Undergraduate Programmes


TLG 101: Introduction to the Tamil Language and Writing Skills in Tamil

This course is intended to introduce to students the various aspects of the Tamil language and to develop the student’s skills in writing the Tamil language effectively.

Course topics include: the distinctive features of human language, Tamil as a transnational language, dialect variations, Tamil diglossia, stylistic variations, and aspects of sentence formation and effective writing.

TLG 102: Introduction to Tamil Literature

This course is an introduction to Tamil literature in its socio-historical background.
Course topics include: Literature as a verbal art; Literature, society and culture; Tamil literary history; Classical Tamil literature; Epic poetry in Tamil; Islamic and Christian Tamil literature; Modernization and the Tamil literary tradition; Modern Tamil poetry and fiction; and Tamil literature in a global context.

TLG 201: Grammar of Modern Tamil—Phonology and Morphology

This course deals with the phonological and morphological structure of modern literary Tamil in detail. It is a compulsory course for special and general degree students.

Course topics include: Tamil phonetics and phonology; Noun and verb morphology; The adjective; The adverb; Particles; and Morphophonemics.

TLG 202: The Development of Modern Tamil Poetry

This course deals with the development of modern Tamil poetry in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka in its socio-historical perspective.

Course topics include: Definition of modern poetry; Origin and development of modern Tamil poetry; The impact of the Freedom Movement; The impact of the Dravidian movement and the Marxist movement on the development of modern Tamil poetry; and The modern Tamil poetry of Sri Lanka.

TLG 203: Practical Criticism and Literary Appreciation

This course deals with the principles of literary criticism and literary appreciation, with the aim of (among other things) developing critical approaches among the students.

Course topics include: An introduction to literary criticism; Principles of literary criticism; and Aspects of the practical criticism of poetry and fiction.

TLG 204: The Short Story in Tamil—Its Origin and Development

This course aims to provide a detailed account of the development of the short story in Tamil in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka.

Course topics include: A brief outline of short stories in general; The pioneers of the Tamil short story; The Freedom Movement and the Tamil short story; The Tamil short story after Independence; and The Tamil short story in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.

TLG 205: Modern Tamil Syntax

This course provides a detailed account of modern Tamil syntax with special reference to literary Tamil.

Course topics include: An introduction to syntax, syntactic categories, syntactic constructions, the structure of simple and complex sentences, sentential co-ordination and subordination, anaphora in Tamil syntax, and cleft sentence formation. (Prerequisite: TLG 201)

TLG 206: Landmarks in the Development of the Tamil Novel

This course deals with the development of the Tamil novel in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka in its socio-historical background. Major authors and their works will be dealt with.

Course topics include: The origin of the novel in Tamil; The Tamil novel after Independence; Historical and regional novels in Tamil; and Translations and adaptations.

TLG 207: Tamil Drama and Theatre

This course provides a detailed account of the origin and development of drama and theatre in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka.

Course topics include: Concepts of drama and theatre; A brief history of drama and theatre in Tamil; Folk theatre in Tamil; and Translations and adaptations.

TLG 208: Folk Literature and Folk Literary Studies in Tamil

This course deals with Tamil folk literature and folk literary studies in Tamil.

Course topics include: The concept of folklore and folk literature; The history of folk literary studies; Folklore theories; Folk literary forms; and Field methods in folk literary studies.

TLG 301: Cankam Poetry and Poetics

This course deals with classical Tamil poetry and poetical tradition through a study of selected texts from eight anthologies and ten longer poems of the Cankam Period. The conventions of Akam and Puram poems and their sociohistorical background will be studied in detail.

Course content: An introduction to the Cankam period and Cankam literature—Cankam legend; The Cankam period as a heroic age and the conditions of this period; The corpus of Cankam poems (Ettuttokai and Pattuppattu); The process of anthologization and the problems of periodization; The twofold division of Cankam poetry (Akam and Puram); The conventions of Cankam poetry (style, diction, metrical system, and the division of land and time to suit the experiences expressed); Life, political and social conditions, customs and beliefs portrayed in Cankam poetry; A study of selected Akam and Puram lyrics; and Modern studies in Cankam poetry and poetics.

TLG 302: Modern Literary and Critical Theories

The course introduces students to literary and critical theories dominant in contemporary literary discourse.
Course content: Definition of literary theory and literary criticism; The relationship between literary history, theory, and criticism; The sociological approach; The aesthetic approach; The modernist approach; New criticism and formalism; The Marxist approach; Literature as text; The relationship between author, text, and reader; From author-centered to reader-centered criticism; The linguistic approach; and The feminist approach.

