Punjab Research Group

Punjabi University, Patiala hosts Punjab Research Group Meeting

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on December 28, 2009


A collection of distinguished scholars from the UK, USA and India were present in Patiala on December 19th, courtesy of the Sociology Department of the Punjabi University. The UK based Punjab Research Group held its bi-annual meeting for the first time in Punjab, India. As part of the Group’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations, the group of organised a number of special seminars. The first was held in Lahore in February of this year. The meeting in Patiala was attended by many of the leading international scholars of Punjab studies. Professor Gurinder Singh Mann, from the University of Santa Barbara, California, Virinder Kalra from the University of Manchester, Harjant Gill from the University of Washington and Pritpal Virdee, De Montfort University, UK were present. The main themes of the workshop spanned the historic time period from pre-colonial to present times. The aim of the seminar was to look at the Punjab as an area from an inter-disciplinary perspective. A wide range of issues were explored in depth referring to the social and cultural landscape of Punjab. A lively and informed discussion took place that was well appreciated by all the participants.

The programme had the following presentations:

‘Revisiting the Janam Sakhis’ by Gurinder Singh Mann, University of Santa Barbara, Chaired by HS Gill

‘Jangnama and Precolonial Punjabi Consciousness’ by HS Bhatti and Rabinder Powar, Punjabi University, Patiala, Chaired by Gurinder Singh Mann

‘Understanding Popular Sufi Centres in Punjab’ by Yogesh Snehi, Department of History, DAV College, Chaired by Surinder Jodhka

‘From Putt Jattan De to Munde UK De: The Transformation of Masculinities in Punjabi Cinema’ by  Harjant Gill, University of Washington, Chaired by Dr Malkiat Kaur

‘Silent Narratives: Women and Partition in West Punjab’ by Pippa Virdee, De Montfort University, Chaired by Dr Birinderpal Singh

‘Mela of Daud Bandegi, Shergarh, West Punjab’ by Virinder Kalra, University of Manchester, Chaired by Dr Harvinder Bhatti

CFP: Special Issue on Religion and the Internet: The Online-Offline Connection

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on December 28, 2009

Heidi Campbell & Mia Løvheim have put out a call for papers for a special issue of Information, Communication & Society on Religion and the Internet: The Online-Offline Connection, which is also linked in with the 2010 Conference on Media, Religion, and Culture in Toronto.

In particular this special issues aims to explore the relationship between online and offline forms of religious practice and community. Key questions include:

  • What is truly unique about the performance of religion online?
  • How is the practice and conception of religion online connected to offline practices, communities and institutions?
  • In what ways does religion online reflect trends seen offline in religious culture and practice?
  • How do these transformations connect with issues of globalization and glocalization?

You can read the full CFP over at When Religion Meets New Media: http://religionmeetsnewmedia.blogspot.com/2009/11/call-for-papers-for-special-issue-of.html

Sikhs in Europe: Migration, Identity and Transnational Practices

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on December 28, 2009

16-18 June 2010

Venue: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, Lund, Sweden. 

The Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University is organizing a conference on the Sikhs in Europe. The aim is to gather leading scholars in the multi-disciplinary field of Sikh studies and discuss current research projects focusing on patterns of migration, identity formations, self-representations, transmission of traditions and transnational practices among the Sikhs in different parts of Europe. While two conference days are dedicated to presentation and peer-review of papers by the members of the academic network Sikhs-in-Europe, the third conference day is a workshop for Ph.D. students from different European universities.

For more information, please contact the conference convener at: Kristina.Myrvold@teol.lu.se or visit: http://www.sikhs-in-europe.org/

CFP: South Asia and the West: Entwined, Entangled and Engaged

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on December 28, 2009

Los Angeles, CA, April 10-11, 2010

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.

The popular mind tends to focus on the differences between South Asia and the West, yet throughout history there has been constant interchange, with each side learning from and impacting the other. In 2010 SASA wishes to examine the intertwined nature of East and West, beginning with Alexander the Great’s conquests in Northwest India and continuing through the first use of a decimal zero in the Lokavibhâga, Columbus’ search for a sea route to the Indies, Thoreau’s impact on Gandhi/Gandhi’s on M.L. King, and concluding with today’s bidirectional globalization and the explosive South Asian diaspora.

We particularly invite papers which explore cultural and religious interchanges, entertainment cross-fertilization, economic globalization, and the diaspora experience. Regardless of the theme, however, we welcome papers from all academic disciplines and all periods of time that address the rich tapestry that is South Asia’s past, present and future.

Further details: http://www.sasia2.org/index.html

Language, the Nation, and Symbolic Capital: The Case of Punjab by Alyssa Ayres

Posted in Articles by Pippa on December 28, 2009

Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 67, No. 3 (August 2008): 917–946.


