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15th Classical Tamil Summer Seminar, 18th to 22th of September 2017

The Centre of the EFEO in Pondicherry

Pondicherry Centre

In 1955 Jean Filliozat, the director of the EFEO from 1956 to 1977, took the initiative of establishing a centre for interdisciplinary research about India in Pondicherry. Thus the creation of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), came to be taken into account in the treaty governing the former French trading port on Indian soil. In 1956, Jean Filliozat opened a centre of the EFEO in Pondicherry. The programmes of research of the EFEO and of the IFP are conducted in close collaboration and under the scientific direction of members of the EFEO. In 1964 the EFEO first acquired its own independant buildings in Pondicherry. The fields of research of the centre include ancient and modern literature in Sanskrit and Tamil (Paninian grammar, the Tamil grammatical tradition, Sanskrit plays, devotional Tamil poetry, Cankam literature, inscriptions, etc.), Vaishnava iconography and tradition of military architecture as well as the study of the ancient Pondicherry.

The centre serves as the base for French, European and Indian researchers. Its ranks are swelled by researchers on field-trips and it welcomes doctoral students. The centre houses part of the library of the IFP, as well as the library holdings of the EFEO. The two institutions have collaborated in building a very substantial archive of photographs.

The Lecturers in Tamil

Dr. Eva Wilden defended her doctoral thesis in 1996 at the University of Hamburg in Vedic Studies ("The circulation of Sacrificial Gifts") and her habilitation in 2003 in Tamil studies ("Literary Techniques in Old Tamil Cankam Poetry: the Kuruntokai"). Since September 2003 she is a scientific member of the EFEO and directs the project Caṅkam, with the goal of critically re-editing the early classical Tamil poetic corpus. So far she has published critical edition of the Narrinai (2008) and the Kuṟuntokai (2010). In 2013 she has been awarded an ERC Advanced grant, for the project NETamil: Going from Hand to Hand - Networks of Intellectual Exchange in the Tamil Learned Traditions, started in March 2014 for a duration of five years, hosted by the Centre of Manuscript Cultures in Hamburg and by the EFEO centre in Pondicherry.

Dr. T. Rajeswari is a manuscriptologist trained under Professor K. Nachimuthu at the University of Kerala. Her doctoral thesis was a critical edition and study of Māvintam. Since July 2004 she is a researcher at the Pondicherry centre of the EFEO where she is supervising the ongoing process of localisation and digitisation of Classical Tamil Manuscripts. For the last ten years she has been working on a Critical edition of the Kalittokai which is now about to be published.

 

 

Dr. G. Vijayavenugopal is a trained epigraphist who has been professor of Comparative Literature as well as of Art History and Aesthetics, amongst other activities, before becoming the Director of the Evening College of the University of Madurai. He taught a Tamil summer course in Ohio, was a visiting professor during two years in the University of Wisconsin (USA) and an "Extension Lecturer" in the University of Singapore. He has published two volumes of edition and translation of the inscriptions from the territory of Pondicherry (2006+2010). He is currently working on the Tamil inscriptions of Andhra and Karnataka as well as on a critical edition of the Puṟanāṉūṟu.

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