Sources for a Queer Tamil History


Notions and representations of homosexuality are believed to be largely absent from the literary and artistic output of the Tamil-speaking peoples prior to modern times. Is same-sex love absent in the pre-modern Tamil cultural corpus or has it been sidelined and silenced?
This talk will offer an introduction to pre-1900 CE literary and iconographic sources available for a ‘Queer Tamil History’ and highlight future avenues of research for a field which has yielded little if no serious academic discussion.

Dr. Sureshkumar Muthukumaran (UCL) is a historian of the ancient Old World. His recent PhD thesis explored ecological and agricultural exchanges between the Middle East, the Mediterranean and South Asia in antiquity. Apart from environmental history, he is also broadly interested in the linguistic, cultural and social history of pre-modern South Asia.

You can access the slides from the talk here: queer-tamil-history.