Sangat: Dialog Punjab
Poetry is engrained in every aspect of the lives, stories, music, politics, philosophy, faith and culture of Punjabis. A number of us are gathering together to explore Punjabi poetry through time (and through this, a history of Punjab), meeting once a month at SOAS.
Starting with Baba Farid (12th century) through to Najm Hosain Syed and Amarjit Chandan writing today, we will focus in each session, on one or two poets; reading their poetry, listening to it being sung, and discussing it along with the historical/political/ philosophical context. We hope to have leading Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan joining us for most of the sessions, sharing his knowledge, along with other guest writers/scholars/singers.
We welcome those of all ages and levels, those with knowledge, passion and interest that can be shared and developed, but also those who are new to Punjabi poetry/literature, who may not read Gurmukhi/Shahmukhi or be proficient in Punjabi, but want to listen and explore – we especially encourage you to join us.
The first session is on Monday 9th March 2015, 6-8 pm at SOAS Russell Square (Room T102) and after that, on the first Monday of every month.
Session 1 (Monday March 9th): Baba Farid and Shah Hussain
Session 2 (Monday April 6th): Guru Nanak
Session 3 (Monday May 4th): Sant Ravidas and Kabir
Session 4 (Monday June 1st): Guru Gobind Singh
Session 5 (Monday July 6th): Sultan Bahu and Bulleh Shah
Session 6 (Monday August 3rd): Waris Shah and Damoodar (Heer)
Future sessions (open to suggestions): Women’s folk songs, Peero, Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Paash and Lal Singh Dil, Sant Ram Udasi, Gurdas Ram Alam, Najm Hosain Syed, Amarjit Chandan
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We are pleased to announce the call for papers (C4p) and registrations for the second International Sikh Research Conference (ISRC). The conference will take place at the prestigious University of Warwick on the 28 June 2015.
The second conference draws on the unprecedented success of the first ISRC, 2014 by bringing together academics, scholars and researchers and to encourage a spirit of collaboration within international Sikh studies academia.
Scholars, researchers and academics are encouraged to submit a paper which highlights research on any of the following themes: Musicology, History, Philosophy, Scripture, Diaspora, Identity, and Politics.
The call for papers for the second Sikh Research Conference is now live at http://www.sikhconference.co.uk.
See attachment for further details: Call for Papers
Gurinder Singh Mann
The programme for the LLF 2015 has been published and can be viewed via http://www.lahorelitfest.com/llf-2015/program-2015/
You might be interested in reading Ahmed Rashid’s endorsement of the Festival in his article, ‘Literary festival breathes life into Lahore’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-31377138
Organised by Department of History, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra
For participation and further details please contact:-
Director of the Conference:
Prof. Amarjit Singh, Chairman, Department of History, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra-136119 (Haryana) (M) – 098121-84925
Landline No (s) – 01744-238410, 238196, 238679, Extn. 2558 & 2559 (Office)
Dr. Nandini Bashistha, Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, K.U.Kurukshetra (M) – 09729074479
Mr. Dharamveer Saini, Assistant Professor, Department of History, K.U.Kurukshetra (M) – 097288-61900
In the name of Punjabiyyat by Mahmood Awan, TNS
In terms of Punjabi nationality, the literature produced by Punjabis is a multi-linguistic phenomenon; be it in Punjabi, English or any other language. Some of these writers may not identify themselves as Punjabis and this sensibility may be only reflected in their writings.
When Gujranwala born, British Pakistani novelist Nadeem Aslam quotes couplets of a rather unknown rural Punjabi Poet Abid Tamimi in his novel Maps for lost lovers (2004), he is subconsciously establishing his native connectivity. He furthers this theme in his latest novel The Blind Man’s Garden (2013) by creating a whole fictional town named Heer (inspired by Waris Shah’s legend) and proudly claims that all his future novels will be set in this Punjabi town.
When Los Angeles born, Pakistani American Daniyal Mueenuddin’s book of short stories In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (2009) opens with a Punjabi proverb in Punjabi text, he is presumably asserting his Punjabi identity. More so, when one of his short story protagonists on watching a chestnut seller boy in the freezing cold of Paris pulls his American girlfriend closer and whispers: “He is one of mine, from Pakistan, from Punjab.”
Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) was our first global offering. Recipient of the prestigious Lenin Peace Prize, he was co-founder of the Progressive Writers’ Movement in the undivided India. He was born in Peshawar to a Sikh mother from Sialkot and a Hindu father from Amritsar. He studied philosophy at Cambridge University where he had gone on the behest of Allama Iqbal and received his PhD from University College London in 1929. He was close friends with George Orwell, TS Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Herbert Read and EM Forster. His best-known novel Untouchable (1935) was issued as a Penguin Modern Classic in 1986.
Anand saw himself as a Punjabi citizen of the world. Khushwant Singh once remarked on Anand’s English as ‘Punjabi English’. In his 1982 interview with Amarjit Chandan, he termed his sense of Punjabiyat as inheritance of Punjabi culture. In response to a question regarding why he opted to write in an acquired language and in which language he thinks, Anand said: “Punjabi is my mother tongue. I frequently use Punjabi vibrations. Vibrations of the characters of my landscape, my region could only express themselves in the versatile movements of the Punjabi speech. I could not perform an operation on my mother’s mouth to make her speak like an English woman, as do other writers. I think in Punjabi mostly and transliterate or transcreate in English. At that time [pre-partition] there were no publishers and the books written about India, certainly by me, were banned and there was no way by which even one could express oneself in Punjabi to the people who were around us in the Indian national movement. Even Puran Singh started writing in English first. He was the writer of the Punjab in English language before me if you like.”…
Any writer is free to write in any foreign language for global reach, acceptability and other related gains. However, it’s also true that in that global space they generally remain ‘categorised’ and ‘compartmentalised’ while their original place always remains vacant in the literary countryside of their mother tongues. It will also be pertinent to mention that no linguistic movement should encourage racists, bigots and chauvinists as there is nothing more sacred than humanity. We strongly believe that within one mother tongue are all mother tongues and each one of them is universal. Our main concern is not those other languages but the contagious ‘self-hate’ virus inherited by most of the ‘well educated’ Punjabis and its bankrupt elite that has consistently demeaned the linguistic uprising and their own cultural identity.
Read full article: http://tns.thenews.com.pk/in-the-name-of-punjabiyyat/#.VOBaHXYtKHl
Mahmood Awan January 25, 2015
Recounting the women poets of the undivided Punjab, a poetic history that lies buried under male monopoly
Punjabi poetics is unique in adopting the feminine metaphor. From our classics to contemporary poets, the most intimate and challenging verses resonate in this naturalised voice. Female protagonists of our Qissa (epics) poets from Damodar Das to Ghulam Haider Mastana are not only self-assuring and assertive but are full of defiance against male authority and a martialised society.
Najm Hosain Syed summed up this power of choice and rejection assumed by women in a striking one liner: “She stands outsides the cycles of time and society”.
Punjab owes all the beauties and colours of its folklore exclusively to its womenfolk. This was the art that kept us enriched and sustained us through centuries of compressions, invasions and annexations. Those nameless women poets of the Punjab narrated our collective consciousness and protected our native identity.
Read full article: http://tns.thenews.com.pk/poetry-the-feminine-metaphor/#.VNJTM3YtKHk
Vancouver, BC (January 7, 2015) – Following the success of the inaugural Dhahan Prize, submissions are now open for the world’s signature prize in Punjabi literature on January 1, 2015. Eligible authors writing in either of the two Punjabi scripts, Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi, are invited to submit a work of fiction for the $25,000 CDN first prize.
Novels and short story collections published in 2014 will be accepted from January 1 to March 15, 2015 at http://www.dhahanprize.com. Two second place prizes of $5,000 CDN will also be awarded.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, The Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature was established in 2013 to recognize excellence in Punjabi literature and inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders. The prize is awarded at the international level each year to three books of fiction in Punjabi written in either of two scripts, Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi.
“This is a truly an international literature prize,” says Raghbir Singh, Chair of the Dhahan Prize advisory committee. “In our inaugural year, the Dhahan Prize received over 70 entries from 5 countries around the world. We’re hoping to increase our reach and the number of submissions for 2015, while continuing to encourage new writers to take up writing in Punjabi.”
The first prize winner for 2014 was Avtar Singh Billing for his book, Khali Khoohaan di Katha (The Story of Empty Wells), which will be translated from Gurmukhi to English this year. Two second place prizes of $5,000 CDN were also awarded to Zubair Ahmad from Pakistan, and Jasbir Singh Bhullar from India. Winners were feted at the Dhahan Prize Awards Gala in Vancouver on October 25, 2014.
Submission guidelines and eligibility terms can be found at http://www.dhahanprize.com/apply/.
About Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature:
The Dhahan Prize celebrates the rich culture and transnational heritage of Punjabi language and literature by awarding a yearly prize for excellence in Punjabi fiction. The Prize mission is to inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders, bridging Punjabi communities around the world and promoting Punjabi literature on a global scale. The Dhahan Prize is awarded by Canada India Education Society (CIES) in partnership with the Department of Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts at University of British Columbia (UBC). The prize is funded by an endowment from Barj and Rita Dhahan, and family and friends. Learn more at http://www.dhahanprize.com and join us on Facebook and Twitter.
For interviews and other media inquiries, contact Manjot Bains at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan 26, 2015
CHANDIGARH: Films and books on Sikh religion may soon have to pass the test of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), which is planning to set up a ‘censor board’ for “moral policing” of the scripts.
The move comes against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s movie ‘MSG’ and many Bollywood movies in which actors have donned the turban like Ajay Devgn starrer ‘Son of Sardar’ and Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Singh is King’.
“We will soon set up Sikh Censor Board comprising historians and intelligentsia so that someone keen to make any film or write a book concerning Sikh religion first gets the script cleared to avoid consequences later,” Amritsar-based SGPC head Avtar Singh Makkar told this agency.
Terming it as “moral policing” on part of SGPC, Makkar said the board members will clear the script of films or books based on Sikh religion and community members.
“Our idea is that Sikh religion is projected and exhibited in public domain in consonance with the spirit of code of conduct of the community,” he said.
Please read the rest of the article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/SGPC-to-set-up-censor-board-for-films-books-on-Sikhs/articleshow/46018615.cms
Read attached PDF: SGPC Censor-TOI-1 Feb 2015
SOAS South Asia Institute
**Registration required. Limited seats available**
Symposium : Gender Justice/Injustice in South Asia: Feminism, Protest, and the Neo-Liberal State
Image Source: Source: Naz Foundation India http://nazindia.org/
Room: V111, Vernon Square Campus. Directions below.
View programme online: www.soas.ac.uk/south-asia-institute/events/workshops/13feb2015-gender-justiceinjustice-in-south-asia-feminism-protest-and-the-neo-liberal-state.html
London WC1X 9EW
**All successful applicants will receive an email by 11th February 2015 confirming their place. ***
Dr. Navtej Purewal, Deputy Director, SOAS South Asia Institute, University of London
Dr. Kalpana Wilson, Senior Research Fellow, Gender Institute, LSE
This event has been organised by the SOAS South Asia Institute in collaboration with the LSE Gender Justice Institute.
Interview with Swarn Singh Kahlon who is a freelance research scholar.
Please follow the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lGjr0pMCmY&list=UUeiRdb5QKNbNKUXD9aSe8dw
Call for Papers
For the past five years, the Jakara Movement has created a forum for budding scholars and researchers, working on various projects related to Sikhs, to come together, share, and challenge one another. For the past two years, we have found a home with Stanford University’s Center of South Asia and have formed an engaging partnership.
This year we do it again, with the additional support of the Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies at UC Santa Cruz. We are pleased to announce our call for papers for Sikholars 2015. The Sikholars conference has attracted young scholars from over three continents and twenty–five universities. With topics ranging from Khalistan to Unix Coding, from sex-selective abortion to diasporic literature, from Nihangs in the court of Ranjit Singh to the North American bhangra circuit, from Sikh sculpture and architecture to representations of masculinity in Punjabi films, we encourage the widest possible range of those pursuing graduate studies on Sikh-related topics.
While all topics are welcomed and panels will be formed around their various themes—this year we seek to form two panels for special consideration.
The Guru Granth Sahib
For Sikholars 2015, we are hosting a special panel around the theme of the Guru Granth Sahib. From digital transmission and apps to history and material studies culture, from musicology to codicology, we welcome any number of approaches. Please indicate on the application if your subject is related to this theme.
Technology and Entrepreneurship Panel
Due to the widespread interest and demand from attendees, we again will have a special panel devoted to technological entrepreneurship. The panel will be limited to three panelists.
The conference will be held over the President’s Day weekend from February 14–15, 2015 at Stanford University. It is sponsored by the Center for South Asia at Stanford University and the Jakara Movement.
Proposals for individual papers should be no more than 250 words in length and may be uploaded at the conference website, with a current CV/resume.
Last year, 175+ community members came to participate and converse. We expect an even greater attendance this year with more thought-provoking papers. Be part of the conversation and mark your calendars for this unique experience.
Abstracts Submission Deadline: December 12, 2014
For more information, please visit our website http://www.sikholars.org