TLG 303: Didactic Literature in Tamil

This course deals mainly with the origin and development of didactic literature in Tamil during the Post-Sangam Period, through the study of selected texts. The Thirukkural and Naaladiyaar will be studied in detail in their sociocultural background. Other texts of the period and later developments will also be taken into consideration.

Course content: The subject matter of ethics; The origin and development of ethical ideas in the history of Indian thought; The emergence of ethical literature in Tamil; The didactic works of the post-Sangam period; The Thirukkural—its treatment of Aram and its universal character; Detailed study of selections from The Thirukkural; The influence exercised by The Thirukkural on the culture and literature of the Tamils; Naladiyaar—study of selected stanzas; Ethical ideas in the devotional literature of the Pallava period; Ethical ideas expounded in Kavya and Puranic literature; Other ethical perspectives—Islamic and Christian; Didactic literature—the contemporary phase; and The impact of didactic works on language and culture.

TLG 304: The Bhakti Movement and Devotional Poetry in Tamil

This course studies the origin and development of the Bhakti Movement and devotional poetry in Tamil, especially during the period of the Pallava Dynasty in Tamilnadu. Saiva and Vaishnava traditions in devotional poetry will be studied in detail through the examination of relevant selected texts.

Course content: An introduction to the concept of Bhakti; The origin and development of Bhakti literature in Tamil; The Bhakti movement of the Pallava period and its impact on Tamil literature; Bhakti literature in Tamil—Saivite, Vaisnavite, Jainist, Islamic and Christian; The development and use of new literary forms and metrical systems in the expression of Bhakti; The folk elements of Bhakti literature; and Bhakti literature—the contemporary phase.

TLG 305: Epic Poetry in Tamil

This course deals with the development of epic poetry in Tamil. Theories of epic poetry, the early Tamil epics, the major epics of the Chola period, the sociohistorical conditions for the emergence of epics in Tamil, and epics of the twentieth century will be studied in detail.

Course content: An introduction to theories of Greek, Sanskrit, and Tamil epic poetry; The evolution of epic poetry in Tamil; The early epics—Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai; An analysis of selections from Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai; The classification of epics and of their characteristics in Tanti Alankaram; Kamparamayanam as a major epic; An analysis of selections from Kamparamayanam; Islamic and Christian epics in Tamil with special reference to the Cirappuranam and Tempavani; and The modern phase—Bharathi and after.

TLG 306: Islam, Christianity and the Tamil Literary Tradition

This course deals with the impact of Islam and Christianity on the development of Tamil literature. Islamic and Christian Tamil literary traditions, and major works and authors belonging to these traditions will be studied in detail in the course

Course content: Religion and literature; Islamic Tamil literature—characteristics and development; The use of Tamil literary forms by Islamic religious poets; New literary forms introduced by Islamic poets; Arabic Tamil literature; Christian Tamil literature—characteristics and development; The contribution of Christian missionaries to the development of Tamil literature and language; Modern developments in Christian Tamil literature; Recent trends; The study of selected texts.

TLG 307: The History of The Tamil Language

This course deals with the historical development of the Tamil language from the perspective of historical Linguistics.

Course content: An introduction to historical linguistics; Sources for the history of the Tamil language; Tamil as a Dravidian language; The concept the language family; Studies on the Dravidian language family before and after Robert Caudwell; Proto-Dravidian and Tamil; Old, medieval, and modern Tamil; Sound change—phonetic and phonological changes and changes in phonemic distribution; Grammatical change— changes in morphology and syntax; Semantic change—changes in vocabulary and meaning; The evolution of the writing system; Language contact and linguistic borrowing; and Problems of modernization.

TLG 308: Tamil Prosody and Alankara

This course deals with Tamil prosody and Alankara, and their historical evolution in detail.

Course content: An introduction to Tamil metre and metrical form; The elements of Tamil prosody— Eluttu, Acai, Cir, Talai, Ati and Totai; The structural patterns of basic metrical forms and their variation—Akaval, Venpaa, Kalippaa and Vanicippaa; Later developments of the basic metrical forms—Taalicai, Turai and Viruttam; Metrical forms derived from folk tradition—Cintu, Kanni, and others; The new poetry and its rhythmical patterns; The concept of Alankaara or Ani in Tamil poetics; The elements of Alankaara—simile, metaphor, and other forms of Ani as described in Tandi; and Alankaaram and Tolkaappiam.

TLG 401: History of Tamil Research

This course deals with the development of research on Tamil language and literature in detail.
Course content: The areas of Tamil research; Tamil studies in the ancient and medieval periods; The emergence of Dravidology and Tamil research; Ideologies and approaches in Tamil research; and The contribution of institutions and individuals to the development of Tamil research.

