• Universität Hamburg
  • Cluster of Excellence
  • Understanding Written Artefacts
  • Warburgstraße 26&28
  • D-20354 Hamburg, Germany
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  • Phone: 0049-(0)40-42838-7127
  • Fax: 0049-(0)40-42838-4899
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Dr. Suganya Anandakichenin (CSMC)
Postdoc researcher, member of TST
suganya.anandakichenin [at]

Suganya Anandakichenin did her PhD at the Universität Hamburg on Kulacēkara Āḻvār’s Perumāḷ Tirumoḻi. She published a philological translation of this work along with that of the whole medieval commentary in Manipravalam by Periyavāccāṉ Piḷḷai. After working for the NETamil project from 2014 to 2018, she is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the SFB 950, Centre for the Studies of Manuscript Cultures, Universität Hamburg. Her research interests include Tamil bhakti poetry, medieval Śrīvaiṣṇava writings in Manipravalam, commentary traditions in India, Tamil-Sanskrit interactions, and the transmission of texts via manuscripts in South India.

Her current projects are:

  1. A study of the Manipravalam commentaries (by Periyavāccāṉ Piḷḷai, Aḻakiya Maṇavāḷa Perumāḷ Nāyaṉār and Vedānta Deśika) on Amalaṉ āti pirāṉ by Tiruppāṇāḻvār. This includes a translation of all three commentaries.
  2. A study of the early commentarial traditions among the Śrīvaiṣṇava ācāryas. This project will be based on the translation of the entire āṟāyirappaṭi commentary by Tirukkurukai Pirāṉ Piḷḷāṉ, and a partial translation of the paṉṉīrāyirappaṭi by Vādikesari Aḻakiya Maṇavāḷa Cīyar and the īṭu muppattārāyirappaṭi by Nampiḷḷai.
  3. A translation and study of Cayamkoṇṭār's Kaliṅkattu Paraṇi in a common project that involves Nicholas Gordiychuk
  4. Working on two readers, a) a reader of Tamil Vaiṣṇava Poetry, b) A reader of Śrīvaiṣṇava prose in Tamil-Sanskrit Manipravalam

  • a monograph: My Sapphire-hued Lord, My Beloved. A Complete, Annotated Translation of Kulacēkara Āḻvār’s Perumāḷ Tirumoḻi and Periyavāccāṉ Piḷḷai’s Medieval Maṇipravāḷam Commentary, with an Introduction, Collection Indologie, Pondichéry, EFEO/IFP, 2018.
  • a volume edited with Victor D'Avella:  "The Commentary Idioms of the Tamil Learned Traditions." Collection Indologie 141, NETamil Series 5. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry/ École française d’Extrême-Orient, iv + 603 p.

 and the following articles:

  • “On the Non-Vālmīkian sources of Kulacēkara Āḻvār’s ‘Mini-Rāmāyaṇa’”published in The Archaeology of Bhakti I: Mathurā and Maturai, Back and Forth. Edited by Emmanuel Francis & Charlotte Schmid, Collection Indologie n° 125. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry/ École française d’Extrême-Orient, 2014, pp. 249-288.
  • “The ‘Sacred’ Hill in the Eyes of the Āḻvārs and the Śrīvaiṣṇava Commentators.” Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Vol. 23, No. 2, (2015) pp. 63-86.
  • “A Note on the Importance of the arcāvatāra for the Medieval Śrīvaiṣṇava Acharyas.” Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Vol. 26(1), (2017) pp. 203-214. 

For more information, see


Neela Manasa Bhaskar, M.A.
Doctoral student at the CSMC
neelamanasabhaskar [at]

Trained in Bharatanatyam (since age 5) and Carnatic music (since age 6), Neela Manasa Bhaskar did her B.A. at Madras Christian College, Tambaram, Chennai (Affiliated to Madras University) ‘Bachelor of Arts in History’ (2012-2015). She just defended her Master at Hamburg University with a thesis on “Mātavi’s Dance - A translation of Aṭiyārkkunallār’s Commentary on Araṅkēṟṟu Kātai (Cilappatikāram 1:3)”

Awards: Chandran S. Devanesan Award for Academic Excellence presented by the faculty of Madras Christian College

Her doctoral thesis will analyse manuscripts from the Mackenzie Collection and elsewhere that have adapted material from the Tiruviḷaiyaṭal cycles.

Jonas Buchholz, Dr. des. (CSMC Hamburg)
Doctoral student in the Kīḻkkaṇakku group
jonasjbuchholz [at]

“Late-classical Tamil love-poetry: The akam works of the Kīḻkkaṇakku corpus”

Classical Tamil love-poetry (akam) is almost exclusively associated with the works of the Caṅkam literature. This project deals with the akam works found in the late-classical Patiṉeṇkīḻkkaṇakku corpus, focusing on the longest of them, the Tiṇaimālai Nūṟṟaimpatu. Though largely ignored by modern scholarship, the Kīḻkkaṇakku akam works form a crucial link between classical Caṅkam literature and later poetical genres. The goal of the project is to provide a solid philological basis for the study of the Kīḻkkaṇakku akam texts and to investigate how the poetical norms of the akam genre were transformed during the post-Caṅkam era.

Jonas Buchholz (b. 1987) studied Classical Indology, Modern Indology and Semitic Studies at the University of Heidelberg. He received his M.A. in 2012 with a thesis on C. N. Annadurai’s critique of the Rāmāyaṇa. Since 2013, he is enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Hamburg under the supervision of Eva Wilden. Since 2014, Jonas Buchholz is part of the Hamburg team of the NETamil project. He has also taught Tamil at the universities of Tübingen (2012–13) and Göttingen (2014–15).


Dr. Jean-Luc Chevillard (CNRS-HTL)
Member of TST
jean-luc.chevillard [at]

Jean-Luc Chevillard (b. 1956) is a researcher at the French "National Center for Scientific Research" (CNRS) and currently a member of the "Laboratoire d’Histoire des Théories Linguistiques" (HTL, UMR 7597 CNRS/Paris Diderot/Sorbonne Nouvelle). He has been for twelve years the editor of the bi-annual journal HEL ("Histoire Épistémologie Language"). The core component of his research is the study of the "History of Tamil Śāstric Literature", and the study of the linguistic corpus which is its literary counterpart. The list of his main publications can be found here. Between 2014 and 2019, he was in charge of the NETamil group C Tolkāppiyam.