A movement to “revive the spirit of Punjab and Punjabi” in South Asia has enabled a surprising thaw between the two Punjabs of Pakistan and India. That this revival movement has been catalyzed from within Pakistan rather than India raises intriguing questions about language, nationalism, and the cultural basis of the nation-state. Although the Punjabiyat movement bears the surface features of a classical nationalist formation—insistence upon recovering an unfairly oppressed history and literature, one unique on earth and uniquely imbued with the spirit of the local people and the local land—its structural features differ markedly. Pakistan’s Punjab has long functioned as an ethnic hegemon, the center against which other regions struggle in a search for power. Yet the Punjabiyat movement presents Punjab as an oppressed victim of Pakistan’s troubled search for national identity. This essay argues that a theory of symbolic capital best explains this otherwise peculiar inversion of perceived and actual power, and underscores culture’s critical role in the nation’s political imagination.

Read further: http://alyssaayres.com/2008/08/language-nation-symbolic-capital-punjab/

15 PhD Scholarships at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen

Posted in PhD Studentship by Pippa on December 28, 2009

The Graduate School of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen is inviting applications for 15 PhD scholarships all starting 1 September 2010 for a period of up to three years. Applications must relate to one of the nine research topics mentioned below.

  1. Pedagogical and/or Technical Audiology (Subject area 1: Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics)
  2. Media, Citizenship and Rhetoric (Subject area 2: Education, Philosophy, Rhetoric, Film and Media Studies)
  3. Power, Knowledge and Politics in Europe and the European Cultural Area (Subject area 3: History, Archaeology, Ethnology, Greek and Latin)
  4. Cultural Memory and the Construction of Individual Identities in the Modern World (Subject area 4: Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, Arctic Studies, Study of Religions, Native American Languages and Cultures, Eastern European Studies, Minority Studies, Comparative Cultural Studies)
  5. Transnational and Migration Studies (Subject area 5: English, German and Romance Studies)
  6. Cultural Memory: Aesthetics and Functions (Subject area 6: Art History, Theatre Studies, Dance Studies, Comparative Literature, Musicology)
  7. Primary Sources for the Study of the Scandinavian Languages (Subject area 7: Old Norse-Icelandic, Dialect Studies, Name Studies, Runology)
  8. Language Technology (Subject area 8: Language Technology)
  9. The Human Factor in Climate Change (Subject area defined by topic)

 Closing date for applications: 4 February 2010 at 12 noon (Central European time).

Further information: http://www.humanities.ku.dk/research/PhD/Announcements/

Conference: The Hermeneutics of Sikh Music (Raga) and Word (Shabad)

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on December 28, 2009

 21-23 May, 2010, Hofstra University

Is music a language? Is there meaning in music? Perhaps universal meaning – given the popular platitude that music is the only universal language. Or is the meaning in music mediated by culture to such an extent that one is hard put to speak of universals? If the latter then does that imply a cultural limit to the supposed universal nature of the Gurū Granth Sāhib arguably the musical text par excellence? If the Word needs to be translated across linguistic contexts then does Sikh music also require translation into culture-specific and musical idioms to be efficacious? How to interpret and translate musical meaning? Is it even possible?

The purpose of this conference is to bring these two crucial dimensions of Sikh thought and practice, philosophy and aesthetics, together to initiate an academic dialogue between the Word (language, meaning, interpretation) and its performance in Music and Song (rāg/melody, tāl/metric cycle, laya/tempo, bhāv/expression, instruments etc). The conference aims to grapple with a hermeneutics that can cater for both musical evocation (kīrtan) and philosophical contemplation (kathā) as one phenomenon.

Further information: http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/REL/SIKH/sikh_hermeneutics_may2010.html

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Expanding horizons by Shinder Thandi

Posted in Articles by Pippa on December 28, 2009

The Tribune, 24 November, 2009

THE Sikh Studies programme at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), USA, began in Fall 1999 with three clear objectives: to initiate teaching of Sikh studies at UCSB; promote research and publications on Sikh studies; and work toward establishing UCSB as the leading center of Sikh and Punjab studies in North America. Five years later, in 2004, the Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies was established to further consolidate the work already undertaken and also to add further objectives, which included promotion of scholarly exchange, community outreach, teaching and promotion of Punjabi language and hosting the Journal of Punjab Studies. Measured in terms of actual achievements, the programme has far exceeded its expectations and has now emerged as the premier center for the study of Sikh tradition.

Read full article: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091124/edu.htm#1

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Punjabi Poet Amarjit Chandan Receives the Anad Kav Sanman 2009

Posted in Articles, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on December 28, 2009

Chandan accepting award from Krishan Khanna (middle). Bhai Baldeep Singh (right).

