‘Traces of the past’ Tamil Studies Conference 2012

7th annual Tamil Studies Conference, “Traces of the Past”, May 11-12, 2012

Held at the University of Toronto and organized by the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor

This conference aims to understand the means by which people come to know, feel, and reflect upon their past. Questions of history, memory, and heritage are all guided by the ethical concerns of the present and by desires regarding the future. The production of alternatives to the dominant narrative might also entail their own forms of exclusion. Contestation arises precisely when the past becomes a resource to remake the contemporary world. But how do we narrate pasts? What counts as “evidence” in such narrations? Whose stories prevail? Which pasts are silenced?

Traces of the past need not refer to archives alone. We also invite papers that would interpret how memory is inscribed on the human body, the landscape, in practices of commemoration, cinema, through nostalgia, and images of utopia or revolution. We encourage scholars to examine how collectives and subjectivities are formed, reformed, and contested through recuperation and retrospection, and how conceptions of past selves engage critically with the world-scale economic projects of colonialism, neocolonialism, and nationalism.

We welcome individual or panel proposals from all disciplines, and from scholars, students, artists, writers and activists, including proposals that address questions that are not listed here. Papers on the diaspora can range beyond the theme of the conference, though preference will be given to those that do engage the theme more directly. We especially encourage proposals for papers in Tamil.

In addition, we ask for proposals from artists who are interested in showing work related to the conference theme at the conference itself or in our promotional materials.

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2011 info@tamilstudiesconference.ca