The Advisory Board of Srishti Madurai:
* Shri. Chevalier, Anjali Gopalan- Founder NAZ Foundation. Animal rights activist, Human rights activist.
When it comes to being prolific, it doesn't get much bigger than our beloved Anjali Gopalan Amma, head of the Advisory Board of the Srishti Madurai from 2012
Love for all life forms is spirituality for her, Chevalier, Anjali Gopalan is a Indian Human Rights and Animal Rights activist, She was born in Chennai to a Tamil father and Punjabi mother. In 2012, Time placed Gopalan in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world; in 2000 she opened the country’s first holistic home cares for orphaned vulnerable HIV+ children and Women. She trains health professionals and care-givers to treat HIV+ children, and recognizes that existing facilities need to expand their scope to include them. She has designed a system that provides multi-faceted care to infected children, both in the home and in foster care.
Her main concern still remains in providing quality care to those living with the HIV infection, which she has done through founding and managing a care home for HIV-positive children and women.
In March 2007, in 2001, Anjali was awarded the Commonwealth Award for her work with the marginalized communities. The Chennai based Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhani, presented her the Sadguru Gnanananda Award in 2003, for her work in supporting those living with HIV/AIDS. In 2005, she was nominated and short-listed for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work to bring harmony to those whose lives have none. Anjali was honoured as a Woman Achiever by the Ministry of Women and Child Development along with nine other awardees. In 29 July 2012, Anjali Gopalan inaugurated Alan Turing Rainbow festival and flag offed the Asia's first Genderqueer pride parade as a part of Turing Rainbow festival organised by Srishti Madurai this was the first Gay pride parade attended by Anjali.
In 25 October 2013 Anjali was awarded Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur `Knight in the order of the legions of Honor' which is the highest award from the France presented to her by Minister of Women's Rights for France. Anjali Gopalan is the first Tamil woman awarded with "Legion of Honour"
*Dr. Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger– European Graduate School.
Bracha L. Ettinger, Ph.D., is the Marcel Duchamp Chair & Professor of Psychoanalysis and Art at the European Graduate School EGS, artist, senior clinical psychologist, practising psychoanalyst, and groundbreaking theoretician working at the intersection of feminine sexuality, psychoanalysis, and aesthetics. Her approach significantly extends the work of contemporary philosophers and psychoanalysts such as Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Jacques Lacan, and challenges the works of Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray.
Bracha Ettinger received her Ph.D. in Aesthetics of Visual Arts from the University of Paris VIII, a DEA in Psychoanalysis from the University of Paris VII, and an MA in Clinical Psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Bracha Ettinger was a Visiting Professor (1997–98) and then Research Professor in Psychoanalysis and Aesthetics (January 1999–December 2004) at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds. Since 2001 she has also been Visiting Professor in Psychoanalysis and Aesthetics at the AHRC Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (now CentreCATH), University of Leeds, of which she was a founding member. Bracha Ettinger was also a lecturer at the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem (2003–6).
Bracha L. Ettinger has been forging for the last twenty years a new 'matrixial' theory and language with major aesthetical, analytic, ethical and political implications. Bracha Ettinger’s ideas offer the hope that identities might not have to be achieved either sacrificially or at someone else’s expense. Articulating the feminine, maternal and womb, the prematernal, presubject, trans-subjectivity, coemergence as pregnancy, wit(h)nessing and transference as reciprocal yet a-symmetrical co-birthing, her approach implicitly questions the necessity of Kristeva's sacrificial social contract, at the same time as she urges us to rethink the opening of a new ethical horizon via concepts such as trans-subjective com-passion, primary compassion and fascinance, claiming archaic 'aesthetic' mental-psychic apprehension of the other and of the world as proto-ethical.
