A R Venkatachalapathy is a senior historian, author and translator. He writes and publishes in Tamil and English. Currently he is a professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS). He received his PhD in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University. His main areas of research are social and cultural history of colonial Tamil Nadu. He collected and published the works of Pudhumaipithan in 2000. He has authored several books and articles for the Hindu, Frontline, Outlook, India Today, Dinamani, EPW and so on. He was awarded the V. K. R. V. Rao prize in Social Science Research.