Tamil Worlds Initiative At The University of Toronto


The University of Toronto Scarborough’s Tamil Worlds Initiative promotes public programming, scholarly research and teaching of Tamil related issues at the University.

The initiative is based in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies and supports tri-campus scholarly collaborations to build an active program related to Tamil Studies. Their upcoming programming includes:

Resettling Jaffna: Ethnicity and Caste in Post War Sri Lanka
Thursday, October 27th, 2016

About the Speaker:
Sharika Thiranagama is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University. She is the author of In My Mother’s House: Civil War in Sri Lanka (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). She has researched and written extensively on war and displacement in Sri Lanka.

Moderator and Discussant: Prof. Sidharthan Maunaguru
Assistant Professor, South Asian Studies Program, NUS Singapore and scholar of migration

Remembering John Bernard Bate
Friday, October 28th, 2016

John Bernard Bate (1960 – 2016), known to friends and colleagues as “Barney” was a central pillar of the Tamil Studies community. A regular contributor to the Toronto Tamil Studies Conference from its inception, his scholarship on the origins and transformations of Tamil oratory and democratic practice have had a profound impact on the field.

His book, Tamil Oratory and the Dravidian Aesthetic (Columbia 2009) gives a sophisticated account of the revolution in political style that brought the Dravidian movement into power in South India, and his ongoing research on the beginnings of public speech in Sri Lanka and India sheds light on the centrality of language to the creation of a democratic ethos.

As importantly, Barney mentored generations of students, teaching especially about the joys of immersion in the worlds of Tamil language, history, and culture. Barney was lost all too early, on March 10, 2016 in Palo Alto, California while he was working on his book manuscript as a fellow of the Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. In this meeting guests are invited to gather to reflect on Barney and his legacy.

List of Speakers:
R. Cheran, Sociology, University of Windsor
Francis Cody, Anthropology, University of Toronto
Srilata Raman, Religion, University of Toronto
Sharika Thiranagama, Anthropology, Stanford University
Sidharthan Maunaguru, Anthropology, NUS Singapore

Acting Up: Gender and Activist Theatre in India
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

A conversation with A. Mangai led by Nandi Bhatia.

Mangai is a Feminist Theatre Director and Professor of English, Stella Maris College, Chennai, India. Her work in Tamil theatre in the last three decades has centred on gender, feminism, and activism. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Acting Up: Gender and Theatre in India, 1979 Onwards (Leftword 2016) that throws light on many subversive moments in the history of women in theatre.

Nandi Bhatia is Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario, London. She has published widely on the connections between nationalism, colonialism, literary and theatre practices in modern India.

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