November 1, 2019
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Maclean Hunter Room
120 St. George Street
Professor François Gros, who retired as the Director of the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient, Pondicherry, India is one of the leading doyens of Tamil Studies worldwide. In the course of what might be described as a 19th-century scholarly career which moved from anthropology to the study of Southeast Asia and then South Asia he amassed an extraordinary collection of rare works on South India and its reception in France. The core of his library, housed originally at the Rue François Gros in Lyon, France is an irreplaceable collection of rare works in Tamil, consisting of dictionaries, religious works, fiction, ethnographic accounts, the catalogues of private collections etc. In 2017 he generously donated this core collection of about 9000 works to the University of Toronto, where it is currently being catalogued and digitized in a project jointly headed by Lana Soglasnova and Srilata Raman. In this seminar we hope to share some of the treasures of this collection with you.
The presenters of this collection will include:
Srilata Raman, Associate Professor of Hinduism, Department of Religion, University of Toronto. Srilata works on Tamil religion, and particularly its intellectual history between the 11-14th and 17th-19th centuries, respectively.
Prakash Venkatesan, Senior Research Fellow, French Institute, Pondicherry. Prakash specializes in Classical Tamil literature. He did the preliminary cataloguing of the Gros Collection for the University of Toronto.
Muthukrishnan Kannan, Director of the Contemporary Tamil Studies Programme at the French Institute, Pondicherry. He is a close associate of Professor Gros and an expert on the collection.
This event is co-sponsored by the Book History and Print Culture program.