Talks / Conversations

Talk: Chennai Travelogue By An Architect – Aug. 16, 2020

Talk by Karthik Nachiappan, Architect, Urbanist, Globetrotter, Academician
Facilitated by KeyTerns, the thematic travel team.

Between 11 AM and 12:30 PM IST.

Facebook live –

For Whom: Must watch for any proud Chennaite, People in Educational, Tourism and Architecture Sectors

Topics covered

1. Linking practical Learning with ecology – will be useful for teachers, parents and students
2. Exploring the travel potentiality of the public spaces in Chennai – Are we rightly using the chennai urban open spaces for travellers to its optimum in comparison with some Cities in the world?
3. Creating the Chennai Identity – What more can we be proud of showing to our friends / relatives / guests coming to Chennai?


Contact +917550042234 for any queries.

~ Karthik Nachiappan ( and KeyTerns (, +917550042234

Talk: The School of Arts, Madras: Imagining a museum of labour – Sep. 9, 2020

C. P. Krishnapriya in conversation with Bhooma Padmanabhan

6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In English)
Zoom ID : 833 2017 1132

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Bhooma Padmanabhan is a Chennai-based curator, researcher and art program manager. She completed her BA in Fine Arts from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and her MFA in Art History from the M.S. University of Baroda. She started her career in the arts as a curator at Dakshinachitra, following which she moved to Delhi to work at the newly established Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA). In a decade with this young and rapidly growing grant-making foundation she worked with some of India’s most exciting young artists, supporting critical public art projects and growing FICA’s public programming and educational outreach. She has since curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions, both solos and group shows, experimenting with the curatorial space as platforms for learning, resource sharing, and collaboration. In 2018 she was a researcher with the Kochi Biennale’s Students Biennale programme which focused on studying the material and pedagogic environments of India’s vast network of art colleges. Bhooma is now the co-curator of the 3rd edition of the Chennai Photo Biennale.

CP Krishnapriya is a practising visual artist based in Chennai. She completed her Masters from the Govt. College of Fine Arts, Chennai. Her work is multidisciplinary in nature; she uses paintings, drawings, collage, found objects and sculptural installations to engage with her concerns. The works primarily deal with the self and its relationship with its environment. History and local political discourses are also woven into the imagery that she creates.

She is interested in understanding the process of art pedagogy. Her other interests are contemporary art practices, history, theatre and environmental studies. She has been part of numerous art exhibitions and art camps. She is also part of art collectives and groups based in Chennai. She was one of the curators of the two editions of the Students’ Biennale, Kochi (2016-17 and 2018-19). She was a resident artist at University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2017 and summer 2019, supported by the South Asia Centre, Upenn.

Talk: Making a Dravidian Voice – Sep. 2, 2020

By Dr. Amanda Weidman
6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In English)

Zoom ID : 857 7692 7793

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Dr. Amanda Weidman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College, USA. She is the author of the book, Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India (2006). Her new book on playback singing in the Tamil film industry, entitled Brought to Life by the Voice, will be published in 2021 by University of California Press.

Talk: சபாநாடகங்களும் தமிழ் சினிமாவும் – Aug. 26, 2020

By S. Theodore Bakskaran
6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In Tamil)

Zoom ID : 895 7535 4784

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

S. Theodore Baskaran started his career as Researcher in Tamil Nadu State Archives before he joined the Indian Postal Service in 1964. He retired as the Chief Postmaster General, Tamilnadu Circle. Baskaran has been for writing for more than 45 years. His book, The Message Bearers is a pioneering work on Theatre and Cinema. His second book, The Eye of the Serpent (1996) won the Golden Lotus (Best Book on Cinema) Award in 1997. He has also written several books and articles on film history in Tamil. He has lectured on cinema in many universities including Princeton University, The Australian National University and the University of Chicago.[3] In 2000, he won the Ki Va Ja prize awarded by the Kamban Kazhagam. He was a Hughes Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan in 2001 and taught a course on Film Studies. He was a jury member at the 2003 National Film Awards. During 1998–2001, he was the Director of the Roja Muthiah Research Library. He is a member of the library’s Board of Trustees. He has also acted in a supporting role in the 2010 Tamil film Aval Peyar Thamizharasi.

