Updated Conference Schedule/Programme: English | Tamil

The official film selection of the TAMIL STUDIES CONFERENCE: “1999”!
The film “1999” is being screened at the George Ignatieff Theatre, in the University of Toronto, to fundraise for the Church of the American Ceylon Mission for rehabilitation efforts in Sri Lanka.

When: Friday May 14th @ 9:00 pm, Tickets: $10 sold at the TSC registration table and at the doors.
Film Screening followed by Q&A with Director: Lenin M. Sivam and crew. Please bring friends and family for this wonderful cause!

SAVAC Presentation:
Through a series of three artist-led workshops, SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) seeks to initiate a broader dialogue concerning the social, political and performative efficacy of the protests. Issues addressed included media representations of the protests, utilizations of digital media, the internet as an archive of recent history, the centrality of sound and language, the contested nature of public spaces, the intimate relationship between identity and modes of social performances.

Reflecting on the 2009 Tamil Diaspora Protests →


The fifth annual Tamil Studies Conference, “Constructing Tamil Worlds: Circulation, Marginality and Plurality” organized by the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor, will be held at the University of Toronto from May 13 – 15, 2010.

Registration Deadline has been extended to May 11th, 2010.

Registration information →

Plenary Speakers

Raj Gauthaman →

Sanjay Subrahmaniam →


The conference organizers invite papers that examine, from different disciplinary perspectives, the Tamil regions, worlds, world views and practices as a product of circulation rather than permanence. Constant movement, across time and space, has played an important role in both establishing and destabilizing notions of culture and identity.  We would like the papers to focus on the circulation of people, ideas, and goods, as a way of understanding the past and the present.

We invite papers on the circulation of people, ideas and things that emphasize how movement constituted margins and centres of social, cultural and political worlds and organized difference in different historical periods.  In addition, how are these worlds out-of-place made through narrative, economic relations, and social practices?  And, how, as a result are the future and the present of place and people re-imagined?  We welcome individual or panel proposals from all disciplines, and from scholars, students, artists, writers and activists.

This theme of constructing Tamil worlds can be explored through some of these suggested questions focusing on circulation and the emergence as well as the institutionalization of centres and peripheries.

Circulation:  How have circuits of communication shaped the traffic in ideas? How have trade routes and networks affected cultural, institutional and material practices?  What is the nature and impact of Tamil Diaspora circulation? Does movement reorganize gender roles or relations? In what ways do language and translation bear the imprint of movement? What modes of travel have determined people’s sense of time and space? Why has labour migration been central to economic production but marginal to political citizenship?  How does the movement of people encourage new forms of collective and personal identification?  How has pilgrimage produced economic and sacred geographies?  How does circulation help us to understand the past and the present?

Centres and Peripheries:  What are the models of centrality that have served to orient evaluations of difference?  How might peripheries and internal difference be said to constitute the centre? We invite papers that address these questions in relation to: how local and regional power structures relate to encompassing forms of governance; the organization of living space around hierarchical forms of interdependence; asymmetrical relations of political authority and economic production; the recreation of older topographies in the service of new centres; the constitution of canons againsta plurality of textual practices; normative vs. transgressive conceptions of the self; the changing production of linguistic standards in the face of diversity, and alternative models of cosmopolitanism.