Cankam Project

  • Search for, Identification of and Digitisation of Cankam Manuscripts
  • Preparation of critical editions and annotated translations of the Cankam texts
  • Composition of an Electronic Dictionary of the Cankam Literature

(Project management Eva Wilden, EFEO Paris/University of Hamburg and Jean-Luc Chevillard, CNRS).

The Cankam Project conducted by the EFEO Paris and Pondicherry consists of the following four sub-projects which are interrelated with each other:

(1) The fundamental project is the search for and identification of Cankam manuscripts in the various manuscript libraries and other institutions in Tamil Nadu and their digitisation.

(2) The subsequent sub-project is the preparation of critical editions of the Cankam texts based on the newly acquired and the so far disregarded manuscripts, the existing published editions of the Cankam texts and the widely scattered quotations found in Tamil grammatical and poetological literature.

(3) Along with the critical editions of the Cankam texts, annotated English translations of the texts, which take into account the various text variations and which discuss lexical and grammatical difficulties and peculiarities, and word indices are prepared.

(4) The final sub-project consists of the preparation of an Electronic Dictionary and a Grammar of Cankam Literature based on the word indices prepared for the individual Cankam texts.

Related Projects:

Transmissional History of the Cankam Corpus

In the framework of a research group entitled "Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa conducted at the University of Hamburg, Germany ( Eva Wilden is in charge of a Tamilist subproject ("Script, Print, Memory: Re-establishing the Cankam in Tamil Nadu") with the aim of adding to the series of critical editions of the Cankam literature an introductory volume that traces the transmissional history of the corpus and it testimonies.

Tamil Grammatical Tradition

From quotations in the commentaries of the grammatical tradition we have knowledge of a number of old Tamil grammarians and works, viz. Avinayanar, Kakkaipatiniyar, Kaiyanar and Periya Pammam, Mapuranam etc., especially in Yapparunkala Virutti, an encyclopaedic work on Tamil prosody of the 10th or 11th century A.D. These suggest significant developments in the history of Tamil grammatical concepts and theories. G. Vijayavenugopal is engaged in a compilation and annotated translation of this material into English. A detailed critical introduction is also under preparation. It will include a critique to "The History of Tamil grammatical theories" written by P.S. Subrahmanya Sastri.

Classical Tamil Winter and Summer Seminars (CTSS/CTWS)

The CTSS/CTWS is an intensive course in Classical Tamil of one month duration which is yearly being conducted at the Pondicherry centre of the EFEO since 2003. It combines reading texts in classical Tamil under the guidance of the Pondy pandits with instruction by a group of Western scholars. The levels vary from introductory courses for beginners to the discussion of selected texts for advanced students and researchers.

Paris EFEO Seminar

Monday 26th March François Lagirarde (EFEO) speaks on "Épigraphie et religion: le bouddhisme du Nord de la Thaïlande dans les inscriptions anciennes (XIIIe-XVIIe siècle)

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Free admission)
Maison de l'Asie, First floor salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
EFEO Field Scholarships - 1st Semester 2018

The deadline for submitting an application to an EFEO Field Scholarships for Master and PhD students enabling a field study in Asia at one of the EFEO centers is set to the 31st of March 2018.
Contrats doctoraux fléchés 2018-2021

Dans le cadre du soutien apporté aux actions de coopération internationale, le Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation (MESRI) propose un dispositif de contrats doctoraux fléchés à l’international (ACI). Ce dispositif peut bénéficier à tout doctorant dont les recherches s’inscrivent dans le cadre des programmes scientifiques d’une des cinq Écoles françaises à l’étranger.

Date limite de candidatures : 4 mai 2018, 15h (heure de Paris)
Release of the photographic collection of Luc Mogenet

999 photographs taken by Luc Mogenet at Laos especially at Luang Prabang between 1968 and 1973 are now on line on the photo library website.
L’invention des dynasties : les « rois anciens » du pays tamoul
Paris, France,

On Monday 5th February Charlotte Schmid (EFEO) is speaking on L'invention des dynasties : les « rois anciens » du pays tamoul.

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Free admission)
Maison de l'Asie, First floor salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
Season's Greetings 2018

The Ecole française d'Extrême Orient (French School of Asian Studies) wishes you a Happy New Year

Click here to open the animation
International Workshop on Chinese Local History and Local Society, 14th and 15th December
Paris, France,

Thursday, December 14 and Friday, December 15, Michela Bussotti (EFEO) and Joseph McDermott (University of Cambridge) organize an international workshop on the study of society and local history that finalize the project FOES (Families, Organizations and Economies: inside and beyond local history in China, XV-XX century - projet exploratoire PSL) thanks to the support of PSL, EFEO and CECMC (UMR CCJ).

Programme (PDF)

Maison de l'Asie, 1st floor Salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson - 75116 Paris

Contact: Michela Bussotti
Release of the photographic collection of Pierre Pichard

999 photographs by the architect Pierre Pichard, former member of the EFEO, are now on line on the photo library website. These pictures were taken between 1987 and 2004 during missions in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and South Korea.
Paris EFEO Seminar

On Monday 13th November Ryosuke Furui (Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo) is speaking on "Changing Structure of Political Powers in South Asia: Bengal from the Fifth to the Thirteenth Century"

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Free admission)
Maison de l'Asie, First floor salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
Symposium ''Gestion des eaux d'Angkor: Bilan des études et perspectives''

On Friday 10th November the Association des Amis d'Angkor (AAA) organized the symposium Gestion des eaux d'Angkor: Bilan des études et perspectives
Maric Beaufeïst speaks on" The restoration of western Mébon and the utilisation of new technologies"

"SETEC" Auditorium, building Central Seine, 46, quai de la Rapée, 75012 Paris