Dim Lights, Blazing Heart' is the title a Tamil pulp fiction story, like those in racy-covered paperbacks I see on newsstands in Chennai. The stories portray a world that freely suspends the social rules prevalent among the middle and working class families who read them. This was also true in the 1930s, when not only did Tamil pulp fiction flout social customs, but also challenged colonialism. Indeed this particular genre was very popular in south India and surprisingly was not prevalent in the north. I am eager to be able to read some of these stories and write about what they meant in the context of the 1930s. To do that I need to learn to read Tamil--a language with 70 million speakers--at least well enough to identify material and work with translators. I have found online sources and additional texts to make this possible. This is a completely new direction for me, both learning a new language and studying literature. And in the process of considering this project, I have found collaborators in India, who are interested in helping with translation. Beyond my research, the project has a number of pedagogical implications. I will be able to bring examples into my classes, including our new department course on the 'interwar period.' And since I will be studying a language using online materials, it gives me a chance to try out platforms we might consider for students who are interested in 'lesser-taught' languages. This would be especially useful in preparing them for study abroad.