Dr. Giovanni Ciotti (CSMC Hamburg)
Postdoc researcher at the Cluster of Excellence and member of TST
giovanni.ciotti [at]

Giovanni Ciotti (b. 1982) completed both his B.A. and M.A. in Asian and African Studies in Italy, at the University of Bologna. He then earned his Ph.D. in South Asian Studies (Sanskrit) at the University of Cambridge in 2013. In 2007 he began to study Classical Tamil at the EFEO in Pondicherry. Since 2013 he has joined the University of Hamburg as a research associate, first at the SFB950 “Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe” and then at the department of Indian and Tibetan Studies. He is now a principal investigator at the newly established Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Written Artefacts” at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures with a project entitled “Towards a Comprehensive Approach to the Study of South Indian Palm-Leaf Manuscripts”.

Within the scope of NETamil he has investigated the following topics (see publications):

  • the distribution of Tamil grammatical texts in multiple-text and composite manuscripts;
  • manuscripts reflecting the interaction between Tamil and Sanskrit;
  • colophons in manuscripts produced in Tamil Nadu written in both Tamil and Tamilian Grantha scripts.

  • [forthcoming 2020] “Tamil Ilakkaṇam (Grammar) and the Interplay between Syllabi, Corpora, and Multiple-text Manuscripts”. In Giovanni Ciotti, Martin Delhey, Stefanie Brinkmann and Stefano Valente (eds) Education Materialized: Reconstructing Teaching and Learning Contexts through Manuscripts. Studies in Manuscript Cultures. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • [forthcoming 2020] G.C. and R. Sathyanarayanan. “Between Manipravalam and Tamil: The Case of the Viṣṇupurāṇavacaṉam and Its Recensions ” (Studies in Late Tamil Manipravalam Literature 3)”. In Giovanni Ciotti and Erin McCann (eds) Linguistic and Textual Aspects of Multilingualism in South India and Sri Lanka. Pondicherry: IFP/EFEO.
  • [in press] G.C. and R. Sathyanarayanan. “A multilingual commentary of the first verse of the Nāmaliṅgānuśāsana as found in ms. IFP RE22704 (Studies in Late Tamil Manipravalam Literature 1)”. In Suganya Anandakichenin and Victor D’Avella (eds) The Commentary Idioms of the Tamil Learned Traditions. Pondicherry: IFP/EFEO. 
  • [forthcoming 2020] G.C. and R. Sathyanarayanan. “Between Manipravalam and Tamil: The Case of the Viṣṇupurāṇavacaṉam and Its Recensions ” (Studies in Late Tamil Manipravalam Literature 3)”. In Giovanni Ciotti and Erin McCann (eds) Linguistic and Textual Aspects of Multilingualism in South India and Sri Lanka. Pondicherry: IFP/EFEO.
  • [forthcoming 2020] G.C. and Erin McCann (eds) Linguistic and Textual Aspects of Multilingualism in South India and Sri Lanka. Pondicherry: IFP/EFEO.
  • 2017 “Teaching and Learning Sanskrit through Tamil Evidence from Manuscripts of the Amarakośa with Tamil Annotations (Studies in Late Manipravalam Literature 2)”. In Vincenzo Vergiani, Daniele Cuneo, and Camillo Alessio Formigatti (eds) Indic Manuscript Cultures through the Ages: Material, Textual, and Historical Investigations, pp. 193–222. Berlin - Boston: De Gruyter.
  • G.C: and Jonas Buchholz. “What a Multiple-text Manuscript Can Tell Us about the Tamil Scholarly Tradition: The Case of UVSL 589”. In manuscript cultures 10 (2017), pp. 129–144.
  • G.C. and Marco Franceschini. “Certain Times in Uncertain Places: A Study on Scribal Colophons of Manuscripts Written in Tamil and Tamilian Grantha Scripts”. In Ciotti, Giovanni and Hang Lin (eds) Tracing Manuscripts in Time and Space through Paratexts, pp. 59–130. Berlin - Boston: De Gruyter.

Dr. Daniele Cuneo


Dr. Victor D’Avella (CSMC)
Researcher in the Tolkāppiyam group
vbd203 [at]

Victor D’Avella (b. 1982) studied classics (Latin and Greek) and Linguistics at NYU. Completed an MPhil at Oxford in Comparative Philology (Indo-Iranian and Greek) with a thesis on select hymns from the Paippalāda Atharvaveda (critical edition, translation, and notes). Teaching Fellow at Columbia University (2007-2009). He defenced his PhD at the University of Chicago in the Department for South Asian Languages and civilizations in 2018. He has taught Sanskrit at the beginner and intermediate levels for many years both at universities as well as privately. He has recently begun teaching Classical Tamil at the Classical Tamil Seminar in Pondicherry. From 2014 to 2019 he was a researcher of NETamil group C Tolkāppiyam.

Research interests: Grammatical traditions of South Asia (Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu), Sanskrit and Tamil poetry and poetics, history of linguistics, early European grammars of South Indian languages.


  • “The Vīracōḻiyam: A Tamil Grammar Through the Eyes of Sanskrit.” In: Ciotti, Giovanni and McCann, Erin (eds) Linguistics and Textual Aspects of Multilingualism in South India. EFEO-IFP: collection indologie 144 – NETamil series 7, Pondichérry 2020(in print), pp. 565-690.
  • “The Beginnings of the Tamil Commentarial Tradtion.” In: Anandakichenin, Suganya and D’Avella, Victor (eds) The Commentary Idioms of the Tamil Learned Traditions. EFEO-IFP: collection indologie 141 – NETamil series 5, Pondichéry 2020, pp. 27-70.

Hugo David (EFEO Pondy)
Member of TST
hugo.david [at]

Hugo David is a researcher at the Pondicherry Centre of the École française d’Extrême-Orient, which he joined in 2015. His main area of research is the history of Indian philosophical systems and traditions of linguistic analysis, with a focus on Sanskrit grammar, poetics and Vedic exegesis. His doctoral thesis, submitted in 2012 at the École pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), consisted of a critical edition, French translation and study of the Śābdanirṇaya (“An Inquiry into Verbal Knowledge”) by the 10th-century Advaitin Prakāśātman. Before joining the EFEO, he was active at the University of Cambridge (2013-14) and at the Institute for the Intellectual and Cultural History of Asia in Vienna (2015). He is engaged in a study of chapters 26-30 of the Maṇimēkalai and related doxographical works (especially Nīlakēci and the commentary by Vāmana).


