Dr. Kalpa Srivats comes from Chennai, India, from a family of academicians. Her father, a historian and academician, encouraged her to pursue art history and Indian cultural studies as her career. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Art History & Studio Arts) from Stella Maris College in Chennai, Kalpa moved to the US to pursue higher education. She joined the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she earned triple Masters in the combination of South Asian Studies, Art History, and Comparative Literature, and a PhD in Comparative & World Literature in 2003. Her doctoral dissertation explores how Indian aesthetic principles work across both visual arts (Indian sculpture) and Sanskrit literature. After receiving her doctorate, she has been teaching various courses in liberal arts, in Asian and Western context, both as an adjunct and as full-time faculty. Dr. Srivats has done extensive fieldwork all over India for her research in Indian art, culture, and religion. She has been giving many lectures about Indian art, mythology, and classical theater at museums, libraries, and cultural organizations in the US.
Her mother, a trained classicist in South Indian music – vocal and veena (a stringed instrument) – was instrumental in training Kalpa in Indian classical theater. Kalpa learned Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance, from renowned gurus. She has given many dance and theatrical performances and also acted in Sanskrit classical dance-dramas. Dr. Srivats has a diploma in Sanskrit. In her free time, she paints Indian subjects in oil medium, an art she has cherished from her childhood.
Dr. Srivats was teaching at the Delaware College of Art & Design in the program of Liberal Arts before pursuing creative writing full-time. She lives with her husband Veera, a scientist in the chemical industry. Travelling to exotic places, learning about their art & culture, and tasting their cuisine are a passion for both.