Journal Articles

Autumn 2006 -Vol.37 / No.1 (P.2)
Power,Agency and the Oikos
Author : Nirmal Selvamony
Keywords : Tamil (tamizh), tinai, oikos, ecocritics, tsunami, Tamil songs,agency,game relations, play relations
This essay introduces one of the world's earliest ecocritical theories, the Tamil concept tinai, which has a Greek equivalent inthe word oikos. Tinai organizes ecoregions into three basic constituents: the space-time continuum, naturo-cultural features,and agency. That last concept is to be understood in terms of not only human agency but also natural and sacred agency. Building on international ecocritical investigations into natural agency and the history of sacred agency, the author clarifies the need for are orientation of the idea of human agency. The contemporary world, as evidenced by the recent tsunami that struck South and Southeast Asia, requires an integrative agency. Such an integrative agency is explored through both ancient Tamil songs and the adaptations of contemporary songs in light of the destructive forceof the tsunami. These adaptations indicate the importance of both game relations and play relations in terms of the dyad of power and powerless agency.