  • “Speaking of the Individual: Prakāśātma’s akhaṇḍārthavāda and the beginnings of a theory of language in Classical Advaita-Vedānta”; to be published in The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Philosophy of Language (in Press).
  • “Towards a Critical Editions of Śaṅkara’s ‘Longer’ Aitareyopaṇiṣadbhāṣya: A Preliminary Report Based on two Cambridge Manuscripts.” In: Indic Manuscript Culture through the Ages: Material, Textual and Historical Investigations. Cuneo, Daniele/Formigatti, Camillo/Vergiani, Vincenzo (eds.), Studies in Manuscript Cultures, de Gruyter, Berlin 2017, pp. 727-754.
  • “Les définitions de l’énoncé dans la tradition sanskrite: entre grammaire et exégèse”, Langages 205 (2017): 27-41.
  • “Une ontologie du commandement? Réflexions sur l’idée d’existence, l’impératif et l’objet du Veda”, ThéoRèmes 11 (2017); Open Access (
  • “Les origines du Vedānta comme tradition scolastique: état du problème, nouvelles hypothèses”, Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 102 (2016): 9-44 (published in April, 2017).
  • “Time, Action and Narration: on some Exegetical Sources of Abhinavagupta’s Aesthetic Theory”; Journal of Indian Philosophy 1 (2016): 125-144.
  • “Theories of Human Action in Early Medieval Brahmanism (600-1000): Activity, Speech and Desire”, Journal of Value Inquiry 49 (2015): 567-595.
  • “Action Theory and Scriptural Exegesis in Early Advaita-Vedānta (1): Maṇḍana Miśra on upadeśa and iṣṭasādhanatā”; p. 269-316 in Eltschinger, V. and Krasser, H. (eds). Scriptural Authority, Reason, and Action. Proceedings of a Panel at the 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Kyōto, September 1-5, 2009. Vienna: ÖAW-Verlag, 2013.
  • “A Contribution of Vedānta to the History of Mīmāṃsā. Prakāśātman’s interpretation of ‘verbal effectuation’ (śabdabhāvanā)”; p. 79-105 in Mirnig, N.; Szántó, P.-D. and Williams, M. (eds). Puṣpikā: Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions. Contributions to Current Research in Indology. 1. Oxford: Oxbow books, 2013.
  • “Nouvelles tendances dans l’étude de la Mīmāṃsā”; Bulletin de l’École française d’ExtrêmeOrient 99 (2012-2013): 395-408 (published in 2014).


Roland Ferenczi, M.A.
DAAD doctoral student
roland.ferenczi [at]

Roland Ferenczi studied history at the University of Pécs and Indology at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), and who is a PhD student of the Ancient History Doctoral Programme at the ELTE and a DAAD research fellow at the Asien-Afrika Institut of Hamburg Universität under the supervision of Prof. Dr. György Németh and co-supervision of Prof. Dr. Eva Wilden. His research interest focuses on the Old Tamil Caṅkam literature and the pre-modern trading system of the Indian Ocean, as well as the heroic puṟam poetry, the legitimacy and the mechanism of the ancient Tamil kingdoms and the transition between ancient kings’ cult and early medieval devotional poetry. The main intention of his PhD researches is to translate the Patiṟṟuppattu, the only existing anthology which was written exclusively for the early Cēra kings, to examine the political geography of the ancient Cēra kingdom and to introduce the South Indian background of the Indo-Roman trade from a Tamil-based, comparative perspective. His previous studies discussed the early Jewish settling attempts in South India, the Yavaṉa presence in the ancient Tamil kingdoms and the tantric rājarakṣā rite in the medieval Śaiva Siddhānta Dīptāgama and Sūkṣmāgama.


  • A Cēra király bőkezű ajándékai a Patiṟṟuppattu-ban, avagy miről ismerszik meg egy igazi hős? [The generous gifts of the Cēra kings in the Patiṟṟuppattu or how to identify a real hero?, in Hung.] In: Ittzés Máté (szerk.) Hamārī adhyāpikā: Tanulmányok Indiáról Négyesi Mária tiszteletére (Studies on India in the honour of Mária Négyesi). ELTE Eötvös Kiadó: Budapest. 2018.
  • Gods and Goddesses in the Tamil Caṅkam literature. [in Eng. & Hung.] In: Válóczi Róbert (szerk.) GODDESS|WOMAN: Devi Cults and Traditional Female Roles in India. Szépművészeti Múzeum: Budapest. 2018.
  • Parallel narratives on Muziris / Muciṟi: A comparative literary close-up of an ancient South Indian port. In: Dániel Bajnok (ed.) Alia Miscellanea Antiquitatum: Proceedings of the second Croatian-Hungarian PhD conference on ancient history and archaelogy. Budapest – Debrecen. 2017.
  • A Malabár-part kalózai az indo-római kereskedelem idején. [The pirates of the Malabar Coast at the time of Indo-Roman trade]. In: Keletkutatás, 2016. tavasz. Kőrösi Csoma Társaság: Budapest. 2016.

Dr. Marco Franceschini
(University of Bologna, Italy)

Member of TST
marco.franceschini3 [at]

Study of colophons in Grantha and Tamil manuscripts, with special reference to the interpretation of the dates (included the symbols used therein) and their conversion into the Gregorian calendar.

Marco Franceschini (b. 1965) did his PhD in Indological and Tibetan Studies (University of Turin, 2005), currently Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Sanskrit in the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna (Italy).

His main research interests lie in Vedic studies, in kāvya and Buddhist literatures and in South Indian palaeography, with special reference to the Grantha script in manuscripts. With respect to the last subject, he collaborated on the ‘Cambridge Manuscripts Project’ (2013-2014) by cataloguing all the manuscripts written in Grantha script held by the Cambridge University Library; he is also participating in the ‘Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa’ project (South Asia section), based at the University of Hamburg. He is currently preparing a book on the diachronic evolution and geographic differentiation of the Grantha script in manuscripts.

He is author of three books and nine articles.


  • “Certain Times in Uncertain Places: A Study on Scribal Colophons of Manuscripts Written in Tamil and Tamilian Grantha Scripts”. In Giovanni Ciotti and Hang Lin (eds.) Tracing Manuscripts in Time and Space through Paratexts. Studies in Manuscript Cultures 7, DeGruyter, Berlin 2016 (co-authored with Giovanni Ciotti, pp. 59-129.
  • Buddhaghoṣa. Padyacūḍāmaṇi. Il diadema dei versi. With new critical edition of the Sanskrit text and translation into Italian. Milano: Edizioni Ariele, 2010.
  • An Updated Vedic Concordance. Harvard Oriental Series 66 (2 volumes and CD), Cambridge (Mass.)-Milano: Harvard University Press and Mimesis Edizioni, 2007.

Dr. Emmanuel Francis (CNRS & EHESS, Paris)
Research Fellow for the Caṅkam group
manufrancis [at]

“The paratextual and metatextual fields of the Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai”

Besides the preparation of a critical edition of this devotional and literary text, perhaps composed in the 7th century of the Common Era, the project focusses also on the rich paratexts and the large number of metatexts (commentaries) accessible through the available manuscripts.

