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The fourth annual Tamil Studies Conference, "Home, Space and the Other" organized by the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor, will be held at the University of Toronto from May 21-23, 2009.The South Asian Visual Arts Centre is hosting an art exhibit and workshop in partnership with the conference please see the Collaboration section for further details.
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The objective of the conference is to map the various ways in which the Tamil regions and their spaces - linguistic, cultural, political, economic, religious etc. - have been constituted by, interacted with or responded to influences from within and outside their cultural norms, conventions, or geographical boundaries. The "other" could be defined internally as in constructions of "ur", "kaadu-naadu" and the "aham-puram" schema of Sangam literature, or it could be identified as the various languages, religions, peoples and political forces that impinged on the Tamil regions. How have "others" in turn conceptualized the Tamil region, peoples and traditions? What are the sources and ongoing relevance of Tamil theorization of the "other" and how has the impact of the "other" introduced new forms of such theorization or altered interpretive frames. In the colonial and modern era when the Tamil regions have been subject to new regimes of knowledge and when Tamils have traveled, been transported and expelled how have they encountered and conceptualized new "others" and how have they been conceived and transformed by these new "others" in their historic and diasporic worlds?
The conference organizers invite submissions of paper abstracts from all disciplines and welcome abstracts with an interdisciplinary focus. Scholars, graduate students, artists, writers, performers and activists are welcome to present scholarly papers in English or Tamil at this conference. The organizers also welcome the participation of non-Tamil Studies specialists whose work addresses the theme of this conference. The organizers encourage the submission of new scholarly work that can be included in the conference publication. Panel proposals are also welcome.