Constructing Tamil Worlds: Circulation, Marginality and
Toronto, Canada, May 13-15, 2010
Official Conference Website]
CALL FOR PAPERS [also
Plenary Speakers: Sanjay Subrahmanyam, University of
California, Los Angeles
Raj Gauthaman, Post Graduate Centre, Pondicherry
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
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 against
a 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.
Submission of an abstract and biographical statement, or
the full details of a panel by August 31, 2009 to:
Confirmation of participation by registering and paying
the registration fee within two weeks of the organizers
official acceptance in September/October 2009.
Ability to meet costs of the registration fee, travel and
Attendance and participation during the full duration of
Paper Proposals: Abstracts and Biographical Statement
A 300 word abstract stating the argument to be presented.
A one paragraph biographical statement, including: current
affiliation, publications and research interests. Please
note that this will be the biographical information used in
conference publicity and introductions. Even if you have
submitted a biographical statement in past years, please
resubmit it along with your abstract. (See sample statement,
Abstracts must be submitted in the language in which you
intend to present, English or Tamil. Tamil abstracts, should
be accompanied by a Tamil bio, and an English translation of
the abstract and bio.
Panel proposals must include an abstract for the whole
panel, and the abstracts and bios of each individual
presenter and the chair.
Acceptance and Registration
Participants will be selected based on the recommendations
of the abstract evaluation committee.
You will be informed in September/October if your proposal
has been accepted for presentation at the conference.
You will confirm your participation in the conference by
completing the registration form and paying the registration
fee on the conference website within two weeks of receiving
notice of the acceptance of your proposal. Please note there
will be no refund of the registration fee and that
registration fees and your place are not transferable to
Finances and Costs
All proposals are accepted on the understanding that
scholars can meet the costs of their registration fee,
travel and accommodation.
If your participation depends on receiving any financial
support from the conference organizers you must request this
when you submit your abstract and not after acceptance of
Canadian graduate students (citizens of Canada, or
students registered in graduate programs in Canadian
Universities) will be exempted from the registration fee.
They may also apply to the organizers for accommodation
Graduate students who present work on Sri Lanka or the Sri
Lankan Tamil Diaspora may be eligible to receive a small
grant of $300 from the American Institute of Sri Lankan
Studies (AISLS) to participate in the conference. For
further details information contact: [email protected]
South Asian scholars and graduate students based in South
Asia do not need to pay the registration fee.
The registration fee covers the costs of the opening
reception (May 13),
meals, (breakfast, lunch and dinner on May 14, breakfast,
lunch and dinner on May 15)
refreshments, and the conference brochure.
Transport from the Airport to the University area is
approximately $100 by taxi (both trips), and $6.00 by public
Accommodation costs will range from approximately $50 a
night (university rooms) to $140 a night (hotel
accommodation). We will make some suggestions on this after
Conference Duration and Participation
The conference begins with a reception on the evening of
Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7.30 p.m. and it will end
approximately at 9.00 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2010.
Because these conferences aim at academic excellence but
to also engage scholars, students and interested community
members in a dialogue about Tamil Studies, we do ask that
all those who are presenting papers be present for the full
duration of the conference and participate in all the events
of the conference.
Sample Biographical Statement
Leslie Orr is currently an Associate Professor in the
Department of Religion at Concordia University. Her research
interests include religious and social history of medieval
South India, especially Tamil Nadu of the Chola period (9th
to 13th centuries); women in pre-colonial South Asia; Hindu
temples; devadasis; interaction of Hinduism, Buddhism, and
Jainism; Brahmins (Brahmans); food and feeding; asceticism.
She is the author of the book, Donors, Devotees and
Daughters of God: Temple Women in Medieval Tamilnadu (2000)
and numerous articles, including, most recently, "Identity
and Divinity: Boundary-Crossing Goddesses in Medieval
Tamilnadu," in Journal of the American Academy of Religion
73:1 (2005) and "Processions in the medieval South Indian
temple: Sociology, sovereignty and soteriology," in South
Indian Horizons: Felicitation Volume for Fran�ois Gros
Professor, Department of English, University of Toronto
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and
Sociology, University of Windsor
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
Instructor, Department of Religion and Art History,
University of Toronto
Assistant Professor of Modern Hinduism, University of