Punjab Research Group

Punjab Research Group – 25th Anniversary Seminar, GC University, Lahore

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on February 19, 2009


The meeting was very Kindly hosted by Dr Tahir Kamran, Chairperson, Department of History, GC University, Lahore.

28th February 2009 Venue: Fazl-i-Hussain Reading Room, GC University, Lahore

  Speakers included:


Dr. Tej Purawal (University of Manchester)

Settlement of Refugees in the Sheikhupura District after Partition by Akhtar Sandhu 

The Organized Left and Representative Politics in Pre-Partition Punjab by Dr. Shalini Sharma

Contextualizing Art Instruction in the Colonial Punjab by Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar

Nawae-i-Waqt: Ideologue of Pakistani Nationalism 1940-47 by Mr. Basharat Hussain

The Portrayal of Punjab as a Cultural Entity in Punjabi Cinema by Mr. Umber Bin Ibad

PRG seminar at GCU, Lahore Feb 2009 PRG Seminar at GCU, Lahore Feb 2009

PRG Seminar at GCU, Lahore Feb 2009 PRG Seminar at GCU, Lahore Feb 2009

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PRG Seminar at GCU, Lahore Feb 2009 PRG Seminar at GCU, Lahore Feb 2009

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Victor Gordon Kiernan, historian, born 4 September 1913; died 17 February 2009

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on February 18, 2009

It is with regret that the PRG has learned of the recent death of an outstanding scholar, Victor Kiernan.  Some members of PRG had contact with Victor and his work as an accomplished translator of Urdu poetry through the Journal of Punjab Studies.


The Guardian has published an obituary: 


Historian with a global vision of empires, Marxism, politics and poetry by Eric Hobsbawm The Guardian, Wednesday 18 February 2009


Victor Kiernan, who has died aged 95, was a man of unselfconscious charm and staggeringly wide range of learning. He was also one of the last survivors of the generation of British Marxist historians of the 1930s and 1940s. If this generation has been seen by the leading German scholar HU Wehler as the main factor behind “the global impact of English historiography since the 1960s”, it was largely due to Victor’s influence. He brought to the debates of the Communist party historians’ group between 1946 and 1956 a persistent, if always courteous, determination to think out problems of class culture and tradition for himself, whatever the orthodox position. He continued to remain loyal to the flexible, open-minded Marxism of the group to which he had contributed so much.

To read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/feb/18/victor-kiernan-obituary

Casteism: alive and well in Pakistan by Raza Rumi

Posted in Articles by Pippa on February 18, 2009

Originally published in the Friday Times magazine


What do you expect of a country where the aboriginals are known as janglis, asks Raza Rumi

Who says casteism is extinct in Pakistan? My friends have not been allowed to marry outside their caste or sect, Christian servants in Pakistani households are not permitted to touch kitchen utensils, and the word ‘choora’ is the ultimate insult


It is a cliché now to say that Pakistan is a country in transition – on a highway to somewhere. The direction remains unclear but the speed of transformation is visibly defying its traditionally overbearing, and now cracking postcolonial state. Globalisation, the communications revolution and a growing middle class have altered the contours of a society beset by the baggage and layers of confusing history.


What has however emerged despite the affinity with jeans, FM radios and McDonalds is the visible trumpeting of caste-based identities. In Lahore, one finds hundreds of cars with the owner’s caste or tribe displayed as a marker of pride and distinctiveness. As an urbanite, I always found it difficult to comprehend the relevance of zaat-paat (casteism) until I experienced living in the peri-urban and sometimes rural areas of the Punjab as a public servant.


To read full article: http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/casteism-alive-and-well-in-pakistan/

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Seven Postdoctoral Fellowships In The Humanities, University of Oxford

Posted in Vacancies by Pippa on February 18, 2009

The University of Oxford Humanities Division is delighted to announce $1.8 million in funding from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation for postdoctoral fellowships. Six fixed-term research and teaching appointments in the selected broad research areas are available from 1 October 2009 for two years, and one post for one year. A further five posts will be available from October 2011 in other research areas and will be advertised closer to the time.
Although the major part of the fellowship will be devoted to research, the aim is also to equip the fellows in all aspects of an academic career, and the fellowship will also involve a limited amount of teaching and some administrative duties. An academic mentor will be assigned to each fellow, and support for further development in academic practice, learning and teaching will be available through the Oxford Learning Institute and the Division’s Teaching Development Coordinator. The fellowship will have a college association, and a £4000 p.a. research allowance will be available for the two-year posts.

