Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania



K. R. Meera is a multi-award-winning writer and columnist who has published more than a dozen books including short stories, novels, and essays, winning some of the most prestigious literary prizes including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, the Vayalar Award, and the Odakkuzhal Award. In August 2017, she was nominated for the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for her novella The Poison of Love. In 2015, she won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for Aarachar, widely hailed as a contemporary classic and a best seller in Malayalam with more than 150,000 copies in four years. Her novel, Hangwoman (Penguin, 2016), was short listed for the 2016 DSC Literary Prize. Her other translated works include Yellow Is The Colour Of Longing, The Gospel of Yudas, The Poison Of Love (all published by Penguin) and And Slowly Forgetting That Tree (OUP). She lives in Kottayam with her husband, Deleep and daughter, Shruthi.

LaShawn R. Jefferson is Perry World House’s Deputy Director. She brings to Perry World House over two decades of activism and advocacy on women’s human rights, through civil-society organizations and philanthropy. She joined Perry World House after almost seven years at the Ford Foundation, where she worked to advance women’s human rights globally and in the U.S. through field building and investments in the areas of rights advocacy; strategic communications and engagement; intersectional leadership and analysis; research; and capacity building. She held numerous positions at Human Rights Watch, where her last position was as Executive Director of its Women’s Rights Division.  Her op-eds and articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The International Herald Tribune.


Ramya Sreenivasan is an Associate Professor, South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests are in Early modern South Asia; gender and household in northern India; religion and caste in northern India; colonialism and modernity. She has published numerous journal articles and is the author of The Many Lives of a Rajput Queen: Heroic Pasts in Indian History c. 1500-1900 (Permanent Black, New Delhi, and University of Washington Press, 2007).

Somini Sengupta is a Foreign Correspondent with The New York Times. A George Polk Award-winning foreign correspondent, she has reported from a Congo River ferry, a Himalayan glacier, the streets of Baghdad and Mumbai and many places in between. She now reports from the United Nations about various global challenges, from war to women's rights to climate change. Her first book, The End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India's Young, was published in 2016 by W. W. Norton. She grew up in India, Canada, and the United States, graduating from the University of California at Berkeley.