Tamil Geographies: Cultural Constructions of Space and Place in South India

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This interdisciplinary work explores how people in the Tamil region of India think about space and land, and how this, in turn, influences the creation of the social and aesthetic world they live in. Contributors focus on the notion of geography in its strictest sense, on verbal descriptions of land and space and how these descriptions build and inform diverse social and aesthetic realities. The essays examine “texts” drawn from a range of time periods and a variety of sources in Tamil culture, including imaginative literature, historical events and narratives, religious rituals, and daily life in contemporary Tamil Nadu. The book clearly demonstrates the ways in which early Tamil aesthetic and linguistic paradigms have survived to the present as living, vital expressions through which contemporary boundaries and social identities are shaped and constructed.
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About the author

Martha Ann Selby is Associate Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the translator and editor of Grow Long, Blessed Night: Love Poems from Classical India.

Indira Viswanathan Peterson is David B. Truman Professor of Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College and author of Design and Rhetoric in a Sanskrit Court Epic: The Kiraμtaμrjuniμya of Bhaμravi, also published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
May 22, 2008
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780791472453
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Human Geography
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Indira Viswanathan Peterson
Composed by three poet-saints between the sixth and eighth centuries A.D., the Tevaram hymns are the primary scripture of the Tamil Saivism, one of the first popular large-scale devotional movements within Hinduism. Indira Peterson eloquently renders into English a substantial portion of these hymns, which provide vivid and moving portraits of the images, myths, rites, and adoration of Siva and which continue to be loved and sung by the millions of followers of the Tamil Saiva tradition. Her introduction and annotations illuminate the work's literary, religious, and cultural contexts, making this anthology a rich sourcebook for the study of South Indian popular religion.

Indira Peterson highlights the Tevaram as a seminal text in Tamil cultural history, a synthesis of pan-Indian and Tamil civilization, as well as a distinctly Tamil expression of the love of song, sacred landscape, and ceremonial religion. Her discussion of this work draws on her pioneering research into the performance of the hymns and their relation to the art and ritual of the South Indian temple.

Originally published in 1989.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Indira Viswanathan Peterson
Colin Woodard
Indira Viswanathan Peterson
Composed by three poet-saints between the sixth and eighth centuries A.D., the Tevaram hymns are the primary scripture of the Tamil Saivism, one of the first popular large-scale devotional movements within Hinduism. Indira Peterson eloquently renders into English a substantial portion of these hymns, which provide vivid and moving portraits of the images, myths, rites, and adoration of Siva and which continue to be loved and sung by the millions of followers of the Tamil Saiva tradition. Her introduction and annotations illuminate the work's literary, religious, and cultural contexts, making this anthology a rich sourcebook for the study of South Indian popular religion.

Indira Peterson highlights the Tevaram as a seminal text in Tamil cultural history, a synthesis of pan-Indian and Tamil civilization, as well as a distinctly Tamil expression of the love of song, sacred landscape, and ceremonial religion. Her discussion of this work draws on her pioneering research into the performance of the hymns and their relation to the art and ritual of the South Indian temple.

Originally published in 1989.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Martha Ann Selby
 How perceptions of land and space influence social and aesthetic conditions in the Tamil region of India.This interdisciplinary work explores how people in the Tamil region of India think about space and land, and how this, in turn, influences the creation of the social and aesthetic world they live in. Contributors focus on the notion of geography in its strictest sense, on verbal descriptions of land and space and how these descriptions build and inform diverse social and aesthetic realities. The essays examine “texts” drawn from a range of time periods and a variety of sources in Tamil culture, including imaginative literature, historical events and narratives, religious rituals, and daily life in contemporary Tamil Nadu. The book clearly demonstrates the ways in which early Tamil aesthetic and linguistic paradigms have survived to the present as living, vital expressions through which contemporary boundaries and social identities are shaped and constructed.

“…a wonderfully coherent volume that enables an exploration of continuities and disjuncture over time in the Tamil interdigitation of space, personhood, and emotion.” — Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“…a fascinating collection of essays.” — Journal of Oriental Research

“A valuable collection of essays.” — Religious Studies Review

“This excellent book represents an important contribution to the cultural constructions of space. Through a series of reflections on ways in which people of Tamil Nadu have conceptualized and created and enacted space, over a long period of roughly two millennia, the volume offers a vivid longitudinal portrait based in one particular cultural region.” — Richard H. Davis, Bard College

“This is a fascinating collection on conceptions of space in Tamil culture treated from quite varying perspectives. The essays cohere wonderfully, and the reader emerges with a sense of the vibrant reality of this category and of its fluid nature. I found many intriguing and unexpected ideas throughout.” — George L. Hart, University of California at Berkeley 

Contributors include Daud Ali, Isabelle Clark-Decès, Norman J. Cutler, Sara Dickey, D. Dennis Hudson, Diane P. Mines, Samuel K. Parker, Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Susan Seizer, and Martha Ann Selby.
Indira Viswanathan Peterson
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