How to apply:
Applicants must have completed their doctorates and be starting out on preparing a second research theme as well as showing the potential for future academic leadership. Each area will be interpreted broadly and applicants with ‘interdisciplinary’ research agendas will not be disadvantaged; selection committees will be looking primarily for academic excellence.
The posts will be tenable in the following research areas.
ASIA, C. 1700 TO THE PRESENT – Faculty of Oriental Studies;

• ETHNOMUSICOLOGY – Faculty of Music;


• LATE ANTIQUE OR EARLY ISLAMIC HISTORY – Faculties of Classics; and Oriental Studies (one-year post, available at £28,839 p.a.);


• SEMANTICS – Faculties of Philosophy; and Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics;

• SOCIOLINGUISTICS – Faculties of English Language and Literature; and Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics;

• TRANSNATIONAL HISTORY – Faculty of History.

For further particulars for each post and details of how to apply, see http://www.humanities.ox.ac.uk/vacancies

The closing date is 12 noon on Friday 6 March 2009.

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People’s history of the Punjab: Caste oppression, conversions and Sufism

Posted in Articles by Pippa on February 10, 2009

By Manzur Ejaz

The enigma of the ruled converting en masse to the religion of the rulers is best depicted by the following joke: in the last days of British rule, after a demonstration in Lahore, a desi garbage handling lady, Laveezan, asked her friend Mary what the demonstration was all about. Mary replied, “They are demanding freedom from us.”

Like Laveezan and Mary, Punjabi Muslims identify themselves with the Islamic rulers of India: being followers of the same religion as the ruling community, they consider themselves a part of it. However, the economic status of lower-caste converts to Islam remained the same throughout the nine centuries of Muslim rule in India. The same holds true for the British period: converts to Christianity didn’t find themselves any better for it.

Conversions to Islam in India have been the subject of furious debate. Hindu fundamentalists assert that the conversions were obtained by force, while many Muslims argue that they were voluntary; that lower-caste Hindus were attracted to Islam by the Sufis of Punjab. The truth probably lies somewhere in between these two extreme views. The controversy however makes the examination of the dynamics which made Muslims a majority in Punjab no less important.

To read the full article: http://www.wichaar.com/news/315/ARTICLE/11994/2009-02-05.html

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Call for Papers – ‘South Asian Diaspora’ (Routledge)

Posted in Academic Journals, News/Information by Pippa on February 10, 2009
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Posted in Conferences, News/Information by Pippa on February 10, 2009

October 22-23, 2009
The Finnish Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration
University of Joensuu, University of Eastern Finland Joensuu, Finland

The theme of the sixth annual ETMU Days, Finland and Innovative Cultural Diversity, is being approached from several angles. The purpose of the event is to create an open dialogue for researchers and representatives of different sectors and to discuss Finland of tomorrow. The ETMU Days in Joensuu will offer a multiform ensemble including scientific presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions on current topics.

The theme area of the ETMU Days can be approached from following directions: ethnicity, international mobility, multiculturalism, integration, indigenous and national minorities, minority rights, citizenship, nationalism, racism, refugees, religion, gender, education, upbringing and comparable topics.

The speakers at the conference are Professor Doreen Massey (Open University, UK), Professor Tariq Modood (University of Bristol), Dr Aulikki Sippola, Professor Ari Lehtinen (University of Joensuu) and Docent Pasi Saukkonen (CUPORE, University of Helsinki). Also MDs Merja Räihä (Prokura) and Kim Väisänen (Blancco Ltd) are to be given the floor as well as to the presentatives of ministry level and EU.

The languages of the conference are Finnish and English.

Please, send your suggestion for a workshop Several workshops dealing with the above mentioned themes will be held at the conference. Researchers, research groups and students of the field may suggest topics for these workshops. The suggestions should include the name of the workshop and an approx. 200-word introduction to the theme. Suggestions should also specify the language of the workshop to be used and are to be submitted by 30.03.2009.

