Tamil Studies

JHI Working Group active in 2019-2020


Tamil is a language, but it is also a social and cultural identity that has shifted across time and place. Its study spans the humanities and the social and political sciences, with trajectories in South and Southeast Asia, Europe, North America, and the Diaspora. Although the connection of language and identity is often considered a by-product of the early 20th century linguistic nationalism of the Dravidian movement in South India, a case can be made for the existence of a self-conscious discipline of Tamil studies from the earliest written sources to the present day. We are a diverse group of scholars from the humanities and social sciences who research ancient and modern Tamil sources from a range of disciplines, methods and media in order to understand more fully the ways Tamil has been understood across time and place. This year, we will hold a reading group and workshops on the topics of Tamil philology, literary historiography, and ethnography. We will also co-organize a visiting speaker masterclass and an event to mark the integration of François Gros's Tamil-language collection into the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.       



  • Srilata Raman, FAS Study of Religion
  • Kristina Rogahn, Ph.D. student, Study of Religion

Faculty, University of Toronto

  • Francis Cody, UTM Anthropology
  • Christoph Emmrich, UTM Historical Studies and FAS Study of Religion
  • Malavika Kasturi, UTM Historical Studies
  • Bhavani Raman, UTSC Historical & Cultural Studies

Librarian, University of Toronto

  • Natkeeran Ledchumykanthan, UTSC Library Digital Scholarship Unit

Faculty outside University of Toronto

  • M. Shobhana Xavier, School of Religion, Queen’s University

Graduate Students, University of Toronto

  • Henria Aton, Faculty of Information
  • Stephanie Duclos-King, Study of Religion
  • Janani Comar, Study of Religion
  • Jesse Pruitt, Study of Religion
  • Ganga Rudraiah, Cinema Studies
  • Siddharth Sridhar, History
  • Mirela Stosic, Study of Religion