Emmanuel Francis holds degrees in classical philology, Asian history and philology, and a doctorate in languages and literatures from the Université catholique de Louvain, Emmanuel Francis is a historian, Sanskrit and Tamil scholar, epigrapher and manuscript specialist. Among his recent publications are “Tamil through Epigraphical Lenses” (Indo-Iranian Journal 58, 2015, pp. 49-69) and “Found in Paratexts: Murukaṉ’s Places in Manuscripts of the Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai” in The Archaeology of Bhakti II: Royal Bhakti, Local Bhakti (pp. 495-532) ed. by E. Francis & C. Schmid, Pondicherry: IFP & EFEO (“Indologie” series n° 132), forthcoming.


Dr. Dominic Goodall (EFEO Pondicherry/Paris)
Associated scholar
dominic.goodall [at]

“Evidence for the influence of the language and culture of the Tamil-speaking South on the Temple Āgamas of the Śaivasiddhānta”

A study on this theme could be extremely wide, taking into account syntax, typically South Indian deities and iconographies, and so forth. But the aim is to produce a small lexicon of distinctive vocabulary, in the form of an article, that groups together the following: Tamil terms that are used in Sanskrit, terms that appear clearly to be Sanskrit translations of what are typically Tamil expressions, and labels for distinctively South Indian cultural phenomena. Unlike earlier studies of Dravidian loanwords in Sanskrit (e.g. Burrow 1946, Levitt 2011, etc.), this endeavour is not exclusively etymological and will focus on one group of Sanskrit texts from a relatively narrow time period (twelfth to seventeenth centuries) that seem to have been produced by Tamil-speakers.

Dominic Goodall (b. 1967) studied Greek and Latin, then Sanskrit at Pembroke College, Oxford. He finished his PhD there in 1995, under the guidance of Professor Alexis Sanderson, with a critical edition of the opening chapters of Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s tenth-century commentary on the Kiraṇatantra. In 2000, he became a member of the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO, “French School of Asian Studies”). He became Head of the Pondicherry Centre of the EFEO in 2002, where he remained until April 2011 and was then posted in Paris from 2011 to 2015. He is currently a professor (directeur d’études) at the EFEO, co-editor with Dr. Marion Rastelli of the Viennese dictionary of tantric terminology, the Tāntrikābhidhānakośa, and a contributor to the Hamburg Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa (EMCAA)

Recent Books

  • (in collaboration with Csaba Dezső), Dāmodaraguptaviracitaṃ Kuṭṭanīmatam. The Bawd’s Counsel, being an eighth-century verse novel in Sanskrit by Dāmodaragupta. Newly edited and translated into English. Groningen Oriental Studies XXIII. Groningen, Egbert Forsten, 2012.
  • (in collaboration with Alex Watson and S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma), An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation. Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s Paramokṣanirāsakārikāvṛtti, a commentary on Sadyojyotiḥ’s refutation of twenty conceptions of the liberated state (mokṣa). Collection Indologie 122. Pondichéry, Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, 2013.
  • (in collaboration with Alexis Sanderson, Harunaga Isaacson and others): The Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā. The Earliest Surviving Śaiva Tantra, Volume 1, A Critical Edition & Annotated Translation of the Mūlasūtra, Uttarasūtra & Nayasūtra}, edited by Dominic Goodall, in collaboration with Alexis Sanderson & Harunaga Isaacson, with contributions of Nirajan Kafle, Diwakar Acharya & others. Collection Indologie 128 / Early Tantra Series 1 Pondicherry: IFP/EFEO/Asien-Afrika-Institut, University of Hamburg, 2015.


Ilona Kędzia, M.A.


Dr. Thomas Lehmann (SAI Heidelberg)
External member of the Caṅkam group
thomas.lehmann [at]

From 2014 to 2019 he was and external member of the NETamil group A: Caṅkam.

Current research: Critical edition, annotated English translation and glossary of the Aiṅkuṟunūṟu and its anonymous commentary


Dr. Indra Manuel (EFEO Pondy)
Senior Researcher, member of DHARMA and TST
manuel.indra [at]
  1. A critical edition, study and English translation of the Meyppāṭṭiyal of the Poruḷatikāram of the Tolkāppiyam together with the Commentary by Pērāciriyar.
  2. A critical edition, study and English translation of the Uvamaviyal of the Poruḷatikāram of the Tolkāppiyam together with the Commentary by Pērāciriyar.
  3. A Survey of the extant manuscripts of Poruḷatikāram of the Tolkāppiyam.
  4. A study of Pērāciriyar’s commentarial techniques and commentarial language.
  5. A Study of meyppāṭu in the Tamil grammars
  6. Preparation of comparative charts of the glosses of the two commentators, Iḷampūraṇar and Pērāciriyar on the sūtras of the Meyppāṭṭiyal.
  7. A survey of the concept of simile in the Tolkāppiyam and the later Tamil grammars.
  8. Rules of Tamil sandhi used in the commentary.
  9. Quotations used in the commentary
  10. Glossary of literary terms used in the Meyppāṭṭiyal and the Uvamaviyal.

Indra MANUEL (b. 1951) has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (1971), a Master’s degree in Tamil (1973) , a Bachelor’s degree (1974) and a Master’s degree in Education (1985) and a Ph.D in Tamil Literature (1985) from the University of Kerala, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.

She worked under Prof. V.I.Subramoniam in the Cognate Project for teaching Languages in the Department of linguistics (1975-1977), University of Kerala, India, was Principal Investigator in the Regional Centre of International School of Dravidian Languages, Pondicherry, India (1981), India and was Associate Professor in the Department of Tamil, Bishop Heber College (1985 to 2010), Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India.

She has done two projects in Tamil for the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, Chennai.

  1. Tradition and Innovation in Kalittokai (2010-2012) and
  2. The PuṟamLiterary Genre in the Classical Caṅkam Corpus (2013-2014).

From 2016 to 2019 she was a postdoc researcher in the NETamil group C Tolkāppiyam.

Current research: Tolkāppiyam, Caṅkam literature, Literary Theories and Short Stories. Theory of literature as gleaned from Tamil works on Poetics is her special area. Analysis of Sangam literature from a theoretical perspective is another area.

She has written four books and has published about 60 papers.