TLG 402: Linguistics and Tamil Grammatical Traditions

This course is a study of the Tamil grammatical tradition in the perspective of modern linguistic science.
Course content: Underlying grammatical theories of the major Tamil grammatical works and the relevance of their grammatical concepts and classifications; Traditions of grammatical commentators; and The contributions of the Christian missionaries and modern linguistics.

TLG 403: History of Literary Criticism in Tamil

This course deals with the development of literary criticism in Tamil from ancient times up to the modern period.
Course content: Poetics of classical grammarians; Literary commentaries of the commentators of the medieval periods; The western impact and the origin of modern literary criticism in Tamil; Various trends of the modern literary criticism.

TLG 404: Development of Tamil Literature in Sri Lanka

This course deals with the history of Sri Lankan Tamil literature in detail.
Course content: Problems of periodization; Literary production in the precolonial and colonial periods; Tradition and modernity in the postcolonial period; Development of modern literary forms; Main trends, major authors and their works; Regional literary developments; Diaspora and Sri Lankan Tamil literature abroad; and The distinctive features of Sri Lankan Tamil literature.

TLG 405: Modernization of the Tamil Language—Problems and Prospects

This course deals with the processes and the problems of the modernization of the Tamil language in their socio-linguistic perspective.
Course content: Socio-historical necessity for the modernization of Tamil; The development of modern Tamil prose and the processes of simplification; Script reform; Coining technical terms; Problems of linguistic and grammatical purism; and Tamil in print and electronic media.

TLG 406: The Social and Cultural History of Tamil

The main objective of this course is to provide a better understanding of the historical development of the social and cultural institutions of the Tamils in India and Sri Lanka.

Course content: The origin and development of social, political and administrative institutions; Kinship and caste; Women in society; Ethical thought and norms of morality; Educational systems and institutions; Trade; Urbanization and merchant guilds; Architecture and sculpture; and dancing, music and painting.

TLG 407: Tamil Paleography and Inscriptions

This course deals with the origins and development of the Tamil writing system and the Tamil language used in inscriptions.

Course content: Brahmi as a source of Indian writing systems; The evolution of Tamil scripts; Tamil Brahmi; Veddeluthu; Granda eluttu; The decipherment and interpretation of Tamil epigraphical records in India and Sri Lanka; and Tamil used in inscriptions.

Hindu Civilization

HIN 101 - The sourses of the Hindu Tradition

HIN 102- Outline of the History of Hinduism

HIN 201: Philosophy of the Upanishads

This course will enable students to acquire a background to the principle teachings of the Upanishads, which form the basis of Hindu religious thought and ideology.

HIN 202: History of Hinduism in Sri Lanka

This course includes the study of the development of Hindu religious and cultural traditions in a historical and social setting in Sri Lanka from the earliest times up to AD 1800.
HIN 203: Non-Agamic Traditions in Hinduism

This course studies local and regional cults of non-Vedic origin that have no affiliation with the agamic traditions, but are of significance and widely popular.

HIN 204: A Special Study of Prescribed Authors

This course is designed to acquaint students with some of the principal exponents of Hindu religious, philosophical, and aesthetic theories and traditions.

HIN 205: Bhakti Movements in North India

This course focuses on the importance of Hindu religious movements in Muslim India which resulted in the resurrection and synthesis of the Hindu religious traditions in the subcontinent.

HIN 206: Hindu Rituals and Religious Practices

This course focuses attention on the significance of rituals and festivals which are of considerable importance in Hindu religion and society.

HIN 207: The Philosophy of the Vedanta

This course studies the principal tenets of the schools of Vedanta philosophy which form the basis of Hindu religious thought from Vedic to modern times.

HIN 208: Hindu Reformers and Modern Hinduism

The objective of this course is to enable students to comprehend the scale and effect of the contributions made by Hindu reformers to the understanding, interpretation, and modernization of Hindu religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions.

HIN 301: The Cults of Hinduism

The principal objective of this course is to enable students to comprehend the diversity and plurality in Hindu religious practices and experience.

Course content: The cults existing from earliest times to AD 1500;Vedic cults; Cults within Saivism; The Bhagavata cult; the Brahma cult; the Sakti cult; the Ganapatyam cult; The cult of Skanda; The cult of Sauram; Folk cults; Religious festivals; Rituals and pilgrimages.

HIN 302: The Bhakti Movement in South India

The religion of Bhakti articulated in the Tamil devotional hymns of the Pallava period is of a unique character. The main aim of the course is to provide avenues for an understanding of the religious thought, ideology and spiritual experience of the principal exponents of the Bhakti school of Hinduism in South India.

