Studies & Degrees in Tamil Literature & Culture

Choose where you would like to study Tamil Literature & Culture:

IndiaThe United States

The Tamil language is spoken by over 74 million people around the world. It is the official language of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as well as an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore. Besides, there are significant communities of Tamil speakers in Malaysia, Mauritius, and South Africa, as well as groups of more recent Tamil speaking emigrants - refugees from the Sri Lankan civil war, as well as economic migrants such as engineering, IT, medical professionals and academics - living in Canada (especially Toronto), Australia, the USA and most western European countries. Tamil literature has a rich and long literary tradition, spanning more than two thousand years.

The study of Tamil Literature and Culture involves the exploration of subjects like Tamil Literary Tradition, Tamil Grammatical Tradition, Cultural History of Tamils, Cultural Geography of Tamil Nadu, Creative Writing in Tamil, Twentieth Century Tamil Poetry, and other similar areas.

Personal Qualities

Genuine interest in Tamil literature and culture is a compulsory prerequisite for such a course. Other, more general skills you may need include:

  • Excellent reading and research skills
  • Good analytical skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Aptitude for humanities (history, literature, etc.)

Study Options

Tamil Literature and Culture is a course mostly offered at the master’s level, but is also available as a bachelor’s degree at given universities. You can look for this degree in the South Asia departments at institutions as well as within Language and Literature departments and similar. Usual prerequisites for the program are humanities subjects and at least one other foreign language. The study of Tamil Literature and Culture would give you unique access to the Tamil cultural heritage, which will help you gain a better understanding of the region today. Therefore, what is important to look for when choosing the right institution is the library resources they have available and the research carried out in the area of Tamil language and literature.

Career Options

As there is no sovereign and independent Tamil State, the study of Tamil Literature and Culture could mostly lead to finding a job in academia – doing further research on texts or teaching the subject to others. On the other hand, however, you would be equipped with some crucial transferable skills and you would have gained awareness of a specific culture and region, which could be helpful in many professions – in business, government, etc.