India Islamic Cultural Centre Auditorium was a venue for an unusual celebration of the spirit of poetry, music and painting – a fusion of the folk, classical, sufi and gurbani traditions of undivided Punjab – to bring together poets, artists and musicians for a rendering of the poetry of Amarjit Chandan – the recipient of the Anad Kav Sanman, 2009 for his seminal contribution to Punjabi Poetry, and for bringing Punjabi Poetry on the International Scene.

The function began with a musical tribute to Baljit Kaur Tulsi by Rupinder Pal Kaur, who sang one of Tulsi’s poems in Raga Peelu.

Professor Namvar Singh, Hindi literary critic and Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University presided over the Award Ceremony and Krishan Khanna, the Painter, was the Chief Guest of the Second Anad Kav Tarang Festival, organized on the occasion of the conferring of the Award, instituted in the memory of  a Punjabi poet, Baljit Kaur Tulsi. The award, offered to eminent poets, includes a cash prize of Rs. 2.25 lacs, a citation, a silver plate and a turban. Anad Kav Sanman is unique in South Asia in the sense that it exclusively celebrates poetic excellence to honor the memory of a woman poet.

Read full article: amarjit chandan press release

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Posted in Research Fellowships by Pippa on December 28, 2009

New Europe College – Institute for Advanced Study in Bucharest, Romania – announces the competition for Fellowships on the topic “Religion and Politics in the Context of Modernity” for the academic year 2010-11.

The program targets young Romanian and international researchers/academics working in the fields of humanities and social studies. Applicants must be doctoral students, or hold a Ph.D. title. Duration of the Fellowship: a) a full academic year (10 months, October through July) or (only for the international Fellows) b) a one-term fellowship (October through February, or March through July). Location: New Europe College in Bucharest, Romania.

The Fellows are expected to work on their own projects and take part in the scientific events organized by the New Europe College. At the end of their Fellowship, each Fellow is expected to hand in a research paper reflecting the results of his/her work over the duration of the Fellowship. The papers will be included in a NEC publication.

Working languages: English, French, and German. A good command of English is desirable. The deadline (the arrival date, not the mailing date) for the international candidates to submit the application both by regular mail and e-mail is February 1st, 2010. The applications will be evaluated by the Academic Board of the NEC. The applicants will be notified by e-mail and regular mail on the results of the evaluation process at the beginning of the month of March. The shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview organized at the NEC, in Bucharest, on April 9-10, 2010.

The application form, the instructions for the application and additional information on the New Europe College can be downloaded from http://www.nec.ro/fundatia/nec/nec_intl_2010.htm. or requested by e-mail at applications@nec.ro.

Distinguished Visiting Fellowships 2010-2011

Posted in Research Fellowships by Pippa on December 28, 2009

 Graduate School in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London

Applications are invited for up to eight Distinguished Visiting Fellowships. The Fellowships are intended to appeal to senior scholars from the UK or overseas who wish to spend a period, for the purposes of research, in one of the most stimulating intellectual environments in London. They have been created by the College in response to a substantial donation from the Westfield Trust to build on-campus residential accommodation specifically for this purpose. The accommodation, part of a new student village, opened in September 2004.

The Fellowships are attached to the Graduate School in the Humanities and Social Sciences, to which ten academic Schools and Departments contribute: Business and Management; Centre for Commercial Law Studies; Drama; Economics; English; Geography; History; Languages, Linguistics & Film (Spanish, German, French, Russian, Linguistics, Film); Law; and Politics. 

The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise placed Queen Mary in the top tier of research-led British universities, ranking 11th in the Guardian league table. The Graduate School currently has more than 1,400 students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in the humanities and social sciences.

Fellowships cover the four-month period September-December 2010 or January-April 2011. Fellows may by arrangement and at their own cost extend residence over a longer period if they wish, subject to the availability of accommodation. Each Fellow is expected to contribute to a seminar programme in a relevant academic department and to participate in the intellectual life of the Graduate School and the College more generally.

Further particulars and the application form are available at: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/hss/fellows/index.html   All applications should be sent in electronic format by midnight 28th February 2010 to Linda Grant, Administrator, Graduate School in the Humanities and Social Sciences on l.grant@qmul.ac.uk.

Sikh fighter pilots over Europe and Merlins in Afghanistan

Posted in Articles by Pippa on December 28, 2009

The Times, 14 November, 2009

The British premiere of a documentary about British-trained Sikh fighter pilots of the First and Second World Wars is to be screened at the RAF Museum at Hendon, northwest London, on November 22. A seminar about the deployment of the Merlin helicopter in Afghanistan will be held at the same venue on March 10.

Diverse as they are, these two events illustrate what a small world of unexpected inter-relationships exists within the RAF. Both the first Sikh pilot, Flight Lieutenant Hardit Singh Malik, and the speaker at the seminar, Merlin pilot Squadron Leader Simon Reade from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, are products of No 28 Squadron RAF. Reade is the squadron’s second-in-command.

Read full article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/court_and_social/article6916305.ece

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