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The conference will host over 40 scholars of various disciplines from North America, Europe, South Asia, and Australasia:


Artist: Vasuki
Artist: Kiko
Artist: Vasan

Abraham, S.
Ambalavanar, D.
Arasu, V.
Champakalakshmi, R.
Cheran, R.
Fukao, J.
George, G.
George, U.
Ghose, R.
Guruge, S.
Jegathesan, M.
Kanaganayakam, C.
Kanthasamy, P.
Karunakaran, K.
Karunanithi, G.
Kingsolver, A.
Mason, R.
Maunaguru, S.
Maunaguru, Sitralega
McNaughton, S.
More, J.B.P.
Orr, L.
Pai, G.
Palaniappan, S.
Pandian, M.S.S.
Rajesh, V.
Renganathan, V.
Sangarasivam, Y.
Seylon, R.
Shanmugam, K.
Sivalingam, H.
Sriramachandran, R.
Sundar, A.
Tambiah, S.J.
Tyyskä, V.
Vaitheespara, R.
Vivekananthan, P.
Whitaker, M.
Xavier, S.
Young, K.
Younger, P.

Arasu, V.

Professor and Head
Department of Tamil
University of Madras

Recent Trends in Tamil Studies
Saturday, June 2nd | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

The mid- nineteenth century witnessed the emergence of new dimensions in Tamil studies. Though development of modern research in Tamil can be dated back to the list of Tamil works compiled by Bartholomeo Ziegenbalg (1682- 1719), it was Ellis who firmly set a new agenda to Tamil studies. Caldwell developed it further. The three of them together paved the way for comparative philology to take root in Tamil studies.

Many research institutions were formed in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Print came into widespread use and there was the re-discovery of Tolkappiyam and Sangam literary texts. The discovery of the Indus Valley system and the study of the Dravidian language family widened the horizon of Tamil studies in the twentieth century. The founding of IATR, the publication of the journal Tamil Culture, Sangam studies by John. R. Marr, Kamil V. Zvelebil and George L. Hart and linguistic research gradually spearheaded the shift from Indology to Dravidology and from then on to Tamilology by the end of twentieth century.

It is possible to classify the trends that have evolved in Tamil Studies under the following heads:

V. Arasu has been serving in the Department of Tamil Literature, Univ. of Madras from 1985 onwards and is presently the Professor and Head of the Department. His areas of specialization are Contemporary Tamil Literature, Media and socio- cultural history. He believes in academics playing an active, constructive role in the critique of the workings of social structures. He has consistently contributed to various academic and little magazines in Tamil. He is the series editor of Kangu monographs on relevant theoretical insights. He is also the editor of Kattiyam, an International Theatre Journal in Tamil. His publications include three volumes of Pudumai Pithan’s short stories based on the magazines in which they came out first; A collection of V.O.C.’s works and a Sahitya Akademi monograph on Mayilai Seeni Venkatasami.