The infant-m/Other transconnectivity includes other non-I(s) right from the start. Working through 'borderlinking' in trans-subjective webs is neither symbiotic nor Oedipal. It brings about subjectivizing moments and actualizes human creative and ethical potentialities. A collection of Bracha Ettinger's essays has been published as The Matrixial Borderspace (2006). Bracha Ettinger's artworks, mainly paintings, drawing, artist's books and photographs have been presented in major museums of contemporary art including:
The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp [Gorge(l), 2006-2007]; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (ARS 06 Biennale, 2006); Gothenburg Museum of Art (Aletheia, 2003); Villa Medici, Rome, (Memory, 1999); Israel Museum, Jerusalem [Voices from Here and There (Mar'ee Makom, Mar'ee Adam), 1999], (Routes of Wandering, 1992); Haifa Museum & Theater [Women Artists in Israeli Art (the Ninties), 1998]; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (Kabinet, 1997); The Pompidou Centre (Face à l'Histoire, 1997); Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (Body, 1997); Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (Inside the Visible, 1997); Museum for Israeli Art, Ramat-Gan (Oh Mama, 1997); Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston, (Inside the Visible, 1997); National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, (Inside the Visible, 1997); Whitechapel Gallery, London (Inside the Visible, 1996); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israeli Art Now, 1991; Feminine Presence, 1990); With Solo exhibitions at: Lokaal 01, Antwerp. ThRu1 Virtual exhibition (2007); Gerwood Gallery, Oxford University, Oxford (2003); La librairie, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (2003. Maison de France, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. The Drawing Center, NY (2001); Centre for Fine Arts (The Palais des Beaux Arts), Brussels (2000); Pori Art Museum, Finland (1996), (with Sergei 'Africa' Bugayev); Israel Museum, Jerusalem (1995); The Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery, Leeds (1994); Kanaal Art Fondation, Béguinage, Kortrijk (1994), (with Nancy Spero); The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Oxford (1993); Galerie d'Art Contemporain du Centre Saint-Vincent, Herblay (1993); The Russian Ethnography Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia (1993); Le Nouveau Muséem, IAC - Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne (1992); Goethe Institute, Paris (1990); Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle de Calais, Calais (1988); Moltkerei Werkstatt, Köln. The Pompidou Centre, Paris (1987).
Biography Source: European Graduate School.
*Dr Shima Espahbodi - Clinical Scientist Musculoskeletal Imaging, Artist and Author, Oxford University.
Dr.Shima is a writer, clinical scientist based at London. A creative clinical research scientist specialized in musculoskeletal and vascular ultrasonography for inflammatory arthritides. She finished her PhD: Investigation of Lumbar Artery Haemodynamics in patients with Low Back Pain and Degenerative Disc Disease of the Lumbar Spine, Imperial College London (2005), MSc Physical Science and Engineering in Medicine, Imperial College London (1995), MSc Space Science, University College, London (1993), BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, Leeds University (1992), Diploma Integrative Psychotherapy (Psychodynamic & Humanistic) London (2013). She developed novel application of colour Doppler US for assessing spinal blood flow in patients with chronic low back pain and degenerative lumbar disc disease. Leading study on chronic pain, biopsychosocial factors, and neurosensory deficits in people with arthritis. Simultaneously a practicing integrative psychotherapist applying psychodynamic, humanistic and spiritual approaches to therapeutic work with clients who have often suffered childhood trauma and addiction behaviours. Also made her first short film on Disability and Art. Her Recent publications includes Colour Doppler Ultrasonography of Lumbar Artery Blood Flow in patients with Low Back Pain. Espahbodi S, Doré CJ, Humphries KN, Hughes SPF. Spine. 2013 Feb 15;38(4):E230-6. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31827ecd6e.
Preparing for the World of Work:
An Exploratory Study of Disabled Students’ Experiences of Work Placement. Georgiou CE, Espahbodi S, De Souza LH. Journal of Education and Work. DOI:10.1080/13639080.2011.598143. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2011.598143
Colour Doppler Ultrasound of the Lumbar Arteries: A Novel Application and Reproducibility Study in Healthy Subjects. Espahbodi S, Humphries KN, Doré CJ, McCarthy ID, Standfield NJ, Cosgrove DO, Hughes SPF.
Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Vol.32, No.2, pp. 171 – 182, 2006.
*Dr.Avital Ronell-European Graduate School
Dr. Avital Ronell, Ph.D., was born in Prague. Her parents were Israeli diplomats who returned to Israel before going to New York. Avital Ronell studied at the Hermeneutics Institute in Berlin with Jacob Taubes, ultimately earned her doctorate at Princeton University, and then worked with Jacques Derrida andHélène Cixous in Paris. She was professor of comparative literature and theory at the University of California at Berkeley for several years before eventually returning to New York, where she currently is chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature and teaches German and comparative literature and theory – in addition to her yearly Fall semester seminar about Derrida – and where she continues to churn out a breathtaking range of deconstructive rereadings of everything from technology, the Gulf War, and AIDS, to opera, addiction, and stupidity.