Baskaran is a keen bird watcher and a naturalist. He is a former honorary wildlife warden and the South India Representative of the International Primate Protection League. He is a trustee of WWF-India. His collection of essays on nature and wildlife conservation has been published as The Dance of the Sarus (Oxford University Press) in 1999. He edited a book of articles on nature titled “The Sprint of The Black Buck” ; Penguin (2009). He has authored a number of books in Tamil on Cinema and environment.

Talk: Print Culture in Tamilnadu – Aug. 19, 2020

By Prof. V. Arasu
6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In Tamil)

Zoom ID : 892 9827 3935

Facebook live –

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Prof. V. Arasu was till recently the Professor and Head of the department of the Tamil Department at the University of Madras. His researches have been multidisciplinary encompassing literature, history and culture. He engages Tamil pedagogy with epigraphy, archaeology and sociology. He has guided several researchers who are well placed. He has unearthed several hidden rare material that is relevant to Tamil society and its understanding. He has edited and published more than 45 monographs and collection of articles which are important for understanding of Tamil Studies.

Talk: Exploring Prehistoric Tamilnadu – Aug. 12, 2020

By Prof. Shanti Pappu & Dr. Kumar Akhilesh

6.30 p.m. | Online Lecture (In English)
Zoom ID : 885 8499 7905

Organised by Roja Muthiah Research Library & Foundation for South Indian Studies

Prof. Shanti Pappu, is the founder/secretary, Sharma Centre for Heritage Education (SCHE), India. She obtained her Ph.D. from the Deccan College, researching the prehistoric archaeology of northern Tamil Nadu, and is a former Homi Bhabha and Charles Wallace Fellow, and served as Professor of Prehistory at the Deccan College, Pune. She has over 20 years of experience in prehistoric archaeology, directing (along with Dr. Kumar Akhilesh) multidisciplinary research projects at Attirampakkam, Sendrayanpalayam and other prehistoric sites in Tamil Nadu, under the project, Prehistory and Palaeoenvironments in SE India. She has recruited and coordinated international teams from Spain, France, the USA and Sri Lanka to work in India, and has established collaborations with key research institutions in India. She is researching the life and work of R.B.Foote and is interested in the issues related to the history of archaeology in India. She has published 2 books and over 30 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature (2018) and Science (2011). She is on the advisory board, INQUA-HaBCom and executive committee, IPPA, and is Joint-Secretary, ISPQS, Board of Studies Members of Institute of Epigraphy and Archaeology, Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology. She has organized and participated in conferences/workshops in India and abroad, and along with K.Akhilesh has organized workshops on prehistory under the R.B.Foote Memorial series in India, and currently the Down Ancient Trails, online lecture forum. She is responsible for developing the public archaeology and outreach programs at the SCHE and in developing the children’s museum. Her interests lie in prehistory and Quaternary studies, history of archaeology, ethno-and experimental archaeology.

Dr. Kumar Akhilesh, is the Director, Sharma Centre for Heritage Education. He received his Ph.D. from the Deccan College, Pune, under the guidance of the late Prof. V.N. Misra, researching the prehistory of the Damin industries, Jharkhand. He is also a Homi Bhabha Fellow (2016-2018), and worked on a project of experimental archaeology and implications for hominin cognition. He is joint-director of the research program at Attirampakkam and is directing the project Prehistory and Palaeoenvironments in SE India, including research at the site of Sendrayanpalayam and prehistoric sites of southern Tamil Nadu. He is an expert knapper and currently directing a program on experimental knapping to replicate lithic technologies documented at Attirampakkam and other prehistoric sites in south India and elsewhere, and is currently expanding into the field of lithic microwear studies. He has extensive field experience in southern and eastern India and has published in Nature (2018), Science (2011) and other peer-reviewed journals. He has also worked in the field of satellite remote sensing applications for prehistoric research in this region, utilizing GIS and other techniques for both research, culture resource management and predictive modelling to locate new sites. He has organized several workshops on South Asian prehistory and lithic technology, running the R.B.Foote Memorial series for several years now. In addition, he has presented his research at conferences and workshops in India and abroad. He is secretary, INQUA-HaBCom. He has been conducting programs in public archaeology and outreach for children, teachers, ECRs, local stakeholders and the like in the field of archaeology and is involved in developing the children’s museum at the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education.