A.R. Venkatachalapathy, historian and Tamil writer, has published widely on the social, cultural and intellectual history of colonial Tamilnadu. His publications in English include Tamil Characters: Personalities, Politics, Culture; Who Owns That Song?:The Battle for Subramania Bharati’s Copyright; The Province of the Book: Scholars, Scribes, and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu, In Those Days There Was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History, (ed.) Chennai, Not Madras, (ed.), In the Tracks of the Mahatma: The Making of a Documentary, (ed.) Love Stands Alone: Selections from Tamil Sangam Poetry, and (ed.) Red Lilies and Frightened Birds: ‘Muttollayiram’. He is also the translator of Sundara Ramaswamy’s J.J.: Some Jottings.
He is a professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. Chalapathy has taught at universities in Tirunelveli, Chennai, Singapore and Chicago, and has held research assignments in Paris, Cambridge, London, and Harvard. He is the winner of the V.K.R.V. Rao Prize (History, 2007) and Vilakku Virudhu (lifetime contribution to Tamil literature, 2018).