As one of the first translators of Jacques Derrida’s work into English, she in effect introduced his work to the American academy. Avital Ronell has continued the deep reading projects of her former teachers (and friends), focusing her attention on such varied assumptions as the telephone directory, Rodney King, Madame Bovary, Martin Heidegger and schizophrenia. Though often labeled a philosopher (as well as a key player in critical and political theory, cultural and literary criticism), Avital Ronell’s work, thoroughly transdisciplinary, consistently slips the bounds of traditional academic castes, earning her accolades from often disparate spheres of the cultural milieu. Her work is often determined to be deconstructive, Derridian, Heideggerian, post-feministic, post-structuralist, psychoanalytic, and yet her writing continually works beyond these labels remaining utterly singular. In her most infamous book, The Telephone Book, Avital Ronell seems to seek to undermine, or at least 'address' through direct intervention, commonly held views of the addressee and the author. Using fonts and texts that seem to explode from the page and which at times become illegible, Avital Ronell mimics the dislocating and alienating nature of the fractured telephone conversation to question the role of both author and reader. Avital Ronell’s published works include Telephone Book (1989), Dictations: On Haunted Writing (1993), Crack Wars: Literature, Addiction, Mania (1993),Stupidity (2001), The Test Drive (2005), and recently, in 2007, The Über Reader(ed. Diane Davis).
Avital Ronell's oeuvre is informed and facilitated by a wide range of (post) philosophers – including, for example, Jacques Derrida, Friedrich Nietzsche,Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jean-Luc Nancy – but when it comes down to it, as Eduardo Cadava observes, 'Ronell's work remains absolutely different.' From her first book, Dictations, through her latest one, Stupidity, Avital Ronell calls the established questions into question, zooming in on whatever 'withdraws from immediate promises of transparency or meaning' and/or tracking what she calls the 'rhetorical unconscious of a text' ('Confessions' 249). A hybrid of high theory and street talk, Avital Ronell's texts are remarkable both for what they say and for the extraordinary way in which they say it.
In her first book, Dictations, Avital Ronell tells us that she 'has never entertained any illusions concerning the objective nature of scholarship, no matter how tedious or dusty it can appear to be.' Each of her works goes after a seemingly recognizable and knowable signifier (Goethe, the telephone, the drug addict, the television, the test, the greeting, stupidity, etc.) but then tracks it so closely that it quickly becomes unrecognizable, exceeding its object-status, overflowing itself as a concept. Explicitly breaking with scholarly tradition, a tradition that values mastery and certitude, Avital Ronell engages her 'object' of study at the level of its finitude, of its radical singularity. In Stupidity, for example, Avital Ronell begins with the concept of stupidity, tracking it through poets and novelists and philosophers and literary/critical theorists, and pre-schoolers – but the closer she gets to it, each time, the more it exceeds itself as a concept. The closer she brings us to it, the more unknowable it appears.
One of stupidity's many guises, Avital Ronell says several times, is the claim to absolute Knowledge or Intelligence. And it is in this context that one should read Avital Ronell's determination to remain open, exposed to stupidity's inscriptions and operations, to refrain from closing off or closing in on stupidity in order to pretend to 'get' it or to represent it accurately. Avital Ronell presents herself as somewhat 'stupid' about stupidity throughout the book, and this is not only exceptionally courageous in academia, it is also a significant ethico-political move. 'If stupidity were that simple,' if it were that comprehensible, that intelligible – 'if stupidity were that stupid,' as Avital Ronell puts it – 'it would not have traded depths for the pits and acted as such a terror for Roland Barthes or Robert Musil or pre-schoolers' (10). So Avital Ronell sticks with stupidity, tracks and traces it, opens to it, re/discovering in each (missed) encounter with it a fundamental inability to know it completely or objectively, and therefore a fundamental inability to represent it.
