Punjab Research Group

An appeal from award-winning author, Aanchal Malhotra, for Punjabis to get in touch if you’re interested in this project

Posted in Diaspora, News/Information by rsmaan on June 18, 2020


An appeal from award-winning author, Aanchal Malhotra, for Punjabis to get in touch if you’re interested in this project:

The Punjabis. I have recently been commissioned to work on a history of Punjabi people. The Punjabis are a complex community, no longer bound by geography, but by an unspoken ethos, and are now spread vastly across the subcontinent and in the diaspora of the world. They are a populace constantly evolving, expanding and enduring; a versatile, adaptable, varied community, whose ethos of Punjabiyat extends beyond a fixed geography.

The Punjabis is a study of the peoples that can trace their origins to the land of the five rivers. As an oral historian, I am interested in the personal and familial stories connected to Punjabi history, identity, ethnicity, race, geography, language, religion, community, diaspora, family life and relationships, culture, literature, folklore, mythology, and food.

Aanchal’s email address is aanchal@aanchalmalhotra.com

Here’s a page from Aanchal’s website, where you can see the kinds of things she writes about – https://www.aanchalmalhotra.com/writing/

Remnants of Partition is an oral history archive and the first study of material culture carried across the border during the Partition. It was shortlisted for the British Academy’s 2019 Nayef Al Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, and several other awards in India. Even though the book has been published for a few years now, I am still continuing the research to record stories of objects – however small or large – people carried with them across the border to both sides in 1947.

Anchal book _EN

2nd International Conference of History, GCU, Lahore 17-18 November 2014

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on November 1, 2014

5th Thaap International Conference 2014, 7-10 November 2014

Posted in Art, Conferences by Pippa on November 1, 2014
1.InaugurationYou are cordially invited to attend the 5th Thaap International Conference 2014 on the theme “Culture, Art and Architecture of the Marginalized and the Poor” to be held from 07-10 November 2014 at 43-G, Gulberg-III, Lahore. 

Thaap Conference 2014 will include the Paper Reading Sessions and a Research Exposition running parallel to it from 07-09 November at 43-G, Gulberg-III. 

Thaap has organized a Film Screening and a Photography Exhibition on the same theme which will be inaugurated on 8 November, 2014 for private viewing at University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore.
Please see full programme: Conf Prog. 2014


cfp: Relocating the Cultural linkages in South Asia: A Historical Perspective, 17-19 October 2014, Punjabi University, Patiala

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on July 30, 2014

The Department of History, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab (India) will hold its 2nd South Asian History Conference on 17-19 October 2014 at the University campus. This three day conference aims to bring together historians, academicians, research scholars working on the countries of South Asia viz. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,Afghanistan and Myanmar to cover the gap in South Asian historical studies.
South Asia includes some of the most ancient countries that have made a unique contribution to world culture. These countries have strong regional affinities in as much as they share a common cultural heritage which is not totally indigenous but a product of continuous synthesis between elements, both external and internal. Peoples of South Asia belong to different races, practise different religions, speak different languages and yet share a common civilizational heritage which Arnold Toynbee calls as ‘ Indic’, No country of South Asia can comprehend its own culture adequately without taking into congnisance the cultural traditions of the region as a whole.

The aim of the conference is to historically examine the multi-centricity of the South Asian culture and demonstrate the commonness, inner dynamics and nature and extent of interaction amongst the countries of South Asia during different phases of history. It is hoped that the deliberations of scholars at the conference will rediscover the cultural linkages to foster co-operation, harmony, peace and mutuality in contemporary South Asia.
Suggested Themes: Themes might include but need not be limited to the following:
● Language and Literature ● Art and Architecture ● Philosophy, Religious beliefs and Practices ● Socio-Cultural institutions ● Socio- Religious reform movements ● Caste, Race, Gender and cultural traditions ● Science, Technology and culture ● Climate, Ecology, Environment and culture ● Cultural Adaptation and synthesis ● Search for unity in diversity

This being the centenary year of World War I , one section will be devoted to the significance of this event in world history with special reference to South Asia.

Call for Papers
The soft copy of the abstract with a maximum of 500 words, double spaced (in Times New Roman font size 12) written in English should be sent for acceptance at sahcpta@gmail.com on or before 10 August 2014. After scrutiny of the abstracts the authors will be notified regarding the acceptance of papers on 25 August 2014. The deadline for final paper submission is 25 September 2014. The authors should limit their papers within 15-20 pages

All participations are required to register. The scholars are required to register before or on 1 October 2014. The registration fees (which includes accommodation and food for three days) for Indian scholars is rupees 1000/-, for scholars of other countries is 50 USD. The registration fees for Indian research students is rupees 750/-, for research students of other countries is 30 USD.

