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In this constantly evolving world of the twenty-first century, Tamil scholarship is often perceived as a traditional affair: rich and often ancient in its raw form, but also lacking in a modern perspective that reflects the transnational diffusion of the Tamil diaspora. However, this view was not shared by all. Seeing the potential for contemporary research that applies to Tamil people, a group of UK-based Tamil university students and graduates founded the Tamil Academic Journal (TAJ) in 2019. It was our aim to create a platform that fosters diverse and original research that pertains to Tamil people globally, and to encourage the transfer of knowledge in a holistic manner.
The Tamil Academic Journal is currently run by a team of Tamil university students, academics, and professionals who are based in the UK, USA, Canada, France, Sri Lanka and South Africa. We are dedicated to publishing peer-reviewed articles from all disciplines, including the Arts, Humanities, Social, and Applied Sciences and we also hope to provide academics with an environment to collaborate within and across their respective fields.
In the spring of 2022, the Tamil Academic Journal published our first thematic issue titled “Tamil Resistance in the Twenty-First Century.” This publication followed a successful conference that was held at Kingston University in London. The conference itself allowed for us to showcase a wide range of issues including academic freedom, caste discrimination, the colonization of the North and East of Sri Lanka, Tamil Linguistics in Singapore, and Tamil identity across the diaspora and homeland. We chose resistance as the theme for the conference and our first issue in 2019 to mark ten years since the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
"There has been no truth, accountability, or justice for atrocities committed against the Tamils in Mullivaikal…[and that is why] we chose a theme for the conference that would facilitate discussion and enable the Tamil community to reflect on what has happened since 2009.” - The Tamil Academic Journal.
Papers published in this issue include  "The resistance won't be televised - the role of the Tamil Academic in times of academic resistance" by Dr. Thamil Ananthavinayagan,  "Memory and resistance in the London Tamil diaspora: reflections from the ‘Tamils of Lanka: a timeless heritage’ exhibition" by Dr. Rachel Seoighe, and  "The place of Tamil in the Linguistic Landscape of Singapore’s Little India" by Ms. Davini Laksmi Jayagomar. You can find our first thematic issue here.
The Tamil Academic Journal is also in the process of publishing our second thematic issue, which is titled “Tamils and Climate Change.” Through this publication, we aim to promote research that builds awareness about the impacts of climate change on Tamil-inhabited lands and the potential mitigation and adaptation strategies required to tackle it.
“We chose this theme as climate change threatens to unleash more frequent, worsening, and extreme weather events on both traditional Tamil homelands and all other countries where Tamils reside…In the absence of a nation-state, Tamils are unable to directly address the adverse impacts of climate change on their people nor represent themselves as sovereign equals in the international arena.” - The Tamil Academic Journal.
The Tamil Academic Journal is always on the lookout for academic papers to be published in our non-thematic publication series. We accept submissions on a rolling basis, and papers from all topics are welcome, including dissertations being written for undergraduate, post-graduate, and PhD theses. We require that these submissions be focused on an issue that pertains to Tamil people with reasonable theoretical underpinning. The call for papers and information on how to submit papers to the Tamil Academic Journal’s first non-thematic issue can be found here.
In addition to the call for papers, the Tamil Academic Journal is looking for academics to join the journal as peer-reviewers; by signing up to be a peer-reviewer, you will have the opportunity to shape and improve the papers we publish. More information on how to become a peer-reviewer with us can be found here. Members of the global Tamil community are also welcome to join our general mailing list and receive ongoing updates on the Tamil Academic Journal’s publications, events, and other initiatives; details on how to sign up can be found here.
We are a young organization and probably the only one of its kind in the global Tamil space. As such, we would always welcome people passionate with our objectives to reach out and input to improve and reach our potential as a well-functioning academic journal. To maximize our reach, we would also ask readers to spread the word to people who may be interested in submitting original research, peer-reviewing papers, or simply becoming a professional contact. Lastly, please don’t forget to connect with us on our social media (Instagram: @tamilacademicjournal, Twitter: @Tamil_Journal, Linkedin: Tamil Academic Journal, Facebook: Tamil Academic Journal).