It would be a mistake, however, to assume that there is no imperative to understand in Avital Ronell's work; clearly, her work is driven by that imperative. What goes by the name 'understanding' gets a radical update in her work inasmuch as she determines not to wipe out (objectify) the 'object' of this 'understanding' in the very rush to pin it down and define it. The link that academia posits and propagates between rigor and certitude (the former leading to the latter) gets busted in Avital Ronell's works, which are rigorous interruptions of certitude. As she notes in an interview in JAC, she approaches her 'object' of inquiry not as a police officer going after a suspect but in detective mode, turning in her badge and assuming a different rapport with the truth, one that involves breaking with standard (academic) procedure in order to remain attuned to finite singularity, in order to refrain from infinitizing finitude (as she put it in Finitude's Score).
Another striking aspect of Avital Ronell's work is its attentiveness to the materiality of language – that is, to the sound, shape, size, beat or rhythm, etc. of the words themselves. The Telephone Book, Crack Wars, and Stupidity all explicitly call our attention to the texture of the text, to the fact that language is a material that cannot not interrupt, suspend, resist, exceed, and otherwise trip up the very message it is charged to deliver. Words inevitably go AWOL, bagging their referential duty and going off on their own, connecting not to the idea they are supposed to represent but to other words – and making all kinds of 'noise' while at it. Avital Ronell affirms this noise, amplifies it, and asks us in The Telephone Book to learn to hear it by learning to read with our ears. If a foundational approach to language acknowledges that the word negates the actual 'thing' in order to bring an operational concept into being (which implies a triumph for the subject over the 'world,' or for 'meaning' over 'chaos'), Avital Ronell's nonfoundational approach embraces a language that goes on to obliterate the concept, too, by ignoring and/or exceeding it, sparking a proliferation of meaning in discourse.
Inasmuch as it showcases language's double negation, this textual performance amounts to a destructive affirmation – or an affirmation of destruction. And yet, Avital Ronell's work steers clear of 'undeveloped pronouncements of nihilism,' for in Stupidity she reminds her readers of the 'Heideggerian distinction between destruction and devastation.' 'Destruction,' she says, 'involves the force of a critical clearing and does not imply the shell-shock stoppage of devastation' (122). In the opening pages of Finitude's Score, she more thoroughly sketches out this distinction: whereas devastation 'has to do with a fundamental shutdown,' a 'pathological' drive toward 'a telic finality or fulfillment or the accomplishment, once and for all, of a Goal,' destruction, Avital Ronell says, is 'a decisive doing away with that which, already destroyed, is destructive in its continuance. To the extent that it is possible only on the basis of a new and more radical affirmation, destruction, moreover, has pledged itself to the future' (Finitude's Score xiii).
Avital Ronell's work is relentlessly destructive, relentlessly turned toward futurity, and it throws its disorienting smack in the name of what she calls 'responsible responsiveness.' Whatever the topic at hand, Avital Ronell's overarching concern is with an 'ethics of decision' for this postfoundational era – an era in which all the transcendental navigation systems are down: 'To the extent that one may no longer be simply guided – by Truth, by light or logos – decisions have to be made.' It is only in certitude's interruption that meaning's inappropriability is exposed; and it is only in that exposure that an ethics of decision becomes available: as Avital Ronell reminds us, 'no decision is strictly possible without the experience of the undecidable' (Crack Wars 58).
Biography Source: European Graduate School.
* Dr. Diane Davis-European Graduate School
Diane Davis, Ph.D., is an American critical rhetorician and post-structuralist thinker. Diane Davis is The Kenneth Burke Chair at the European Graduate School (EGS) where she teaches an intensive seminar on Jacques Derrida. Dr. Davis studied for her Bachelors of Arts at Midwestern State University, graduating in 1986 in English and Physical Education for which she received the Magna Cum Laude distinction. Diane Davis received a Master of Arts, also with distinction, at Indiana University at Fort Wayne in 1989 where she focused on American Literature and Rhetoric. In 1995 she received her first doctorate at the University of Texas at Arlington, in Humanities—Rhetoric, Composition, and Critical Theory, with a dissertation titled “Breaking Up [at] Totality: A Rhetoric of Laughter for Politics and Pedagogy" for which she got a distinction as well. Finally, she obtained her second doctorate from EGS in 2003, receiving the highest distinction (Summa Cum Laude) for her dissertation entitled Inessential Solidarity. She would go on to publish both of her dissertations, the first one in 2000 and the second one in 2010. Professor Diane Davis qualifies her research as follows:
My work is situated at the intersection of rhetorical theory and continental philosophy.