  • "Salient Features of a Grammatical Commentary in Tamil (With reference to Peraciriyar’s Commentary on Meyppāṭṭiyal of Tolkāppiyam). In: Anandakichenin, Suganya and Victor D'Avella (eds.). The Commentary Idioms of the Tamil Learned Traditions. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry/ École française d’Extrême-Orient, 2019.
  • Tolkāppiyam-Poruḷatikāram(English Translation with Critical Notes), International School of Dravidian Linguistics, Thumba 2010. (co author – Dr. L. Gloria Sundramathy)
  • Cevviyal āyvukkalaṅkal, Grace-Vedham Pathippakam, Tiruchirappalli 17, 2009, pp. 304+20.
  • Literary Theories in Tamil (with special reference to Tolkappiyam), Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, Pondicherry 1997.
  • Pālai Pāṭiya Peruṅkatuṅkō, Jayakumari Stores, Nagercoil Tamilnadu, 1973, pp.204+60.

Dr. Erin McCann (CSMC Hamburg)
Postdoc researcher at the Cluster of Excellence and member of TST
mccann.erin [at]

Erin McCann (b. 1975) studied at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal. She graduated with her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McGill University in 2016. During her years in the graduate program at McGill she regularly worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Katherine Young and as the Introductory and Intermediate Sanskrit instructor in the Faculty of Religious Studies from 2009 to 2015. From 2016 to 2019 she was a postdoc researcher in NETamil, D Vaiṣṇava group, since March 2109 she is a postdoc researcher in the Hamburg Cluster of Excellence.

Current research: Śrīvaiṣṇava Maṇipravāḷa literature, Socio-linguistics and Contact Languages in South India, the Nālāyira Tivya Pirapantam.


  • Linguistics and Textual Aspects of Multilingualism in South India. EFEO-IFP: collection indologie 144 – NETamil series 7, Pondichérry 2020(in print; co-edited with Giovanni Ciotti).
  • A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Śrīvacanabhūṣaṇam, EFEO-IFP: collection indologie – NETamil series, Pondichéry 2020 (forthcoming).
  • “A Note on the Rāmānuja Nūṟṟantāti”, in: Wilden, Eva and Anandakichenin, Suganya (eds) 2020(forthcoming): Colophons, Prefaces, Satellite Stanzas – Paratextual Elements and Their Role in the Transmission of South Indian Texts, Studies in Manuscript Cultures, de Gruyter, Berlin.

Dr. Cristina Muru (University of Tuscia, Italy)
Member of TST
cristina.muru [at]

Study of linguistic variation within missionary translations of Christin religious books and study of missionary grammars of Tamil with special reference to the transmission of their theoretical frameworks and ri-elaboration of Tamil descriptions among missionaries throughout the centuries.

Cristina Muru (b. 1978) did her PhD in Historical Linguistics (University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ 2009), currently Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Sociolinguistics in the Department of linguistic-literary, historical-philosophical, and juridical studies (DISTU) at the University of Tuscia (Italy). 

Her main research interests lie in Missionary Linguistics, in History of the Language Sciences, and in Contact Linguistics, with special reference to the contact between Portuguese and British and South India in the 16th and 17th centuries. She worked on the early missionary grammars of the Tamil language composed by Jesuit missionaries as well as on the British language policies during colonization of South India. She also investigated the linguistic outcomes derived from the contact in South India with the English language. Her actual study is twofold. She is currently preparing translations of two early missionary grammars and a survey of the main linguistic features characterizing the ‘Christian Tamil’ used among Jesuits. The aim is to trace the ‘making’ of Missionaries’ identities throughout the examination of evolving of translation practices along with the linguistic changes marking styles and registers adopted. She is also comparing the language used in translations with the language described in grammars.


  • A bilingual Tamil-Portuguese manuscript. In Aziatische Kunst 49: 35-44, 2019.
  • Early Descriptors and Descriptions of South Asian Languages from the 16th century onwards. In Journal of the Portuguese Linguistics 17: 1-29, 2018.
  • Mapping the spread of the English language in India. A linguistic ecology approach. In Language Ecology 2: 18-40, 2018.
  • La variazione linguistica nelle pratiche scrittorie dei Dragomanni. In C. Muru & M. Di Salvo (eds), Dragomanni, Sovrani e Mercanti. Pratiche linguistiche nelle relazioni politiche e commerciali nel Mediterraneo moderno. Pisa: ETS, pp. 147-201, 2016.
  • Shaping minds and cultures. The impact of missionary translations in Southern India. In K. Zimmermann, O. Zwartjes, M. Schraer-Kniffki (eds), Missionary Linguistics V / Lingüística Misionera V. translation theories and practices [SiHolS 122]. Amsterdam/Philadelfia: John Benjamins, pp. 203-230, 2014.
  • Missionari portoghesi in Indi nei secoli XVI e XVII: l’Arte della lingua tamil. Studio comparato di alcuni manoscritti. Viterbo: Sette Città, 2010.


Professor (em) K. Nachimuthu (EFEO Pondy)
Member of TST and SIVADHARMA
tamizhkina [at]

Krishnaswamy Nachimuthu (b. 1947). Joined the Pondy NETamil team in 2018 as a member of group C Tolkāppiyam. Professor and Head, Dept. of Tamil of the Central University of Tamilnadu, Thiruvarur (2013-2018). Professor of Tamil and former Chairperson, CIL, SLL & CS, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2007-2013), Prof. & Head, Dept. of Tamil (1973-2007), Kerala University, Dean, Faculty of Oriental Studies (2000-2002). Research Associate, Inst. of Indology, Cologne Univ., Germany, Visiting Prof. of Tamil, Warsaw Univ., Poland etc.) Until 2018 he worked as the Professor of Tamil and Head, Dept. Tamil of the Central University of Tamilnadu, Thiruvarur. He earlier worked as member of the faculty of the Department of Tamil University of Kerala from 1973-2007 in various capacities including Professor and Head of the Department Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and Member of the Senate and lateras Professor of Tamil and Chairperson, CIL, SLL & CS, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2007). He is the Tamil Convener, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. He specializes in traditional grammar, history of language, lexicography, historical and cultural studies, translation and comparative studies with reference to Malayalam Hindi and Tamil in addition to place name studies. He has published/edited 20 books in addition to more than one hundred and fifty research papers in Tamil English and Malayalam.

Current research: Critical Edition of Tolkāppiyam Collatikāram with Teyvaccilaiyar’s commentary


  • Karaiyer(r)unkaruththukkal, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore 2012.
  • Lakkaṇa Āraiyccikkaṭṭuraikaḷ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • Tolkāppiyakkaṭṭuraikaḷ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • Tamiḻ Tanta cānrōrkaḷ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • UlakamtetumTamiḻ, Nachimuthu Institute of Research For Language Culture, Coimbatore, 2007.
  • Kalveṭṭukaḷum Cuvaṭikaḷum, Sekar Pathippakam, Chennai, 2007.


