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Torsten Tschacher, Ph.D.



  • (former) Postdoctoral Researcher


Über Torsten Tschacher

Further Information:  



Since 10/2009 Postdoctoral Researcher, Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows”, University of Heidelberg

10/2007-07/2009 Academic Employee, Department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures, South Asia Insitute, University of Heidelberg

09/2006-03/2007 Academic Employee, Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Göttingen; responsible for cataloguing Tamil manuscripts for the Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections

06/2007 PhD degree (“The Impact of Being Tamil on Religious Life among Tamil Muslims in Singapore”; supervisor: Ulrike Niklas)

01/2003-06/2007 PhD student in South Asian Studies at National University of Singapore

06/2002 Master degree from Cologne University

07/1999-06/2000 Exchange Student at Pondicherry Universtiy

10/1996-06/2002 Student of Indology, Social Anthropology and Comparative Religion at Cologne University

Ausgewählte Publikationen

Working Papers

2001 Islam in Tamilnadu: Varia. Südasienwissenschaftliche Arbeitsblätter 2. Halle, Institut für Indologie und Südasienwissenschaften. [revised versions of articles published in 1999 and 2000]

Articles, translations etc.

2011. ‘Walls of Illusion’: Information Generation in Colonial Singapore and the Reporting of the Mahdi-Rebellion in Sudan, 1887-1890’. In: Derek Heng and Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljuneid (eds.). Singapore in Global History. Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press: 57-78.

2010 ‘Drowning in the Ocean of Tamil: Islamic Texts and the Historiography of Tamil Literature’. In: Hans Harder (ed.): Literature and Nationalist Ideology: Writing Histories of Modern Indian Languages. Delhi, Social Science Press; 51-83.

2010 'How to Die before Dying: Šarī'a and Sufism in a Nineteenth-Century Tamil Poem'. In: Daniele Cevenini & Svevo D'Onofrio (eds.): Islâm: Collected Essays. 'Uyûn al-Akhbâr: Studi sul mondo islamico 4. Bologna: I libri di Emil; 433-455.

2010 'Indische Muslime und die Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura'. In: Fritz Schulze und Holger Warnk (eds.): Islam und Staat in den Ländern Südostasiens: Islam and State in Southeast Asia. Frankfurter Forschungen zu Südostasien 7. Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz Verlag; 83-102

2010 ‘Witnessing Fun: Tamil-speaking Muslims and the Imagination of Ritual in Colonial Southeast Asia’. In: Michael Bergunder, Heiko Frese and Ulrike Schröder (eds.): Ritual, Caste, and Religion in Colonial South India. Neue Hallesche Berichte 9. Halle, Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen; 189-218.

2009 ‘Circulating Islam: Understanding Convergence and Divergence in the Islamic Traditions of Ma‘bar and Nusantara’. In: R. Michael Feener and Terenjit Sevea (eds.): Islamic Connections: Studies of South and Southeast Asia. Singapore, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies; 48-67.

2009 ‘Rational Miracles, Cultural Rituals and the Fear of Syncretism: Defending Contentious Muslim Practice among Tamil-speaking Muslims’. In: Asian Journal of Social Science 37,1; 55-82.

2009 ‘Tamil’. In: Kees Versteegh (ed.): Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Leiden and Boston, Brill; Vol. 4, 433-436.

2008 ‘Zwischen „Rasse“ und Religion: Debatten über Islam und Ethnizität unter tamilischen Muslimen in Singapur’. In: Manfred Hutter (ed.): Religionsinterne Kritik und religiöser Pluralismus im gegenwärtigen Südostasien. Frankfurt, Peter Lang Verlag; 175-191.

2007 German translation of Tamil short story: Mohamed Thoppil Meeran: Kalender-Baba. Südasien 27,2; 4-6.

2006 Entries ‘Chulia’, ‘Federation of Indian Muslims’, ‘Indian Muslims’, and ‘Malabar Muslim Juma-ath’. In: Tommy Koh (ed.): Singapore: The Encyclopedia. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Paris, Editions Didier Millet.

2006 ‘From Local Practice to Transnational Network: Saints, Shrines and Sufis among Tamil Muslims in Singapore’ In: Asian Journal of Social Science 34,2; 225-242.

2006 ‘Islamic Education in a Tamil Town: The Case of Kilakkarai’. In: Jan-Peter Hartung and Helmut Reifeld (eds.): Islamic Education, Diversity, and National Identity: Dīnī madāris in India Post 9/11. Delhi, Thousand Oaks and London, Sage Publications; 196-223.

2000 ‘Arwi (Arabic-Tamil) — A Brief Report’. In: newKOLAM: A Mirror of Tamil and Dravidian Culture 5&6.

1999 ‘Subgruppen tamilsprachiger Muslime Südindiens’. In: KOLAM: A Mirror of Tamil Culture 4.

Review Essays 

2011 ‘Method and Theory in the Study of Cankam (Sangam) Literature’. Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 106,1; 1-11.


2011 Anand Pandian: Crooked Stalks: Cultivating Virtue in South India. Durham, Duke University Press, 2009. Journal of Asian Studies 70,1; 286-287.

2009 Daniel Krasa: Lehrbuch des Marathi. Hamburg, Helmut Buske Verlag, 2007. Asien: The German Journal on Contemporary Asia 111; 127-128.

2007 Eveline Masilamani-Meyer: Guardians of Tamilnadu: Folk Deities, Folk Religion, Hindu Themes. Neue Hallesche Berichte 5. Halle, Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle. Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 102,4-5, 2007; 579-582.