Course content: Religious conditions in South India during the Pallava period; Cultural synthesis and Hindu revival devotional theism; The leaders of the Saiva and Vaishnava movements; the Concept of God, grace and worldview; Bhakti literature; Saiva literature; and Vaisnava literature.

HIN 303: The Saiva Siddhanta

The objective of this course is to study the tenets of Saiva Siddhanta, and its peculiarities and inter-connections with other philosophical systems within the Hindu tradition.

Course content: Introduction to Saiva Siddhanta; The origin and development of Saiva Siddhanta in South India from earliest times to AD 1400; Saiva Siddhanta literature: Agamas, Upanisads, Panniru tirumurai, Meykanda Sastras, Sarvajnanottaram Jnanamurtham, Sivaneriprakasam, Addapprakadanam; Alvai (epistemology); Pratyaksa (perception), Anumana (inference), Sabda (verifiable testimony); Tenets of Saiva Siddhanta: Pati (Saiva), Pasu (social), Pasam (principle of ignorance), Anavam, Karmam, Mayai; The concept God; Transcendence; Grace and liberation in Saiva Siddhanta; The role of the spiritual teacher or guide in religious experience; and Saiva Siddhanta and Vedanta: traditions, perception, and discourses.

HIN 304: Hindu Agamas

The objective of this course is to promote an understanding of the basic tenets and principles expounded in the Agamas on which the rituals and worship conducted in Hindu temples are based. Traditionally, these are accorded a position comparable to that of the Vedas, and are therefore considered as a part of the sacred literature of Hinduism.

Course content: An introduction to the Agamas; The origin and development of Agamas from the earliest times to AD 1300; The classification of Agamas: Saiva Agamas, Vaisnava Agamas Sakta Agamas; The principal texts: Karana Agama, Kamiga Agama, Kirana Agama, Pancaratra Agama, Kumara tantra, Siva tarmottaram Sarvajnanottiram; Contents of Saiva Agamas: Chariya Patham Kriya Pathamyoga Patham, Jnana Patham; Tenets of the Pancaratras: nights and days, Narayana, Lakshmi and Vishnu, Kriya sakti and Bhuti sakti: The six attributes (Gunas) of God; The commentators of the Agamas: Shattiya soti Sivacaryar, Paddarama Kandar, Padda Narayana Kandar, Agora Sivacaryar, Umapati Siva Caryar; and The contribution of the Agama tradition to religious iconography, philosophy, arts, and architecture.

HIN 305: Prescribed Texts

The main objective of this course unit is to provide and understanding of the religious beliefs, thought, practices, and worldview articulated in texts that have been accorded a position of pre-eminences as sources of the Hindu tradition.

Course content: Selections from Vedic hymns; Selections from the Katha,Chandokya, Brihadaranyaka, and Svetasvatara upanishads; Selections from the Manu smrti and Sukraniti; Selections from Karana Agama, Kamiga Agama, Kirana Agama, Sarvajnanottira Agama, Bhagavad Gita, Visvarupa darsana Yoga; Selection from the Tevaram, Tiruvacagam and Tivyaprapantham; Selections from Meykanda Sastras: Civanana Potham, Sivaprakasam, Periya puranam, Kantapuranam,

HIN 306: Hindu Political Thought

The objective of this course is to promote an understanding of the origins, developments, and function of Kingship and its political institutions in Hindu society in pre-modern times.

Course content: Extracts from Vedic literature; Relevant portions of the Mahabharata, and Dharma Sastras; Inscriptions; Preambles; Coins and seals; Theories about the origin of kingship; Kingship and administration; Case studies: The Mauyas, Guptas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Pallavas, Cholas, Vijayanagara; and Local assemblies and guilds.

HIN 307: Hindu Civilization in South East Asia

An understanding of the process by which Hindu art, architecture, religions, and literary traditions, interacted with and influenced social and cultural formations in continental and insular South East Asia is the principal objective of this course.

Course content: An introduction to the beginnings of Indian colonization; Early Hindu colonies: Bura, Siam, Combodia, Champa, Malaya Java, Bali, Borneo, Philippines, and Sumatra; Elements of Hindu civilization: the concept of the state, kingship and society, literature and language, major religious concepts of Siva, the worship of Siva, Saivism, Vaishnavism, and Buddhism; and The influence of Hindu art and architecture in Cambodia, Burma, Siam, Champa.

HIN 308: Hindu Art and Architecture

The main objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive knowledge of Hindu art and architecture in all its forms in the context of social and cultural formations.

Course content: Silpasastras: An introduction; The Nagara, Vesara, Dravida and Kalinga styles of temple architecture; Secular architecture; Roct-cut temples; Sculpture, iconography, classical and folk dances, painting, and music.

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