Ilankai Tamilar

Allen Thrasher athr at
Mon Aug 12 15:27:49 UTC 1996

If I may piggyback on Peter Schalk's first announcement of an
International Workshop on the Culture of the Ilankai Tamilar, let me say
that the Library of Congress would be most interested in acquiring
materials on the subject and would be grateful to be notified of
publications by them.  We have already made several microfiche collections
on the Sri Lanka troubles and have cataloged several collections of
materials about them kept here in Washington in inkprint.  We would of
course be particularly grateful if the publications were sent to us free.

Allen W. Thrasher

Senior Reference Librarian
Southern Asia Section
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4744
tel. 202-707-5600
fax  202-707-1724
Email: athr at

3On Thu, 8 Aug 1996, Peter Schalk wrote:

> International Workshop on the Culture of the Ilankai Tamilar,
> in Uppsala, Sweden, 28-31 May 1998.
> First Call (August 1996)
> ****************************************************************************
> Dear colleagues.
> During the last few years several very good academic publications on the
> history, religions, language and ethnic characteristics of the Ilankai
> Tamilar have been published. There seems to be an interest for the study of
> the Ilankai Tamilar in several places of the world. So, why not co-ordinate
> all these efforts and arrange an "International Workshop on the culture of
> the Ilankai Tamilar" with studies that fall within the fields of social
> sciences and arts studies? If there is an interest, the workshop will be
> organised by professors Alvapillai Veluppillai and Peter Schalk in Uppsala
> from 28-31 May, 1998 (arrivals on 27 March, departures on 1 June). We need
> so much time to collect funds to make it possible for scholars from Ilankai
> and India, for those who are writing on Tamil culture in the regions of
> Yalppanam, Vanni, Tirukkonamalai, Mattakalappu, Kolumpu, Malaiyakam, and on
> Tamil places of worship in the South, to come to Uppsala. Scholars from
> other parts of the world, inclusive of countries of Tamil exile, will have
> to cover their own expenses for registration, travelling and accomodation
> in Uppsala.
> Ilankai Tamil culture is Ilankai Tamil exile culture also. There is an
> Ilankai Tamil culture in Toronto, Sydney, Paris, Bern, Oslo, etc. We know
> young Tamilar who read Strindberg in Swedish and Sartre in French, and we
> have met even "Kiwi Tamilar". There is a flood of Tamil exile literature.
> Regarding "culture of the Ilankai Tamilar", it will be the task of the
> workshop to consider different definitions and come to a conclusion. We
> just want to emphasise one dynamic and formative aspect of this culture,
> its shifting relations to South India, to Sinhala Buddhist culture, to the
> Tamilulakam and to the rest of the world.
> There is a tendency that social scientists constitute a majority in
> conferences. There is also a tendency that modern studies dominate. This is
> most welcome as long some  historical disciplines also are represented. We
> want to enumerate some of these  disciplines through which Lankan Tamil
> culture can be studied. Having been neglected, they are welcome in Uppsala.
> Epigraphy
> Pre-colonial history
> Historiography
> Pre-colonial literature
> Iconography
> Archaeology
> Art history
> Historical and comparative linguistics
> Dialect studies
> Prosody
> Tamil Saivism
> Tamil Buddhism
> Tamil Christianity
> Tamil Islam
> When we say "workshop", we mean a group of about 20 people who have sent a
> paper not later than Tuesday 31 March 1998 for preparation of all
> participiants, and especially of one appointed discussant. The paper
> delivered is a draft, that may be re-written by the author after the
> workshop, considering the comments having been made by the participiants.
> Each paper will be given much time to be commented upon. The aim is to
> publish the contributions in a series of academic publications from Uppsala
> University. The publication is expected to reflect many aspects of Ilankai
> Tamil culture.
> We are aware that there is a Sri Lanka Study Conference already. The next
> (6th) will be arranged in Nuvara in August 1997. The international workshop
> we have in mind focuses on the culture of the Lankan Tamilar in strictly
> academic presentations in an exclusive academic surrounding (that goes back
> to 1477, the date of the founding of Uppsala University).
> We are sending this letter to some selected scholars to which we have an
> e-mail address, fax and mail address. We request you kindly to foward it to
> scholars who might have an interest in contributing with a paper on the
> culture of the Lankan Tamilar.
> We are expecting your decision to participate with a working title of your
> paper, a summary of it in about 400 words and/or suggestions for
> improvement of the workshop's organisation. Having got your declaration of
> interest, we shall send you information about accomodation, Uppsala
> University and information about our publications pertaining to the culture
> of the Lankan Tamilar.
> With the best wishes
> Peter Schalk, professor in the History of Religions, Uppsala University
> Alvapillai Veluppillai, professsor of Tamil, Dr. h.c. (Uppsala).
> Phones: 46 18 182293(office), 46 18 252682 (residence, P Schalk), 46 18
> 403648(residence A Veluppillai).
> Email: Tamil.studies at
> Fax: 46 18 12 84 71 or 46 18 241786
> Mail: P Schalk, A Veluppillai, Box 1604, 75146 Uppsala, Sweden
> ************************

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