We are also searching for co-ordinators for the workshops. Their task is to choose abstracts for their workshops and function as chairpersons. The co-ordinators themselves are also welcome to suggest topics for workshops. As each workshop is established, information about it will be added to the website of ETMU and abstracts for them can be suggested from that moment onwards, yet latest in August 2009.

For further information: http://etmu.fi/etmudays/eng/etmudays.html

Session proposals: Conference secretary Maiju Parviainen, maiju.parviainen@joensuu.fi

ETMU: The Finnish Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration
Together with University of Joensuu (Karelian Institute, Department of Finnish Language and Cultural Research and Department of Sociology and Social Policy).
In collaboration with University of Eastern Finland and North Karelian University of Applied Sciences.


Asia-Europe Workshop Series

Posted in Conferences, News/Information by Pippa on February 10, 2009

The European Alliance for Asian Studies is a co-operative framework of some leading European institutes specializing in Asian Studies. It was established in 1997. Till 2007, the European Alliance for Asian Studies focused exclusively on East and South-East Asia. Since then it has opened up for India and Pakistan, but still excludes the rest of South Asia in its activities. The partner institutions are the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) at Copenhagen University, Denmark; International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden University, Netherlands; Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI-Sciences-Po), Paris, France; European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS), Brussels, Belgium; Centro de Estudios de Asia Oriental (CEAO), Madrid, Spain; School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK; GIGA Institute of Asian Studies, Hamburg, Germany; and the Swedish School of Advanced Asia-Pacific Studies (SSAAPS), Stockholm, Sweden.



Together with the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in Singapore, the European Alliance for Asian Studies invites annual applications for workshop grants through the so-called Asia-Europe Workshop Series. This is a way to stimulate innovative research on contemporary topics of interregional and multilateral importance to both Asia and Europe. The programme is open for researchers in the 43 so-called ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) countries – since 2007 also including India and Pakistan. Junior and senior researchers from academic institutes in the ASEM member countries are eligible to apply for grants. The proposed workshops should have an innovative and cross-disciplinary topic, address shared interests of Asia and Europe, and stimulate interregional dialogue. Deadline for applications for the Asia-Europe Workshop Series 2010 is Wednesday 1 July 2009.

For more information: http://www.asia-alliance.org/index.php?q=workshop-series

Attached pdf: ae_ws_2010_call


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SIR GANGA RAM: A Brilliant Man of Punjab

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on February 3, 2009

January 16, 2009

Ganga Ram was an engineer who designed majestic buildings of Lahore, Amritsar, Patiala and other cities in joint India. He had his early schooling from Amritsar.

This fact has been highlighted in his biography “ Sir Ganga Ram” A man for all seasons, authored by Dr. F.M. Bhatti and reprinted by Sir Ganga Ram heritage foundation Lahore.

While Sir Ganga Ram is still an icon for the residents of Lahore where he got higher education and constructed beautiful structures there.

Ganga Ram was born in 1851 in Mangtanwala about forty miles from Lahore and fourteen miles from Nankana Sahib, his father who was Assistant Sub inspector at a Police station later moved to Amritsar.

He was sent to nearby private school near Darbar Sahib in Amritsar. Sir Ganga Ram mastered in calligraphy and Persian. He passed his matriculation from Government High School and joined the Government College Lahore in 1869.

To read the full article: http://lahorenama.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/sir-ganga-ram-a-brilliant-man-of-punjab/

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History of the Punjab: Powerful matriarchs in the land of the five rivers

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on February 3, 2009

By Dr. Manzur Ejaz

Every historical change affects women in more profound ways than other segments of society. However, it is amazing that little has been recorded by historians in this regard. The Muslim invasion of the Punjab led by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi in the 10th century, also resulted in fundamental changes in the status of women, but one does not find much material about this shift in women’s status in historical chronicles of that period. Probably, most of the history books of that time were written by those Northern and Central Asian men who were attached to the Slave Dynasty and had little regard for women. The only exception is Abu Rehan Al Beruni (973-1048) who wrote about the status of women and other social aspects of the Punjab.