Professor Dr. Leslie Orr (Concordia University)
External member of the Vaiṣṇava group
orr.leslie [at]

Leslie C. Orr joined the Department of Religions & Cultures at Concordia University in 1991. Her research interests include the religious and social history of medieval Tamil Nadu; women in pre-colonial South Asia; devadasis; temple architecture, iconography and epigraphy; the interaction of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam; the history of South Indian sectarian movements; and colonial/ missionary Indology. Her current research projects include "South Indian Inscriptions: Media, Messages, and Mobilizations" and a collaborative project on “The Navatirupatis and Vaishnava temple-networks in South India.” She is the author of the book Donors, Devotees and Daughters of God: Temple Women in Medieval Tamilnadu (NY: Oxford University Press, 2000), and co-editor with A. Luithle-Hardenberg and J. Cort of Co-operation, Contribution and Contestation: The Jaina community, British Rule and Occidental Scholarship from the 18th to early 20th century (Berlin: EB Verlag, 2020).

Recent publications include:

  • “Slavery and Dependency in Southern India,” in The Cambridge World History of Slavery, vol.2 (500-1420 CE), ed. Craig Perry, et. al. Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • “Biographies of South Indian Temple Inscriptions,” South Asian Studies 35/2 (2019) 193-205.
  • “The Bhakti of the Banas” (pp. 347-386) in Clio and Her Descendants: Essays for Kesavan Veluthat, ed. Manu V. Devadevan, New Delhi: Primus Publications, 2018.
  • “Chiefly Queens: Local Royal Women as Temple Patrons in the Late Chola Period” (pp. 385-421) in The Archaeology of Bhakti: Royal Bhakti, Local Bhakti, edited by Emmanuel Francis & Charlotte Schmid, Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry / Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, 2016.
  • “Words for Worship: Tamil and Sanskrit in Medieval Temple Inscriptions,” in Bilingual Discourse and Cross-cultural Fertilisation: Sanskrit and Tamil in Mediaeval India, ed. Whitney Cox and Vincenzo Vergiani (pp. 325-357).  Pondicherry: Ecole française d'extreme-orient, 2013.
  • “Renunciation and Celebration: Ascetics in the Temple Life of Medieval Tamil Nadu,” in Classical and Contemporary Issues in Indian Studies: Essays in Honour of Trichur S. Rukmani, ed. P. Pratap Kumar and Jonathan Duquette (pp. 306-325).  Delhi: D.K. Printworld, 2012.
  • “Vishnu’s Manifestations in the Tamil Country,” in Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior, ed. Joan M. Cummins (pp. 34-44). Mapin Publishing, 2011.


Dr. T. Rajarethinam (EFEO Pondy)
Researcher for SIVADHARMA and member of TST
rajarethinamtrasu [at]
rajarethinam0 [at]

Rajarethinam (b. 1974) did his bachelor's degree in Tamil, Vivekananda college, Agasteeswaram, Kanyakumari. He received his Master's degree, M.Phil Degree and Ph.D in Tamil from the Department of Tamil, University of Kerala, Trivandrum. Worked under Prof. VI.Subramoniam in the International School of Dravidian Linguistics (ISDL), Trivandrum as Project fellow for eight months. Worked under Dr.V.Jeyadevan, in the Lexicon Revision Project, University of Madras as Project fellow for four months. Worked in the Department of Tamil, PGP Arts and Science College from 2007 to 2012 as Lecturer. From 2014 to 2019 he was a researcher in NETamil, group C: Tolkāppiyam. Was nurtured under Dr(Mrs) Gloria Sundramathy, Prof. V. I. Subramaniam and Dr. K. Nachimuthu. Areas of research – Tolkāppiyam, Caṅkam literature, Literary Theories and Poetics.

Authored four books and published about 20 papers.

Current research: A Critical Edition of Tolkāppiyam Poruḷatikāram, Akattiṇaiyiyal with the Commentary of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar


  • Ilakkaṇak kaṭṭuraikaḷ, Kavvya, Ceṉṉai 2014.
  • Akapporuḷ viḷakkam, Kavvya, Ceṉṉai 2014.
  • Peruntalaivar kāmarājariṉ makkaḷ paṇiyum mēlāṇmaiyum, IITS, Ceṉṉai 2012.
  • Citampara antāti kataippāṭal. Nām tamiḻar patippakam, Ceṉṉai 5. 2005.

Dr. (Miss) T.Rajeswari (EFEO Pondy)
Senior Researcher for the Caṅkam project and member of TST
tvrajeswari7 [at]

T.Rajeswari (b. 1946) got her Bachelor's degree in Zoology in S.T.Hindu College, Nāgercoil. Did Master's degree in Tamil, Ph.D, and Post Doctoral Research in Tamil in the Department of Tamil, University of Kerala, Tiruvanantapuram.

Ph.D Topic: Edition and Critical Study of Bhāratha Māvintham. Post Doctoral Research Topic: Technical Terms in Vīracōḻiyam Yāppuppaṭalam. Got Bachelor's degree in Education through Maturai Kamaraj University, and Master's degree in Education through Annamalai university, Citambaram. PG Diploma in Manuscriptology, I.I.T.S., Adayar, Chennai-113. PG Diploma in Higher Education, IGNOU, Chennai-113. Worked as a Research Assistant in the project “Dictionary of Idioms and Phrases in Contemporary Tamil” under Prof. (Dr.) P.R.Subramoniam, Chief editor in Mozhi Trust at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai.

Since 2003, she has been a senior researcher for the Caṅkam project at the EFEO Pondy; from 2014 to 2019 she was a postdoc researcher in the NETamil group A: Caṅkam.

Current research: word index of Kalittokai with word meanings in Tamil and English along with a morphological analysis and a critical edition of the Patiṟṟuppattu.


  • The Perunkuṟiñci (Kuṟiñcippāṭṭu) A Critical Edition of the Text, with the commentary of Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar, EFEO-IFP: Collection Indologie 142 – NETamil series 6 – Critical Texts of Caṅkam Literature – 5, Pondicherry 2019.
  • Kalittokai with Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar’s commentary. Critical Edition and Glossary. 2 volumes, EFEO/Tamilmann Patippakam, Critical Texts of Caṅkam Literature 3.1-3.2, Ceṉṉai.
  • Edition of Kācivicuvanāta Cathakam, I.I.T.S. Adayar, 1999.


