IISER Mohali, Knowledge city, Sector 81, SAS Nagar, Manauli PO 140306

Dr. V. Rajesh
Assistant Professor , Humanities & Social Sciences

Email rajeshv(AT)iisermohali.ac.in
Phone +91 172 2293163
Fax +91 172 2240266
Personal Page                                                               
Research Area
Research Focus

I am currently investigating the history of progressive writers movement in south India and the intellectual history of left in Tamilnadu. Though at all India level the progressive writers association was formed back in late 1930s there are striking regional variations whose history is yet to be written. The left cultural intervention in Tamilnadu predate the formation of progressive writers association in the state but the latter marks a significant departure for the history of left that has contested both the dominant Dravidian ideology/politics and Hindu nationalism. This may not have electoral ramification for the left but leave a deep impact on civil society activism and secularization of Tamil society.

My doctoral dissertation dealt with the history of (re)constitution of Tamil literary classics - Sangam literature - during the nineteenth and early twentieth century colonial Madras. The historical method involved not just reading and interpreting the editions of classics published in the colonial period but a range of sources from private correspondence of editors of classics, biographies and autobiographies of Tamil scholars, colonial records, writings of missionary-orientalists, newspapers and vernacular journals. A revised version of the dissertation is published by Cambridge University Press India.

Selected Publications

  • Manuscripts, Memory and History: Classical Tamil Literature in Colonial India, Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2013.
  • 'The Making of Sangam Literary Canon and Tamil Identity’, in R. Cheran, Darshan Ambalavanar and Chelva Kanakanayagam, (eds.), New Demarcations: Essays in Tamil Studies, Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc, Toronto, 2008, pp. 133-147.
  • 'Evaluating the Meanings of Globalization on a Caste Association in Contemporary Tamilnadu’, in Jyotirmaya Tripathy, (ed.), After Globalization: Essays in Religion, Culture and Identity, Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 2007, pp. 139-149.
  • 'Text and Time in Early Tamilakam’, in M. Kannan and Carlos Mena, (eds.), Negotiations with the Past: Classical Tamil in Contemporary Tamil, Department of Indology, French Institute Pondicherry and Department of South and South East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2006, pp. 231-265.
  • (Book Review) Michael Bergunder, Heiko Frese and Ulrike Schroder (eds), Ritual, Caste and Religion in Colonial South India, Verlag der Franckeschen zu Halle, Halle, 2010 in Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, 2013 (Forthcoming).
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