York Times as a “perceptive and soulful” meditation on “the cultural and human repercussions” of the global war on terror). His latest book is a biography of Patna titled, A Matter of Rats . His novel Home Products was short-listed for India’s premier literary award and republished in the US under the title Nobody Does the Right Thing. Kumar serves on the editorial board of several publications and co-edits the web-journal “Politics and Culture.” He is the script-writer and narrator of the prize-winning documentary film “Pure Chutney” (1997) and “Dirty Laundry” (2005). Professor Kumar is the Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College (USA) and teaches classes that mainly deal with: reportage; the essay-form, both in prose and film; literatures describing the global movement of goods and people; memory-work.
Amir Ullah Khan
Amir Ullah Khan is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Osmania University. He studied at the Institute of Rural Management Anand and has a PhD in Economics and Business Studies from the Jamia Millia University. He has worked as Researcher for the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the UNDP at Project LARGE (Legal Adjustments and Reforms for Globalising the Economy). He then was Academic Head at the Indian School of Finance and Management, after which he worked with Encyclopædia Britannica as Executive Director and Editor. He is Senior Policy Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is currently the President of The Glocal University , Saharanpur. He is also the member of the Advisory Council and the Academic Council at the Glocal University.
Anees Salim is a Kochi, India-based author. He is rather proud of being a dropout. He joined advertising in the late 1990s, and has been working on a variety of brands for the past fourteen years. He currently heads the creative department of Draft FCB Ulka, Kochi, where he started his career as a trainee copywriter. He loves being invisible, and shares his time between home and office. In 2013, he won The Hindu Literary Prize for his novel, Vanity Bagh. His other novels include The Vicks Mango Tree and Tales from A Vending Machine.
Kunal Basu is an Indian author of English fiction who has written four novels – The Opium Clerk (2001), The Miniaturist (2003), Racists (2006) and The Yellow Emperor’s Cure (2011). He has also written a collection of short stories, The Japanese Wife (2008), the title story of which has been made into a film by the Indian filmmaker Aparna Sen. Since 1999, he has been teaching at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.
Born and educated in a small town of Bihar, India, Dr. Khair is the author of various books, including the poetry collections, Where Parallel Lines Meet (Penguin, 2000) and Man of Glass (HarperCollins, 2010), the studies, Babu Fictions: Alienation in Indian English Novels (Oxford UP, 2001) and The Gothic, Postcolonialism and Otherness (Palgrave, 2010) and the novels, The Bus Stopped (Picador, 2004), Filming (Picador, 2007), The Thing About Thugs (Harpercollins, 2010; Houghton Mifflin, 2012) and How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position (Interlink and Corsair 2014).
His honours and prizes include the All India Poetry Prize (awarded by the Poetry Society and the British Council) and honorary fellowship (for creative writing) of the Baptist University of Hong Kong. His novels have been shortlisted for nine prestigious prizes in five countries, including the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Encore Award, and translated into several languages.
Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins), Rain, Aria (A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor), Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions) and EroText (Vintage: Penguin Random House). Blue Nude: New Poems & Ekphrasis (Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize) is forthcoming. Sen’s works have been translated into over 25 languages. His words have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, India Today, and broadcast on bbc, pbs, cnn ibn, ndtv, air & Doordarshan. Sen’s newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/Random House/Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), and Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sen is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Festival. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”
Jayapriya Vasudevan is one of Asia’s best known literary agents. She is the founder of Jacaranda Literary Agency. She has been in publishing pretty much all her working life. Starting her career in East West Books (now Westland), she moved on to set up a bookstore with her siblings, Bookends, in Bangalore, India. Following that she did a two year stint with Seagull Books in Calcutta. In 1994, she set up R&B, India’s first bookstore-cafe in partnership with a friend. In 1997, she set up Jacaranda, India’s first Literary Agency. Her agency now works from Singapore, India, the Philippines and Kenya.
MEDIA & FILMS
Tessa Sheridan is an award-winning director and screenwriter whose short films have won accolades across Europe and the US, including the Palme D’Or at Cannes and the BBC award for best short drama. An accomplished commercials director, Tessa is now also working in prose and radio drama. Her stories have won the Cheshire Literary Prize and the Fish Short Story award and been published in two collections, while her radio play ‘Flotsam’ was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Tessa also has an international profile in screenplay development, having team-written for Columbia pictures, run advanced script schemes for MEDIA EU and MDA Singapore, and script edited several feature screenplays for Scottish Screen and the UK Film Council among others.
She currently has two feature film projects in active development as director/screenwriter: one a British/Danish co-production between Optimism Film and Toolbox Films, developed by the UK Film Council; the other a British/Singaporean co-production for Akanga Films, developed by MDA Singapore.
Amit Virmani’s debut, “Cowboys in Paradise”, was one of the most talked-about Asian documentaries in recent years. The controversial film was featured on CNN, BBC and various international media, and broadcast on channels including CBC and RT. Regarded as a valuable counterpoint to “Eat, Pray, Love”, it has also been incorporated into various Women Studies curricula and screened on more than 100 campuses around the world. Amit is a graduate of Southwestern University, Texas, where he was honored with the Feminist Voices Award. He lives in Singapore. The award-winning “Menstrual Man” is his second film. It premiered at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and was voted a Top Ten Audience Favourite at both Hot Docs and IDFA the same year. The film was nominated for Best Feature Documentary at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Asad Hussain studied mass communication at the AJK MCRC, New Delhi. He is a screenwriter and has worked with award winning directors like Murali Nair and Siddiq Barmak, besides working on feature film scripts in Mumbai. Since 2006 he has been traveling to Afghanistan, working closely with television and film professionals in Kabul to hold workshops and trainings in different aspects of radio & video production and screenwriting.
Asad is the translator of several plays into Hindustani that have been performed by Chingari and Adi Theatre groups in Delhi. He is also the author of ‘The Party’, that was performed at the Prithvi International Theatre Festival as well as ‘K for Ostro’, a work in progress.
He has documented the impact of communal violence on schoolgirls in small town India and shot a documentary film on the secular cultural traditions of Awadh. He is part of the I G Khan Memorial Trust in Aligarh, which works with cycle rickshaw pullers in the city, besides hosting a series of annual lectures on social justice. (www.igkhan.org).
Shams Tanweer is a Hindi poet and filmmaker based in New Delhi, India. He founded One Act Movies in 2006 in India with a vision to make quality television programmes and contemporary films. He has been associated with the media world for over 12 years. Tanweer has developed, written, directed and produced a variety of programmes for a range of broadcasters that includes NDTV, CNBC TV 18, Star TV, Ten Sports, Sony TV, Splash and Doordarshan.