The Kennedy Center

Ganesh Devy



Biography

Ganesh Devy, a literary scholar and cultural activist, writes in three languages – Marathi, Gujarati and English -- and has received prestigious literary awards for his works in all three. Between 1973 and 1996 he taught at the Maharaja Sayajirao University at Baroda, but gave up his academic position to take up the conservation of  threatened languages in India. Among the several institutions he founded since then are the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Budhan Theatre, Adivasi Academy and Himloka: Institute for Himalayan Studies. He has put to script for the first time for 11 languages existing in oral traditions, promoted and published literature in 26 languages, helped educate over 20,000 children from indigenous communities in non-formal schools, and has established economic empowerment activities in 1,200 villages in tribal Gujarat. He has created, in collaboration with Geoffrey Davis, a new form of literary conferences under the title ‘Chotro.’  He is known in India for his human rights activism, and has been advisor to the Government of India on the rights of nomadic communities. Devy’s major publications in English include In Another Tongue (1993); Tradition and Modernity (1997); Painted Words (2002); Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation (2002); A Nomad Called Thief: Reflections on Adivasi Voice and Silence (2006); and Indigeniety: Expression and Representation (2008).  The G. N. Devy Reader (Orient Blackswan)   containing four of his book-length essays was published in 2009. Devy has several awards and honors to his credit, among them the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award (1994); the Gunther Sontheimer Award for work on oral traditions (1998); the Prince Claus Award (2003); and the Maharashtra Government Award for Literature (2006).
Ganesh Devy