With Malaysian Tamil hip hop artists Dr. Burn, Yogi B. and Emcee Jesz
Office: Foster Hall 203
Phone: (773) 834-2788
Fax: (773) 834-3254
Sascha Ebeling was trained in South Asian Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures, and General Linguistics at the University of Cologne, Germany, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Before joining the University of Chicago in 2005, he taught Tamil literature and South Asian Studies at the University of Cologne and also worked for the Göttingen Academy of Sciences as a Tamil manuscriptologist in the project "Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections" (Katalogisierung der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, KOHD).
His book Colonizing the Realm of Words: The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India was published by SUNY Press in 2010. Currently, he is working on two book projects: a history of the present moment in contemporary Tamil writing, mapping the genealogies of contemporary Tamil literary production from a global perspective; and a monograph with the working title The Imperial Rise of the Novel, which will address the connections between Western imperialism, Asian modernities and the global history of the novel, discussing a wide range of texts from Europe and Asia (India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia).
Professor Ebeling is also the recipient of the 2007 Forschungspreis (Research Award) of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society) for his work on nineteenth-century Tamil literature, and of the 2008 Whiting Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Core teaching at the University of Chicago. In July 2010 he was honored with the award for Outstanding Achievement in Tamil Studies by the Tamil Literary Garden, Toronto. A part of his acceptance speech (in Tamil) was published by the Canadian Tamil newspaper தாய்வீடு Taay veedu. For a pdf of the article, click here.
Ph.D. University of Cologne
Tamil language and literature
Tamil language and literature of all periods, in particular nineteenth-century literary culture, Tamil epigraphy, Tamil cinema, South Indian cultures, religion in Angkorean Cambodia, comparative literary studies.
Regional interests: South India, esp. Tamilnadu and Kerala, Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore).
- Since 2000, project director of the Digital Archive of South Indian Inscriptions (DASI), a project to develop a comprehensive digital corpus of South Indian inscriptions in collaboration with the Universität zu Köln, Germany, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden, and the École Française d'Extrême Orient (Pondicherry, India). For further details, see the paper “The Digital Archive of South Indian Inscriptions (DASI) — A First Report.”
- “Nineteenth-Century Tamil Literature”: A monograph-length survey of nineteenth-century Tamil literature will be published in 2010 as Colonizing the Realm of Words: The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India. A lexicon of works and authors is currently under preparation.
- “The History of Tamil Poetics”: A series of workshops (organized with Eva Wilden, EFEO, India, and Thomas Lehmann, Heidelberg University) to examine Tamil poetological traditions. Project members are currently compiling critical editions and annotated translations of the Tamil primary sources. The first publication, “A Preliminary Annotated Translation of Kalaviyal alias Iraiyanar Akapporul,” will be published in 2010.
- “Religions of Indian Origin in Angkor-Period Cambodia”: This project seeks to re-assess the cultural history of the transformations that Saivism, Vaishnavism and Buddhism underwent in medieval Cambodia. See the paper “Siva, Visnu, Buddha: Religion und Staat im Kambodscha der Angkor-Periode (9.–14. Jh.)”.
Advanced Tamil, Introduction to the History of Tamil Literature, Nineteenth-Century Tamil Literature, Readings in World Literature, Masterpieces of European Poetry, Reading the Middle Ages: Europe and Asia.
- Colonizing the Realm of Words: The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India. Albany: State University of New York Press, to appear in 2010.
- (with Jean-Luc Chevillard, Thomas Lehmann, Takanobu Takahashi and Eva Wilden), “A Preliminary Annotated Translation of Kalaviyal alias Iraiyanar Akapporul,” forthcoming 2010. [A new translation of a text on Tamil poetics prepared jointly by a research group on Tamil poetic traditions.]
- "Cpap’" in: Kindlers Literatur Lexikon, 3rd edition, ed. by Heinz Ludwig Arnold, Stuttgart/Weimar: Verlag J.B. Metzler. forthcoming in 2009. [Survey article in literary encyclopedia on a genre of Khmer moral treatises (Cambodia), in German.]
- "Tamil or ‘Incomprehensible Scribble’? The Tamil Philological Commentary (urai) in the Nineteenth Century", in: Wilden, Eva (ed.). Between Preservation and Recreation. Tamil Traditions of Commentary. Pondicherry: Institut Français and EFEO. pp. 281-312, in press.
- "The College of Fort St. George and the Transformation of Tamil Philology During the Nineteenth Century", in a volume on the Madras School of Orientalism edited by Thomas R. Trautmann, New Delhi: OUP India, in press.
- "Afterword", in: Vedanayagam Pillai, S. 2006. The History of Prathapa Mudaliar. A Tamil Novel. translated by Meenakshi Tyagarajan. New Delhi: Katha. pp. 239 - 268.
- “Siva, Visnu, Buddha: Religion und Staat im Kambodscha der Angkor-Periode (9.–14. Jh.),” in: Schalk, Peter et al. (eds.). 2005. Im Dickicht der Gebote. (= Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Historia religionum 26). Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet. pp. 435–461. [Siva, Visnu, Buddha: Religion and State in Angkor-Period Cambodia, in German].
- “The Digital Archive of South Indian Inscriptions (DASI) — A First Report,” in: Jean-Luc Chevillard und Eva Wilden (eds.). 2004. South-Indian Horizons. Felicitation Volume for François Gros on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Pondicherry: Institut Français and EFEO. pp. 495–503.
- With Thomas Lehmann and Ulrike Niklas (eds.). 2004. Tamil Studies: Current Trends and Perspectives. Proceedings of the Panel 36 at the 17th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Heidelberg, September 9th to 14th, 2002. In: NewKOLAM 9+10, January 2004.
- contributions to Ein kleines Buch voll Liebe. Liebes-Erklärungen aus aller Welt. Stuttgart: Pons Verlag, 2009. ISBN: 978-3-12-010014-0: four love poems translated into German from Czech, Old Javanese, Raeto-Romance (Romansh), and Tamil.
Recent Talks and Presentations
- 2008 37th Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin - Madison: "Figurations of (Hyper)Real Masculinities in Tamil Literature and Cinema"
- 2007 Arbeitstagung des Arbeitskreises Asiatische Religionsgeschichte (AKAR) [Workshop of the Workgroup on the History of Asian Religions], University of Munich: "Another Tomorrow for Nantanar: The Continuation and Re-Invention of a Medieval South-Indian Untouchable Saint" [presentation in German; paper to be published in 2010 in English]
- 2007 Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: "The Madras School of Orientalism Conference": "The College of Fort St. George and the Transformation of Tamil Philology During the Nineteenth Century"
- 2007 University of California, Berkeley, Tamil Conference: "Pulavars and Potentates in Nineteenth-century South India: Structures of Literary Patronage at the Zamindars’ Courts"