Al Beruni’s account of India is largely based upon his observations about the Punjabi society to which he came with Mahmud Ghaznavi, and later on lived in for a long time. Therefore, for all practical purposes Al Beruni viewed India through his knowledge of the Punjab . One can trace back Al Beruni’s characterization of Punjabi women as being part of the decision-making process in all important matters, from the customs of the ancient Vedic period. We can see a similar depiction of Punjabi women in the work of the intellectuals who came after him. For example, one can find metaphorical descriptions of the status of women in the poetry of Hazrat Fariduddin Masud Ganj-e-Shakar aka Baba Farid (1173-1265) and through the memoirs of his intellectual heir Nizam-ud-Din Aulia (1238-1325). In addition, folk tales can be utilized as an indirect source of our information, though their authenticity will remain suspect.


To read full article: http://www.wichaar.com/news/315/ARTICLE/11674/2009-01-24.html

Full Professor, Modern South Asian Studies

Posted in News/Information, Vacancies by Pippa on February 3, 2009

Leiden University Faculty of the Humanities
Association of Universities in The Netherlands – VSNU
Closing date:
13 March 2009


Job description
The successful candidate will work within one or more disciplines in the Arts and Humanities, and/or Social and Political Sciences. He/she will conduct research and teaching on the South Asian subcontinent, with a demonstrable competency in one or more languages of the region. Modern should be interpreted as including (late) colonial as well as post-independence
South Asia


Required education/skills:Doctorate
Eligible candidates will have: a PhD in South Asian Studies or a related subfield, with a strong disciplinary background; or, a PhD in a discipline in the Arts and Humanities or Social and Political Sciences, with a strong focus on the South Asian region. They will have proven ability to teach and do research in wider Asian Studies contexts. Candidates should have: outstanding research qualities manifested in a high-quality, internationally accessible research and publication record, preferably including the acquisition of project funding; outstanding educational talents and teaching experience; demonstrable management and administrative skills; a excellent command of English. If the successful candidate is not Dutch speaking, s/he will be supported to attain a practical working command of Dutch within two years of taking up the position.
Job type: Research / Advising
Workfield(s):  Teaching & Research(Scientific discipline: Language & Culture)

Additional Information
Additional information can be obtained through one of the following links:

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Migrations & Identities – A journal of people and ideas in motion

Posted in Academic Journals, Migration by Pippa on February 3, 2009

migrations & identities is a new journal published bi-annually by Liverpool University Press.  The title represents a programme: We aim to interrogate notions of ‘identity’ while asking how the fact of mobility and displacement does shape understandings of self and the wider world, among both migrants and ‘host’ societies.  By the same token, we seek to understand how ideas and concepts are transformed as they ‘migrate’ from one place and culture to another.  These issues have been, and continue to be, addressed under a number of rubrics and through a number of approaches in the humanities and social sciences.  In acknowledgement of this, migrations & identities is multi- and interdisciplinary in its conception and management.  It also aims to cover the widest possible range of places, periods and methods, subject only to a shared curiosity and enthusiasm about the possibilities of working at the interface between the investigation of the material conditions of migration processes and the study of ideas and subjectivities.  In particular, we hope that scholars working in many fields will find in migrations & identities a forum for discussion of the methods appropriate to a project of linking observable experience and mentalities in different times and places, and that among the topics of discussion will be the real challenges involved in conversing across disciplinary boundaries.

We invite manuscripts from scholars representing all disciplines and methodologies which can contribute to this discussion.  These might include case studies based on empirical research which are framed by and reflect on the methodological and theoretical issues set out above, essays which focus on questions of theory and methodology, or review articles. The journal will be published twice a year.


Volume 1 Issue 1 2008 now available

The Editors

Investigating Language and Identity in Cross-Language Narratives
Bogusia Temple

 Greek Identity and the Settler Community in Hellenistic Bactria and Arachosia
Rachel Mairs

 ‘Writing My History’: Seven Nineteenth-Century Scottish Migrants to New Zealand Revisit their Pasts
Rosalind McClean

 Immigrant Attachment and Community Integration: A Psychological Theory of Facilitating New Membership
Stanley A. Renshon


Volume 1 Issue 2 forthcoming…

Highlights to include:

 Emotional Attachment … to What? A Comment on Renshon

Harald Bauder

 Representations of Diasporic Unbelonging:  Surrealism in the Work of

Biyi Bandele-Thomas & Yinka Shonibare

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

Methodological issues in studying the identity of long-established ABC

Lucille Ngan


Find out more about the journal at http://migrationsandidentities.lupjournals.org/

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