Dr. Indira Chowdhury
As the Founder-Director of the Centre for Public History at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, Indira has been working towards establishing oral history and public history as a discipline in India. Keenly interested in creating archives and their public dissemination, Indira has been instrumental in creating several institutional archives in contemporary India. In 2007 she founded the first archival consultancy Archival Resources for Contemporary History (ARCH), Bangalore, which continues to function as ARCH@Srishti creating archives and archival books and exhibition.
Indira was earlier a professor of English at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She has a PhD in history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (1993). Her book, The Frail Hero and Virile History (Oxford University Press, 1998), was awarded the Tagore Prize in 2001. She also translated Ashapurna Debi’s major novel, The First Promise (Orient Longman, 2004). Her book (with Ananya Dasgupta), about the Indian scientist Homi Bhabha, entitled A Masterful Spirit: Homi Bhabha 1909-1966, was published in May 2010. Indira Chowdhury began her work as archivist at the Urban History Documentation Project at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata in 1993. She has also set up the Archives of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, the Archives of Dr Reddy’s, the Archives of IIM Calcutta to name a few. She is the President of the Oral History Association of India, a forum she helped found. In 2014, she was elected President of the International Oral History Association.
Dr. Vivek Dhareshwar (On leave)
Previously, Vivek Dhareshwar was Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, of which institute he was the Director between 2001 and 2004. From 1993 to 1997, he was at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, where he was Fellow in the Social Basis of Culture and Sociology. He has also taught as Visiting Faculty in the Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA.
Dr. Dhareshwar obtained a Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness Program, University of California, Santa Cruz (1989). His masters' degree was in Modern Indian History, from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His current research investigates the role of culture in learning different kinds of knowledges. He is working on two book projects: a philosophical exploration of the relationship between norms and experience; the other on the idea of multiple sites of ethical learning in Gandhi. He has published widely in the areas of ethics, political theory, literary criticism, and the philosophy of culture.
At Srishti, he heads the Bangalore Human Sciences Initiative (BHISI) which has set itself the objective of reinvigorating research in the humanities and the social sciences.