The Sixth List of Speakers at #JLF2017 celebrating “IndiaAt70”

2017 marks ten years of the Jaipur Literature Festival and its meteoric rise from a small gem of an idea to the world’s largest free literary festival, having hosted more than 1300 speakers over the past decade.

Frequently described as ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 will take place between 19 and 23 January 2017 in its beautiful home at the historic Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur.

The Festival expects to welcome over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, journalists, and popular culture icons to Jaipur this coming January. Equity and democracy run through the Festival’s veins, placing some of the world’s greatest wordsmiths and intellects from all walks of life together on stage.

Today, the sixth set of 10 speakers appearing at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 were announced as:

  1. Dr. Reba Som is an academic, historian, writer and classical singer, as well as director of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Kolkata. She is a trained singer of Rabindrasangeet. Her book on the life and works of Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore: The Singer and his Song was published in 2011. She has also released a CD, Selected Songs of Rabindranath Tagore, which contains English translations and transliterations of Tagore’s lyrics. She will return to the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2017.

dr. reba som

  1. Vinay Sitapati is a political scientist, journalist and lawyer. He teaches at Ashoka University and writes for The Indian Express. He has studied at the National Law School Bangalore and Harvard University and is currently finishing his PhD from Princeton. His first book, Half-Lion: How PV Narasimha Rao Transformed India, is available in three languages.


3Prasoon Joshi is a renowned Indian lyricist, screenwriter poet and writer, as well as the CEO of McCann World group India and Chairman (Asia Pacific), a subsidiary of global marketing firm McCann Erickson. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contribution towards the field of Arts, Literature and Advertising in 2015.

  1. Kunga Tenzin Dorji is a self-confessed jack-of-all-trades and freelance journalist who received the 2016 Jigme Singye Wangchuck Prestigious Journalism Award. He contributes to various publications, writes scripts, narrates documentary films and hosts a talk show on Radio Valley. He is also one of Bhutan’s best known rock musicians and has acted in several films.

  1. Dr. Issa Asgarally is a doctor in linguistics and a professor at the Mauritius Institute of Education. He is a highly regarded intellectual and a prolific writer in the international community well known for his studies of the history of slavery in Mauritius. As a writer, Asgarally has published 11 books and essays on the topics of literature and society, slavery and history, cultures in Mauritius, books and ideas, Mauritian media and interculturality.


  1. Returning to the Jaipur Literature Festival isDavid Cannadine FBA, Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University. Knighted for ‘services to scholarship’ in 2009, Sir David is the author of numerous books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, Class in Britain, Ornamentalism, Mellon, The Undivided Past and has just completed a biography of King George V. Cannadine is a Trustee of the Wolfson Foundation, the Royal Academy, the Library of Birmingham, the Rothschild Archive, the Gladstone Library and the Gordon Brown Archive. He is Vice Chair of the Westminster Abbey Fabric Commission and a Vice President of the Victorian Society. In addition, he is Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, sits on the Editorial Board of Past & Present and is a member of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee and the Editorial Board of the History of Parliament.
  1. David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University. A prize-winning writer and teacher, he is the author or editor of sixteen books, among them The Ideological Origins of the British Empire, The Declaration of Independence: A Global History, The History Manifesto and his new work, Civil Wars: A History in Ideas.

  1. Making his first appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festivalis Giles Milton, the internationally bestselling author of nine works of narrative history, including Nathaniel’s Nutmeg. His other books include White Gold, Paradise Lost and Russian Roulette, which have been translated into 20 languages. His most recent work, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, was published in 2016. Milton is also the author of two novels and three books for children.

  1. Richard Fortey is a renowned palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. He is better known to a wider public as the writer of eight books of popular science for which The Royal Society awarded him the Michael Faraday Medal. His most recent book is The Wood for the Trees: The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood, published in May 2016.

richard fortey

  1. James Barr is a significant modern author on the Middle East. His book on Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab Revolt, Setting the Desert on Fire, was published in 2006. A Line in the Sand, on the rivalry between Britain and France for dominance in the Middle East, followed in 2011. He has worked in politics, at the Daily Telegraph, in the City of London and as a political analyst at the British Embassy in Paris. Today he runs his own research consultancy and is a visiting fellow at King’s College London. He is currently working on a book on the post-war Middle East. This will be his first appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *