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Maternity cover for blog admin

July 20, 2015

Would anyone who is currently a member of this network be able/willing to look after and keep this blog updated during the 2015/16 academic year while I (Demelza) am on maternity leave?

This is not a big task. It would simply involve having your institutional email address available on the site so that members can email you with any news, publications etc. they would like published to the network. You would then post this info on the blog (I can give you admin rights). If you have not used WordPress before it is very straightforward and intuitive – you simply type into a box.

If you are interested, please email me before the 31st July at

Thank you!

Recent publications

June 22, 2015

The following recently published articles may be of interest to network members:

Beiser, M., Goodwill, A. M., Albanese, P., McShane, K., & Kanthasamy, P. (2015). Predictors of the integration of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Canada: pre-migration adversity, mental health, personal attributes, and post-migration experience. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 11(1), 29-44.

Jones, D. (2015). Being Tamil, being Hindu: Tamil migrants’ negotiations of the absence of Tamil Hindu spaces in the West Midlands and South West of England. Religion, (ahead-of-print), 1-22.

Labelle, A. (2015) Mobilisation diasporique sur le cyberespace: une approche ‘transnationale’. Table des matières, 40. (in French)

O’Neill, T. (2015). In the path of heroes: second-generation Tamil-Canadians after the LTTE. Identities, 22(1), 124-139.

Somalingam, T. (2015). “Doing-ethnicity”–Tamil educational organizations as socio-cultural and political actors. Transnational Social Review, (ahead-of-print), 1-13.

Walton, O. (2015). Framing disputes and organizational legitimation: UK-based Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups’ use of the ‘genocide’frame since 2009.Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(6), 959-975.

New chapter on Tamil diaspora(s) in Britain by Demelza Jones

April 20, 2015

I have recently published a new chapter drawing on my doctoral research with Tamil migrants in Britain.

The chapter –  ‘Identifications with an ‘aesthetic’ and ‘moral’ diaspora amongst Tamils of diverse state origins in Britain’’ – employs Pnina Werbner’s notion of diasporas as moral communities of suffering and co-responsibility, as well as aesthetic communities of shared transnational consumption of culture and performance of ritual, and relates this to the case of Tamil migrants of diverse state origins in Britain. Sri Lankan Tamil migrants I interviewed towards my research imagine membership of a Tamil diaspora as based on personal (or familial) experiences of suffering in the Sri Lankan civil war, which acts both to create bonds with other Sri Lankan Tamils, and to distinguish from Tamils of other state origins (Indian, Singaporean etc.) despite cultural commonalities (Werbner’s aesthetic diaspora). Conversely, many of the non-Sri Lankan Tamil migrants I interviewed imagined these boundaries in more flexible terms, and claimed membership of the ‘community of suffering’ in ways which did not necessitate personal experience, but rather privileged symbolic constructions of the ethnic community, and an interpretation of historical and current events in India, Sri Lanka (and other sites of Tamil population) as components of a single narrative of Tamil victimhood.

The chapter appears in Dismantling Diasporas: Rethinking the Geographies of Diasporic Identity, Connection and Development, edited by Elizabeth Mavroudi and Anastasia Christou and published by Ashgate.


The Puducherry Institute of Linguistics & Culture (PILC) Tamil Summer School 2015

February 18, 2015

Applications are now open for the annual Tamil Summer School to be held at PILC in Puducherry, South India from 27 July – 5 September 2015.

The summer school’s focus is on spoken, rather than classical Tamil, and it is aimed at students and researchers aiming to conduct fieldwork among Tamil speaking populations. The course is offered at basic and intermediate levels. Further information can be found in the attached documents.



New book (in Italian) edited by network member Giuseppe Burgio – ‘Oltre la nazione’ [Beyond the Nation]

September 8, 2014


Why does nationalism still seem widespread in a globalized world? How does nationalism interact with gender policies? Can we still call “migration” a phenomenon like the diasporas that are transforming our society? How can we talk about interculturalism in the presence of international terrorism?

The volume edited by Giuseppe Burgio tries to answer these questions focusing on the case of the Tamils of Sri Lanka, analyzing the complex relationship between terms that seem antithetical (identity, nationalism, differences, interculturality) and framing explicitly the link between nationalism, difference and violence.

The transformations of migratory movements force us to reconsider the old theoretical model based on the couplet emigration-immigration: in fact, today the transnational migrants develop identities within complex networks that connect them to two or more societies at the same time. As a result Interculturality is no longer a relationship with two, but with three poles: the country of origin, the country of destination, the diaspora. So the Tamil diaspora can be considered paradigmatic of a broader discussion and it questions us about the processes of integration and transformation of our Western societies.

Contributions of Clelia Bartoli, Giuseppe Burgio, Jude Lal Fernando, Thanushan Kugathasan, Cristiana Natali, Ambra Pirri, Sebastiampillai Dunstan Rajakumar, Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo.

New book by Martin Baumann and Andreas Tunger-Zanetti on the Sri Manonmani Ampal temple in Trimbach, Switzerland

September 1, 2014

Network member Martin Baumann and his colleague Andreas Tunger-Zanetti have published a book about the first purpose-built Hindu temple in Switzerland, the Sri Manonmani Ampal temple in Trimbach. The book (in German) describes the planning and construction processes, provides a detailed presentation of the various gods and shrines (including professional pictures), and sets this temple in the context of Tamil Hindus in Switzerland and Europe.

Further information can be found here.


New network member – Hildegunn Valen Kleive

August 29, 2014

Hildegunn Valen Kleivea is a PhD candidate at Volda University College, Norway. Hildegunn’s research explores forms of spirituality among young Tamils in the North West of Norway, and focuses on migrant religions outside the bigger cities as well as the everyday life dimension of religiosity.  The research is qualitative, employing questionaires, in-depth interviews and photo-elicitation.