Tamil at the University of Toronto
Tamil is one of the oldest classical literary languages of India. It is also a contemporary language with a strong diasporic presence in Southeast Asia and parts of Europe and North America. A significant part of this diaspora is also located in Canada, which makes the study of Tamil particularly relevant in Canadian Universities.
UofT has a very strong Tamil academic profile: it has faculty who work on as diverse fields as the cultural and linguistic anthropology of the Tamil-speaking region (Francis Cody), Tamil Jainism (Christoph Emmrich), the colonial Tamil archives (Bhavani Raman), as well as medieval, and modern Tamil religious literature (Srilata Raman). The Tamil Worlds Initiative, established at the Scarborough Campus, has also provided an opportunity for UofT to organize a Tamil Studies lectures series and language instruction. Furthermore, UofT has been the site of the one major Tamil Studies Conference to take place in North America since 2004.
At Uoft, Tamil is taught at the Department for the Study of Religion by Srilata Raman at different levels from beginners Tamil to advanced directed readings and complements graduate courses such as “Caste in Tamil Literature”.
Textbook used in Tamil courses at UofT: Kausalya Hart. Tamil for Beginners. Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley, 1999.
Grammar used in Tamil courses at UofT: Thomas Lehman. A Grammar of Modern Tamil. Pondicherry: Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture. 1998. This book is available here.