Ananda Lal is Professor of English and Coordinator, Rabindranath Tagore Studies Centre, at Jadavpur University. He served as Head, Department of English (2007-9), which he joined as a Reader in 1993, and previously taught in the Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University (1991-93), the Department of English, University of Calcutta (1989-91) and the Department of Theatre, University of Illinois (1981-86). As Senior Fulbright Fellow, he also taught at Indiana University (2005). In addition, he directs Writers Workshop (the pioneering publisher of Indian writing in English), succeeding his father P. Lal in 2010, and has been theatre critic of The Telegraph, Kolkata’s largest-circulating English daily, since 1986.
His books include the Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre (2004, the first reference work in any language on that subject), Rabindranath Tagore: Three Plays (1987 and 2001, the first full-length study in English of Tagorean drama), Theatres of India (2009), Twist in the Folktale (2004), Shakespeare on the Calcutta Stage (2001) and Rasa: The Indian Performing Arts (1995). His research-based CDs include The Voice of Rabindranath Tagore (1997, on Tagore’s own audio recordings). He has contributed articles to such international projects as India Today: An Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO, 2011), Understanding Contemporary India (Rienner, 2010), Encyclopedia of India (Scribner’s, 2005), Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance (2003), Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre (2002), Encarta Encyclopedia (CD, 2000), Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English (Routledge, 1994, 2005) and Critical Survey of Drama (Magill, 1986). He has published over 40 essays in various books and journals, and over 1000 reviews in newspapers and periodicals. He is an active translator from Bengali to English.
Professor Lal has directed twenty theatre productions, most of them as academic practical courses for the Department, and worked in another twenty, including such internationally acclaimed successes as Tim Supple’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has a 30-year-old portfolio in television and film as an awardwinning scriptwriter, researcher, commentator, narrator and subtitler, five years’ experience as a deejay for All India Radio, and also been interviewed by BBC, Radio Nederland and Doordarshan. A Cambridge Fellow for British Council (1994) and Fulbright Fellow (2005), he has lectured widely in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and, of course, India.