Doctor Davis is Director of the Computer, Writing, and Research Lab and Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Writing, English, and Communication Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. Working at the intersections of rhetorical theory, media theory, and poststructuralist philosophy, she is recognized for her investigations into radical exposure at the level of the 'creature', the brute fact of the incarnate being’s susceptibility and vulnerability, in the face of which human reason is mostly impotent. In her first book, for example, she explores the ways in which irrepressible laughter challenges the apparent mastery and unicity of the human subject. In the throes of a laughter she cannot control or contain, the laughter is overtaken by a force echoing from the 'noise' of physis (nature) rather than the melodies of nomos (law). To be possessed by laughter, Diane Davis proposes, is to be thrown into a petit mal (absence seizure) in which your capacity for meaning-making is suspended and your delusions of mastery and spontaneity are interrupted.
Professor Diane Davis’ work has also devoted many articles, three book reviews, and two edited collections to the work of Avital Ronell, frequently zeroing in on its affective charge:
It's not unusual to take tiny hits in a critical work that advances a specific position or viewpoint; however, the distinguishing feature of the Ronellian punch is that it's the effect of no positive knowledge claim. Ronell's critical texts operate not as formal arguments but as the obliteration of any possible argumentative ground, and that's what delivers the KO blow.
Diane Davis thus exposes the destabilizing force of Avital Ronell's extreme close-ups, noting that they institute a break, an interruption in inherited meaning. The “Ronellian punch", Diane Davis writes, takes place “in or as a devastating withdrawal of understanding that leaves you with no recourse to anything like counter-argument."
Diane Davis spotlights the affective charge of Avital Ronell’s unprecedented style: the jarring effect it can have on the reader when, for instance, this author abruptly breaks with 'the conventions of scholarly distance to speak to “you", addressing “you" directly and putting you on the spot, giving you the sense that she is suddenly “very close-range and onto you"–and you’re not ready for it because this was not supposed to happen to you in a scholarly work.
Diane Davis is the author of a number of essential books. Following is a quote about what she makes of the tasks of writing and reading, which gives us an insight into the originality of her position:
Writing and reading are functions of this pre-originary sociality; they are expositions not of who one is (identity) but of the fact that "we" are (community).
Some of her most acclaimed volumes include Inessential Solidarity: Rhetoric and Foreigner Relations (2010). In this work Diane Davis focuses on the intersections of rhetoric and solidarity so as to question and revise a significant number of traditional rhetoric’s basic assumptions. She does this by exploring a sort of commonality, oblivious to borders (débordement), that precedes and exceeds symbolic identification and therefore any prerequisite for belonging. She explains her project as such:
The Heideggerian insight is worth reiterating: thinking calls as and through the failure of hermeneutic appropriation. Thinking is not the same as knowing, and the challenge today, the social, ethical, and political challenge is to learn to think the sharing of community without effacing precisely this sharing by conceptualizing it, turning it into an object to be grasped and put to work.
Significantly, she manages to powerfully suggests that it is not ontology, epistemology or ethics that is most fundamental but that it is in fact rhetoric that comes prior, thus it is most important to examine affectability, responsibility and persuadability, which are more deeply fundamental. Put in another way, she attempts to expose an originary (or pre-originary) rhetoricity–an affectability or persuadability–that is the condition for symbolic action. For there to be any sharing of symbolic meaning, any effective use of persuasive discourse at all, she proposes, a more originary rhetoricity must already be operating, a constitutive persuadability and responsiveness that testifies, first of all, to a fundamental structure of exposure.
If rhetorical practices work by managing to have an effect on others, then an a priori openness to the other's affection is its first requirement: the 'art' of rhetoric can be effective only among affectable existents, who are by definition something other than distinct 'individuals', intentional subjects, or self-determining agents, and whose relations necessarily precede and exceed symbolic intervention. In her own words:
Is there a way to activate a sense of solidarity among singularities—a way to say ‘we’—that doesn't simultaneously give the other the squeeze, that doesn't feed this craving for communion, in the name of which any number of ‘we’s have committed the most horrific atrocities in recorded history?
In Breaking Up [at] Totality: A Rhetoric of Laughter (2000) Professor Davis challenges traditional theoretical conceptions of rhetoric. Not surprisingly, her work is inscribed in that of post-structuralist thinkers such as Michel Foucault,Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous. Diane Davis manages to disturb the “either/or" binaries in language. She is interested in something other, a third, which is an excess to any binaries in a language that is typically of constructed of opposites. In this volume laughter becomes this third and thus the subject of her deconstructive analysis.
Victor J. Vitanza, another professor at the European Graduate School, has written the following insightful review of the book:
D. Diane Davis has written a performative book at the end of the old and the beginning of the new millennium. It's a transitional, yet disruptive book about thinking-writing, theorizing(seeing)-writing, and learning(teaching)-writing. It's a book that hacks into and recodes the cultures of writing by perpetually deterritorializing writing theories and pedagogies. If you read no other book in the next millennium, you must read this book! For if you do not, you will remain in whatever previous century you last thought in and by way of.
She is co-author of Women’s Ways of Making It in Rhetoric and Composition(2008), with Michelle Ballif and Roxanne Mountford, and editor of The UberReader: Selected Works of Avital Ronell (2008) and Reading Ronell. Professor Diane Davis has also written many insightful articles, including: “Greetings: On Levinas and the Wagging Tail" in JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory (Special issue on Levinas) 2009. “Identification: Burke and Freud on Who You Are" in Rhetoric Society Quarterly (2008). “The Fifth Risk: A Response to John Muckelbauer's Response" in Philosophy and Rhetoric (2007). “Addressing Alterity: Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and the Non-Appropriative Relation" in Philosophy and Rhetoric (2005). “Finitude's Clamor; Or, Notes Toward a Communitarian Literacy" in College Composition and Communication(2001). “Author's Response to Melinda Turnley" in Dialogue: A Journal for Writing Specialists (2001). “Toward an Ethics of Listening" with Michelle Ballif and Roxanne Mountford in: JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory (2000). “Negotiating Feminist Difference/ Différance: A Trilogue" with Michelle Ballif and Roxanne Mountford in JAC: Journal of Composition Theory (2000). “Confessions of an Anacoluthon: Avital Ronell on Writing, Technology, Pedagogy, Politics." in: JAC: Journal of Composition Theory (2000). “Addicted to Love; Or, Toward an Inessential Solidarity" in JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory (1999). “Agonizing [With] Chantal Mouffe" in JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory (1999). “Laughter; Or, Chortling into the Storm" in Pre/Text(1997). “Writing [at] the End of the Millennium: Some [Dis]Connections" Pre/Text (1995). “Breaking Up [at] Phallocracy: Post-Feminism's Chortling Hammer" inRhetoric Review (1995). “The Power of Language to Efface and Desensitize" with Eve Duffy in Rhetoric Society Quarterly (1990).
Biography Source: European Graduate School.
* Dr. T. Chinnaraj Joseph Jaikumar - Writer, Educationist, public intellectual.
Dr.T.Chinnaraj Joseph Jaikumar also known as Dr.TCJ is presently the Managing Trustee of Centre for Education, Development Action and Research (CEDAR) which is involved in action research and advocacy. He was formerly the Principal and secretary of The American College, Madurai, which is the first autonomous college of India. He is a public intellectual and change leader of significance and is popularly known as the activist principal of Madurai.
His long teaching career involved developing very innovative curricula in Development Sociology. During his tenure as a senior academician, he was involved in academic policy making, serving several committees of the University Grants Commission of India (UGC). Mention must be made about his contribution as a member of the Expert Committee that framed policies for the Government of India sponsored programme of starting colleges in 370 educationally backward districts in India. He also served the Governing Council of the National Assessment and Accreditation Commission (NAAC) for three years as the nominee of UGC. He introduced India’s first third gender literature studies as part of the college curriculum in Madurai. He also promoted science extension work and was one of those who spearheaded the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) project, fifth of its kind in world.
* Shri. A. Revathi- Author, Artist and Activist
A simple humble being on this planet is A. Revathi. She is a writer, actor and activist based in Namakal. She worked with a sexuality minorities human rights organization for individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference. She is the author of Unarvum Uruvamum (Tamil book) (Feelings of the Entire Body); and her autobiography, The Truth about Me, is the first of its kind in English from a member of the hijra community.