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Tamil History: The Spread of the Publishing Industry and Technology 1578 to 1873

S. Jeyaseela Stephen (Author)

This monograph tells the fascinating history of how since the advent of the Portuguese in the sixteenth century books came to be printed in Tamil. It explains how the printing press served as instrument of domination under the European missionaries and it gradually came to be spread among the natives under the East India companies and became the bridge between the colonizer and the natives. The study reconstructs the map of the publishing industry and technology of the early modern age and analyses the different types of production like the journals, pamphlets, newspapers, calendars and advertisements, their main characteristics, the socio-cultural composition of their recipients, their methods of use and dimension. The volume explores initiation of modern prose in Tamil as a transformative achievement through printing and how it contributed to the literary journey of Tamils, by examining the close connection with religious, educative and scientific practices promoted. The enriched printings changed the cognitive systems of learning and reading by optimizing and speeding up the operations in Tamil society. It helps in understanding the use of publications by broadening the horizon of understanding our modernity.


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About the author

S. Jeyaseela Stephen

S. Jeyseela Stephen is professor of maritime History and Coordinator of the special Assistance programme of the UGC at Visva-Bharti. He joined the academy of historians in 1994 at Ecole francaise extreme-orient and went to pune to became Senior Advisor to Tata Central Archives in 2000. He became Head of the Department of History in 2001 at Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan. He was the editor of revue Historique: Societe de 1st Histoire de Pondichery (1995-97). He had taught at the University of Nebraska, USA in 2004. He is a Member of the Executive Committee in the Indian Historical records Commission nominated by the Government of India. (220-07). Among his many publications are: The Coromandel Coast and its Hinterland: Economy, Society and political System, 1500-1600 (1997), Portuguese in the Rtamil Coast: Historical Explorations in Commerce and Culture, 1507-1749 (1998), Rangappa Thiruvengadam Pillai Naatkurippu, Vol. I (1760-1768) Vol. II, 1762-66, (2000), The Diary of Rangappa Thiruvengadam Pillai, 1760-68: Trnslated from Original Tamil with Notes (2001), Portuguese-Tamil Grammar: Modernisation and Democratisation of Tamil (2001) and Letters of the Portuguese Jesuits from Tamil countryside, 1666-68, (2001). He has also co-edited (with K.S. Mathew) Indo-French Relations, (1999). ) and edited Trade and Globalisation: Europeans, Americans and Indians in the Bay of Bengal, 1511-1819 (2003). He won the best book prize for his book Muthu Vijaya Thiruvengadam Pillai Naatkurippu, 1794-1796, in 1999 (in Tamil which deals with Diary Writing in Tamil during the Eighteenth Century).

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Bibliographic information

Title Tamil History: The Spread of the Publishing Industry and Technology 1578 to 1873
Format Hardcover
Date published: 12.03.2020
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789353240875
length 356p.
Subjects History