IIT Mandi Faculty Wins $ 100K Infosys Prize 2019 For Cultural History Studies


Dr. Manu V. Devadevan, Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Mandi.

New Delhi:

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi faculty member Dr. Manu V Devadevan has been selected for the Infosys Prize 2019, awarded by Infosys Science Foundation, for his substantial contribution to the field of revisionist history of pre-modern South India. Dr. Devadevan is an Assistant Professor at School of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Mandi.

The jury's citation made special mention of Dr. Devadevan's book 'A Pre-History of Hinduism' stating that it "offers a powerful and refreshing new approach to the study of the cultural history of India, based on his profound knowledge of sources in multiple languages. The book offers a revisionist paradigm for the study of pre-modern India."

"He critically reinterprets much of the conventional wisdom about the cultural, religious and social history of the Deccan and South India. Dr. Devadevan's primary research interests include political and economic processes in pre-modern South India, literary practices in South India and the study of ancient inscriptions from the region," the Foundation said in a statement.

The award was announced by Infosys Science Foundation on November 7, 2019 at Infosys campus, Bengaluru, and will be presented to Dr. Devadevan on January 7, 2020.

The prize comprises a pure gold medal, a citation and a prize purse of $ 100,000.

A panel of accomplished jurors comprising renowned scholars and professors shortlisted the winners of Infosys Prize 2019 from 196 nominations.

Accepting this recognition, Dr. Devadevan, said, "It is a great honour to be conferred with this prestigious prize. I am humbled. I owe a debt of gratitude to my colleagues, students and staff at IIT Mandi for their constant support and motivation. At the same time, this recognition increases my intellectual responsibilities and makes me reaffirm my commitment to pursue more meaningful research in the years to come."

Congratulating Dr. Devadevan for this recognition, Prof. Timothy A. Gonsalves, Director, IIT Mandi, said, "This is indeed a remarkable achievement at such an early stage of his career. I wish him many more achievements to come!"

Dr. Devadevan completed a Master's degree in Sociology at Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, and in History at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, after which he completed his Ph.D. at Mangalore University.

With expertise in multiple languages such as Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, and Odiya, Dr. Devadevan's work bridges the divide between history and artistic domains, based on his imaginative interpretation of materials from theatre, literature, ritual and religious fields.

His publications include A Prehistory of Hinduism (2016) and the edited volume Clio's Descendants: Essays in Honour of Kesavan Veluthat (2018) in English, and Prithviyallodagida Ghatavu: Karnatakada Ninnegalu (2009) and Sankhakshetrada Kannu: Puri Sri Jagannatha Devalayada Itihasa (2017) in Kannada.

Other Infosys Prize 2019 winners included Prof G Mugesh (IISc Bangalore) in Physical Sciences, Prof Sunita Sarawagi (IIT Bombay) for Engineering and Computer Science, Manjula Reddy (CCMB Hyderabad) for Life Sciences, Prof Siddhartha Mishra (ETH Zurich) for Mathematics and Prof Anand Pandian (John Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences) for Social Sciences.

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