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The sixth annual Tamil Studies Conference, "Parimaanam: Images, Embodiments and Contestations" organized by the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor, will be held at the University of Toronto: New College, from May 13-14, 2011.

Online registration is now closed for the conference. Attendees can still register on the days of the conference. Please note only cash will be accepted.

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Plenary Speakers:


The objective of this year's conference is to explore the manifestations in which images, aesthetic representations and constructs of various kinds have played a significant role in constructing and destabilising ways of being Tamil.

Conference papers and panels will discuss, from the perspectives offered by different disciplines and fields, how notions of Tamil-ness have been imagined, identified and embodied in historical, political, cultural and aesthetic practices that engage intellectual perception and subjective response through a range of materials, technologies, visions, models and movements which help fashion ways of being Tamil.

Guiding questions would include:

Constructing and Reinforcing: What role do aesthetics and performances play in the intervention within and the shaping of political debate? How are aesthetics and the body theorised within the context of Tamil poetics? How do either text or performance establish normative ways of seeing, looking and moving and, thereby, shape canonicity and mythology? How do artists, their publics and their mediators, how do theorists, teachers, and consumers of objects, photographs, movies, installations, fetishes and lifestyles contribute to experimenting, imagining and experiencing what it is that embodies being Tamil?

Destabilising and Deconstructing: How does public performance of protest or dissent interrogate the binaries of the local and the global, the modern and the medieval, national and the transnational, the "homeland" and the diaspora? What are the ways in which pre-modern Tamil conceptual categories disrupt or interrogate the binaries of mind and body or local and foreign? How is gender performed and disrupted with Tamil spaces and geographies? What are the sociocultural matrixes of Tamil bodies? Is there a specifically Tamil history of vision which mediates between the observer and the objects visualised?

This unique International interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars, students, artists, writers and activists to engage with the conference theme more directly.

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