(Mr) SLP Anjaneya Sarma (EFEO Pondicherry)
Consultant for the Tolkāppiyam group
slpasarma [at]

After receiving a traditional education under his father and paternal uncle, S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma took MA and PhD degrees in Sanskrit poetry and grammar from Andhra University in Vishakhapatnam. From 1972 to 1987 he was Assistant Professor at Matrushri Oriental College in Andhra Pradesh and since 1987 he has been working at the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) in Pondicherry. Apart from numerous articles, he has authored two monographs in the field of Sanskrit grammar: “Guruprasādapariśīlanam” (Study of the Guruprasāda, a commentary on Laghuśabdenduśekhara) and “Ṇeraṇau-sūtra-vyākhyānāni” (Commentaries on the Aṣṭādhyāyī 1.3.67). He has also co-authored “Bhaṭṭojī Dīkṣita on the Gajasūtra” (with François Grimal and Luthor Obrock) and “An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation: Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s Paramokṣanirāsakārikāvṛtti” (with Alex Watson and Dominic Goodall).

Dr. S. A. S. Sarma (EFEO Pondy)
Research Fellow for the Vaiṣṇava group
sassarma [at]

“Survey of Tamil manuscript Catalogues”

This project will aim to survey, collect and digitize the Tamil manuscript catalogues (printed as well as handwritten) and hand lists (in the case of private collections).

“Survey of Vaiṣṇava manuscripts”
This project will aim to survey the manuscripts of Divyaprabandham (nālāyira tivviyapirapantam) and its commentaries.

“Divyadeśams of Kerala”
This project will aim to study the thirteen Divyadeśams of Malai Nadu / Kerala.

S.A.S. Sarma (b. 1965) after his post-graduation course joined the Adyar Library and Research Centre as a research scholar where he worked under Prof. K. Kunjunni Raja and Prof. K. V. Sarma on various indological projects. While at the Adyar Library he began work on his Ph.D at the University of Calicut under the guidance of Prof. N. V. P. Unithiri and produced a critical edition of Kapilasmṛti, which he submitted as a doctoral thesis in 1991 and subsequently published with Cesmeo. (Torino, Italy, 2007).

S. A. S. Sarma joined the Pondicherry Centre of the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) as a researcher in 1989. His interest in Tamil Bhakti literature led to his working with Jean-Luc Chevillard for several years on the Digital Tevaram project (published in the form of a DR-Rom in 2007).

Authored eleven books and published about 20 papers.


  • (with N. V. P. Unithiri and H. N. Bhat) The Bhatimandākinī: An elaborate commentary by Purnasarasvati on the Viṣṇupādādikeśastotra. Critical Edition with English Translation and Notes, Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 118), Pondicherry 2011.
  • (with K. V. Sarma), Saṃvarta Tradition: Saṃvarta-Smṛti and Saṃvarta-Dharmaśāstra, Critically edited with English Translation, Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum, CESMEO (Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum Volume III), Torino (Italy) 2002.
  • (with Dominic Goodall et alii), The Pañcāvaraṇastava of Aghoraśiva: a twelfth-century south indian prescription for the visualisation of Sadāśiva and his retinue, An annotated critical edition. Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 102), Pondicherry 2005.
  • (with Jean-Luc Chevillard) Digital Tēvāram, with the complete English gloss of the late V. M. Subramanya Ayyar (IFP) and furnished with a full concordance of the Tamil text accompanied by 6 hours of MP3 audio recordings (illustrating all the 24 pan-s) various maps (showing all the 274 talam-s) and other related material. Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 103), Pondicherry 2007.

For a detailed Bibliography of works of S. A. S. Sarma see:

Dr. R. Sathyanarayanan (EFEO Pondy)
Research Fellow for the Vaiṣṇava and codicology group
rsatreya [at]

Cataloguing the palm-leaf manuscript collection of EFEO Pondicherry and supporting the editorial work of Tamil scholars utilising tamil and grantha manuscripts. Also teaching Sanskrit texts.

Sathyanarayanan obtained his doctoral degree (on Ānandaraṅgacampū – A study and Translation) from Pondicherry University in 2003. He joined the EFO in 1989 and was involved in a project that produced an edition of “Pondicherry Inscriptions” and helped catalogue the collection of palm-leaf manuscripts housed at the Institut Français de Pondichéry (IFP), which was recognised as a Unesco “Memory of the World Collection” in 2005. Currently, Dr. Sathyanarayanan is preparing a critical edition and translation of the Siddhāntadīpikā, an eleventh-century monograph of Rāmanātha. This text summarises the key components of Śaiva Siddhānta doctrine, including a description of the ontological categories and reality levels (tattva) that comprise the metaphysical framework of this tradition. He is also engaged in several other projects of the centre, including a critical edition of the Ratnatrayaparīkṣā in collaboration with Dr. T. Ganesan (IFP); this Kashmiri Saiddhantika text elucidates a central triad of categories found in Śaiva Siddhānta tradition.


  • (in collaboration with Dominic Goodall, Nibedita Rout, S.A.S. Sarma, T. Ganesan, S. Sambandhasivacarya), The Pañcāvaraṇastava of Aghoraśivācārya: A twelfth-century South Indian prescription for the visualisation of Sadāśiva and his retinue, Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indologie 102) , Pondichéry 2005.
  • (with S.A.S Sarma) Dhyānaratnāvalī of Trilocanaśivācārya, Srikantha Sivacharya Research Institute (SSSRI Series 004), Karaikkal 2013.
  • (with Dominic Goodall) Śaiva Rites of Expiation, A First Edition and Translation of Trilocanaśiva’s Twelfth-Century Prāyaścittasamuccaya (with a transcription of a manuscript transmitting Hṛdayaśiva’s Prāyaścittasamuccaya) , Institut français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (Collection Indology 127), Pondicherry 2014.

For a detailed Bibliography of works of R. Sathyanarayanan see:


Margherita Trento, M.A.


Professor (em.) Dr. G.Vijayavenugopal
(EFEO Pondy)

Senior Researcher for the Caṅkam project and member of TST and DHARMA
gvvg [at]
gvvgopal14 [at]

G. Vijayavenugopal (b. 1935) was educated in Annamalai University – M.A. (Tamil language & Literature (1961), M.Litt. (1963), Ph.D. (!975), Diploma in Linguistics (1963), Diploma in Telugu (1965), Diploma in Epigraphy and Archaeology (1975). After teaching at the Annamalai University (1965-68) he joined the Madurai University (1968) and held positions like Professor of Comparative Literature , Professor of Art History and Aesthetics, Special Officer for Planning and Development, Founder – Principal of Madurai Kamaraj University College, Director, Evening College. He taught at the College of Wooster, Ohio, USA (1971) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA (1977-79). After retiring from Madurai Kamaraj University he joined the Centre of Pondicherry of the Ecole française d’Extrême Orient in 1997. His present areas of specialisation are Epigraphy and Tamil linguistics. From 2014 to 2019 he was a member of the NETamil group A: Caṅkam.

