The Centre for South Asian Studies of the University of Toronto and the
Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Windsor will host an
interdisciplinary Tamil Studies conference from May 11-14, 2006. This conference
will bring together Tamil Studies scholars from North America, Europe, South
Asia, and Australasia. The disciplines represented range from History,
Literature, Anthropology, Religion, Cultural Psychology, Linguistics, and
Diaspora Studies. Over 30 scholars from universities as diverse as the School of
Oriental and African Studies, Harvard University, Yale University, Uppsala
University, Massey University, French Institute of Pondicherry, McGill
University, Columbia University, University of Toronto, and the University of
Jaffna will participate in this important conference.
The conference provides Tamil Studies scholars in North America a unique opportunity to present their work before theirs peers in a multidisciplinary context. Tamil Studies in North America has also overwhelmingly concentrated on studies of Tamil Nadu whereas this conference will bring together scholars working on Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka and provide a forum for a more cosmopolitan examination of these regions.
The conference papers will cover a range of subjects including the following themes:
- The development of literary and performance traditions from the earliest genres of Tamil poetry to contemporary literature
- The transformation of nationalist imaginaries in the medieval and modern period
- The formation of Tamil diasporic communities in western metropolitan centres
- Cultural analyses of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka
- Social, cultural and literary transformations in modern Tamil Nadu in relation to gender, caste and religion
This conference will also introduce students, especially those of the Tamil diaspora in Toronto, to the diverse disciplines that constitute Tamil Studies. Therefore, an entire panel is set aside for students where scholars from different disciplines will speak about the opportunities for Tamil Studies in North American Universities and inform them about the academic and practical preparations required for these programs.