Given the favourable geographical location of the IFP in the heart of the Tamil country, the Department of Indology endeavours to study the Tamil language, history and culture in all its diversity.
An important direction of research within the “Tamil Studies” programme relates to contemporary Tamil Nadu. The interest taken in contemporary Tamil Nadu emphasizes the broad conception of indology defended at IFP, which does not want to restrict itself to the studies of Sanskrit philology. As Tamil has contributed appreciably to the oldest and most prestigious literature of India, by way of studying its contemporary forms and transformations the Department seeks to get instructive knowledge about the way in which an old traditional culture enters in conflict or agreement with modernity (Tamil, for example, is a very conspicuous language on the Internet, being used in a number of sites). The project Contemporary Tamil literature focuses on the transition to modernity and internal evolution of Tamil society as reflected by original Tamil literary sources.
During the last decade (2000-2008) the historical dimension was given further emphasis by the project on a historical atlas of South India from prehistoric times to the 16th century#, with special emphasis on Tamilagam (comprising present Tamil Nadu and Kerala). It was undertaken in collaboration with the Tamil University of Thanjavur and three other southern universities.
SUBBARAYALU Y., 2012. South India under the Cholas, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 272 p.,13 tables, 5 maps, ISBN: 978-0-19-807735-0.
– Book chapters
F. BORNE, Y. SUBBARAYALU, G. MUTHUSANKAR, K. ISWARIALAKSHMI, D. BALASUBRAMANIAN, Digital Historical atlas of South India, Space, Time, Place Third International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology, 17th-21st August 2009, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India edited by Stefano Campana, Maurizio Forte and Claudia Liuzza. (ISBN 9781407306599)