Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät | Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften | Querschnittsbereiche | Gender and Media Studies for the South Asian Region | 26.01.2024 "TamilThanmai: A Historical Ethnography of Public Political Lives in Tamil Nadu (1950-1970)" (Dr. Ponni Arasu) - GAMS Research Colloquium

26.01.2024 "TamilThanmai: A Historical Ethnography of Public Political Lives in Tamil Nadu (1950-1970)" (Dr. Ponni Arasu) - GAMS Research Colloquium

Einladung zum Vortrag von

Dr. Ponni Arasu (Universität Tübingen)

am 26.01.2024 (10-12h, Raum 217 am IAAW)

 

"TamilThanmai: A Historical Ethnography of Public Political Lives in Tamil Nadu (1950-1970)"

 

Diese Vortragsveranstaltung findet in Kooperation mit Prof. Beate Binder vom IfEE statt und wird von PD Dr. Urmila Goel moderiert.

 
Abstract zum Vortrag von Dr. Arasu
This work is a historical ethnography of Sulur, a town in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu, India. Through in-depth interviews and archives, both personal and public, of textual and visual sources, I have evolved an analytical framework from which to understand everyday public political lives from a historical perspective. Using spatial analysis, this dissertation has documented the lives of non-brahmin, non-dalit working class men in Sulur who were engaged in public politics. I have contextualized these life stories in a range of socio-economic and political histories of Tamilnadu during that time. The period between the 1950-70 is when the political parties that were to influence the landscape of electoral power and political discourse in the second half of the 20th C were forming their base in Tamilnadu. This period, before the consolidation of state power and political discourses, is an ideal time from which to understand the history of such political formations from the perspective of the everyday lives of its ordinary members, all of whom are men. Based on this narrative I have identified and explored elements of what I term TamilThanmai. TamilThanmai, I propose is a historically grounded analytical framework which simultaneously describes the essence of public political lives that provided a /way of being /and /sense of self /for all those who lived it. This research is a history /of /and /through /TamilThanmai.
In the research themes of public political life have been explored through three main chapters. These include a focus on Dalit public political lives; the affective ties that hold together the non-Brahmin, non-Dalit working class men engaged in such lives; and the embodiment of such a politics through physical training culture. This three-pronged exploration is grounded in a critical spatial framework. Through this exploration of TamilThanmai I propose a theoretical framework from which to understand the persistence of caste-based thinking and gendered reality of the masculinization of public political lives in Tamilnadu. TamilThanmai I also propose as a methodology that can help us to continue to explore questions of caste and gender-based hierarchies and violence in the Tamil context. I hope that the concept of Thanmai might be one that may be useful as a theoretical framework and methodology for research and thinking in other contexts and societies as well.
 

GAMS Colloquium 202324.png