Ashok Mathur is a South Asian (Indo-Canadian) cultural organizer, writer and visual artist, and an Associate Professor in the departments of Visual and Performing Arts / Journalism, Communications, New Media at Thompson Rivers University. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry, and is the director of the Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada (CiCAC).<ref name="profile">Faculty profile, Thompson Rivers University, retrieved 2010-11-26.</ref>
Mathur is the author of a volume of poetry (Loveruage; a dance in three parts, Wolsak and Wynn, 1994), and three novels:
- Once Upon an Elephant (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1998, ISBN 978-1-55152-058-2) recounts the story of the birth of Ganesh as a Canadian courtroom drama.
- The Short, Happy Life of Harry Kumar (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2002, ISBN 978-1-55152-113-8) was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and blends the Ramayana with modern Canada.
- A Little Distillery in Nowgong (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-55152-258-6) follows three generations of a Parsi family from India to North America. Along with the novel, Mathur also produced an associated art installation, which was shown in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Kamloops.<ref>Reviews: ; ; .</ref>
Additionally, Mathur's artwork "one hundred thirty-three thousand five hundred twenty-eight words and a super-8 grab" was part of a 2009 acquisition by the Canada Council Art Bank.<ref>.</ref>
Mathur was born in Bhopal, India; in 1962, at the age of one, he emigrated with his family to Canada. He worked as a journalist from 1981 to 1985, and then completed his studies at the University of Calgary, earning a bachelor's degree, master of arts, and Ph.D.<ref>Author biography from publisher's web site, retrieved 2010-11-26.</ref> Prior to joining Thompson Rivers in 2005, he taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.<ref name="profile"/>