Current research: A critical edition of the Puṟanāṉūṟu.


  • Pondicherry Inscriptions – Part I+II, Introduction and Texts with Notes (Compiled by Bahour S.Kuppusamy), English Translation of Part I with Glossary and Appendices. Edited by G.Vijayavenugopal, Institut Francais de Pondicherry, Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient, Collection Indologie 83.1+83.2, Pondicherry, 2006 + 2010.
  • Intiya Ilakkiya-k-kotpatukal – Part I , Thamarai Publications, Madurai, 1984.
  • Nominal Composition in Tamil, Madurai Kamaraj University, 1979.
  • A Modern Evaluation of Nannul, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar, 1968.


Professor Dr. Eva Wilden (CSMC/AAI)
wilden.eva [at]

Eva Wilden (b. 1965) studied Indology and Philosophy at the University of Hamburg, where she took a doctorate on Vedic ritual and afterwards specialised in Classical Tamil under the guidance of S.A. Srinivasan. Her habilitation Literary Techniques in Old Tamil Caṅkam Poetry: The Kuṟuntokai was published in 2006. From 2003-2017 she was employed as a researcher at the École Française d'Extrême-Orient in Pondicherry, which for a number of years gave her the occasion to study daily with the late lamented T.V. Gopal Iyer. She is head of the Caṅkam Project, occupied with the digitisation and edition of Classical Tamil manuscripts ( and organiser of a yearly Classical Tamil Summer Seminar in Pondy. From 2014 to 2019 she was PI of the ERC Advanced grant NETamil. Since 2017 she fis a professor of Classical Tamil and Manuscript Studies at Universität Hamburg and a member of the Cluster of Excellence Understanding Written Artefacts the Hamburg Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures.

Current research: Coordination of the Caṅkam group and the Caṅkam glossary; critical edition with annotated English translation of Akanāṉūṟu Maṇimiṭai­pavaḷam and translation of the works of Nammāḻvār.

Book publications

  • A Grammar of Old Tamil for Students. EFEO-IFP: collection indologie 137, NETamil series 3, Pondicherry 2018.
  • A Critical Edition and an Annotated Translation with Glossary of the Akanāṉūṟu; Volume 1-3 – Kaḷiṟṟiyāṉainirai. EFEO-IFP: collection indologie 134.1-3 – NETamil series 1.1-3 – Critical Texts of Caṅkam Literature – 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, Pondicherry 2018.
  • Manuscript, Print and Memory: Relics of the Caṅkam in Tamilnadu. Studies in Manuscript Cultures 3, de Gruyter, Berlin 2014.
  • Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Kuṟuntokai + Glossary and Statistics. 3 volumes, EFEO/Tamilmann Patippakam, Critical Texts of Caṅkam Literature1-2.3, Chennai 2010.
  • (Ed.) Between Preservation and Recreation: Tamil Traditions of Commentary, Proceeding of a Workshop in Honour of T.V. Gopal Iyer, IFP-EFEO, Collection Indologie 109, Pondichéry 2009.
  • Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Naṟṟiṇai + Glossary. 3 volumes, EFEO/Tamilmann Patippakam, Critical Texts of Caṅkam Literature1-1.3, Chennai 2008.


Professor (em.) Dr. Katherine Young
(McGill University)

External Member of the Vaiṣṇava group
katherine.young [at]

PhD (McGill University 1978; history of religions; thesis: Beloved Places (ukantāruḷia- nilaṅkaḷ): The Correlation of Topography and Theology in the Śrīvaiṣṇava Tradition of South India”);  Special Student (Harvard University; Center for the Study of World Religions, 1973-1974; Sanskrit; Indian Philosophy); MA (University of Chicago 1970; history of religions; Hinduism); College Year in India Program (University of Wisconsin 1965-1966; Osmania University); BA (University of Vermont 1966; philosophy and religion). Academic positions: McGill University (Montreal Canada); lecturer to full professor (1972-2011); James McGill Professor 2001-2015; now Professor Emeritus and Associate Fellow, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria (Victoria, Canada).  Research areas: besides topics in Hinduism and Comparative Studies, the history of Śrīvaiṣṇavism with special reference to the interaction of religious, spatial and social histories.  Recent book project: 1) Turbulent Transformations: Non-Brahmin Śrīvaiṣṇavas on Religion, Caste and Politics in Tamil Nadu (forthcoming Orient Blackswan 2020).  2) Nāthamuni’s Divya-prabandham and Tangled Tales: A New Approach to Śrīvaiṣṇava History (manuscript complete).  Current project: “Forging, Sustaining and Contesting Śrīvaiṣṇava Identities:  The Role of Musical Tropes with Special Reference to Tiruppāṇ Āḻvār.”

Selected publications

  • Forthcoming. Katherine K. Young, “Who is the Āḻvārs’ Supreme God?”
  • 2014. “Śrīvaiṣṇava Topoi: Constructing a South Indian Sect through Place,” Mapping the Chronology of Bhakti: Milestones, Stepping Stones, and Stumbling Stones. ed. Valerie Gillet. Publications de Ecole francaise d’Extreme Orient
  • 2009. “Fate Hangs on a Particle: The Hermeneutics of Bhagavadgītā 9:32”. Journal of Hinduism (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • 2002. “Oṃ, the Vedas, and the Status of Women with Special Reference to Śrīvaiṣṇavism.” Jewels of Authority: Women and Textual Tradition in Hindu India. Ed. Laurie L. Patton. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 84-121
  • 2006. “Brāhmaṇas, Pāñcarātrins, and the Formation of Śrīvaiṣṇavism.” Studies in Hinduism, Vol. 4. Ed. Marion Rastelli. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Science Press. 197-261
  • 1995. “Theology Does Help Women's Liberation: Śrīvaiṣṇavism, a Case Study,” Journal of Vaiṣṇava Studies4 (Fall): 173-198
  • 1994. With Alaka Hejib. “Etymology as a Bridge Between Text and Sectarian Context: A Case Study of Parāśarabhaṭṭar's Commentary on Śrīviṣṇusahasranāma.” Hermeneutical Paths to the Sacred Worlds of India. Ed. Katherine K. Young. Atlanta: Scholar's Press. 222-230
  • 1993. “The Meeting of Two Great Traditions: Migration into Tamil Nadu (500-900 C.E.).” Ethnicity, Identity, Migration: The South Asian Context. Eds. Milton Israel and N.K. Wagle. University of Toronto: Centre for South Asian Studies. 87-104
  • 1983. “Dying for bhukti and mukti: The Śrīvaiṣṇava Theology of Liberation as a Triumph Over Death.” Studies in Religion (Sciences Religieuses)4 (Fall): 389-96.