Mode of Payment
The details regarding mode of payment will be conveyed shortly.

The organisers will provide accommodation to the paper presenters only.

The proceedings of the conference will be duly published in the form of a book from a leading publisher.

Other Information
Further details about the programme and sessions of the conference will be duly intimated.

Contact Information Send in your queries at hist.conf2013@gmail.com or contact us at: +91-175-3046192 +91-175-3046193
1. Dr. Jaspal Kaur Dhanju Professor and Head Department of History Mob: +91-9915583843
2. Dr. Kulbir Singh Dhillon Professor and Formerly Head, Dean Students Welfare Department of History Mob: +91-9417385002

The Sikh Turban: Exploring An Icon Of A Migratory Peoples’ Identity

Posted in Events, Migration, Research, sikhs by gsjandu on May 15, 2013

Research Consultation: Anthropological Collection on Sikh Turbans

The Horniman Museum, London

Kind assistance is requested with researching a collection displaying the dastar as part of Sikhs’ global migration. The collection has three aspirations; to firstly display the pagh’s physical variation as geographically dichotomous and freighting a regionally intrinsic identity trope for instance Makhan Singh as a kalasingha wearing a Kenyan kilemba. Secondly to consider the pagh and its contentious role in Sikh identity within the milieu of other head-coverings e.g. Mitres in Europe during The Middle Ages. Thirdly to reflect on the pagh in Sikh-Britain relationships e.g. Winterhalter’s 1854 portrait of Duleep Singh  or turbaned Sikhs as stock British Armed Forces’ media images. Thoughts on the collection mode and process are especially welcomed. The Horniman Museum Collections can be explored at www.horniman.ac.uk, whilst the researchers can be reached on gorby.jandu@gmail.com and JZetterstrom-Sharp@horniman.ac.uk. The collection is due to gain exhibition in 2014 with displays finalised by end 2013.

Diasporas: Exploring Critical Issues, 5th Global Conference, 29th June-1st July 2012

Posted in Conferences, News/Information by santhyb on November 15, 2011

Date: Friday 29th June 2012 – Sunday 1st July 2012

Venue: Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Papers:  This inter- and multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the contemporary experience of Diasporas – communities who conceive of themselves as a national, ethnic, linguistic or other form of cultural and political construction of collective membership living outside of their ‘home lands.’ Diaspora is a concept which is far from being definitional. Despite problems and limitations in terminology, this notion may be defined with issues attached to it for a more complete understanding. Such a term which may have its roots in Greek, is used customarily to apply to a historical phenomenon that has now passed to a period that usually supposes that Di­asporas are those who are settled forever in a country other from where they were born and thus this term has lost its dimension of irreversibility and of exile.

In order to increase our understanding of Diasporas and their impact on both the receiving countries and their respective homes left behind, key issues will be addressed related to Diaspora cultural expression and interests. In addition, the conference will address the questions: Do Diasporas continue to exist? Is the global economy, media and policies sending different messages about diaspora to future generations?

Papers, workshops, presentations and pre-formed panels are invited on any of the following themes:

1. Movies and Diasporas

The presence and impact of displaced / globalized populations of audiences, spectators and producers of new mainstream /Hollywood/ Bollywood cinema are crucial to the emergence of this post-diasporic cinema, as these narratives from texts to screen constitute a fundamental challenge for the negotiation of complex diasporic issues.

2. Motivational Factors for Research into Diaspora

Factors are numerous including most prominently, artistic and musical creations, intellectual outputs, and specific religious practices and which have made a significant international impact.

3. Myths and Symbols: how to meet, and get to know each other through the use of creative lenses
Diasporas group, re-group and their group myths and symbols change accordingly. Or Diasporas remain dominated, their myths and symbols mirror (or rebel) their domination. This manifestation could take in linguistic, artistic and other creative forms right down to graffiti to propaganda. The effects of Diaspora through a creative lens, as often this is where the true effects of migration and cultural adjustment expose themselves in a personal and celebratory way. These could include:

* Creative Expression as a result of shifting and integrating cultures. Cross cultural and cross disciplinary practices / cross cultural collaboration / representing the self and the nation / connecting history to the future / third space practice

* Shifting Art Practices and how traditional folk based art forms (art / music / literature / dance) can accommodate and represent modern diasporic communities in flux

* New Languages that represent broken boundaries such as graffiti / rap/ interactive & web based art forms / global design aesthetics/ symbolism / sound & vision / poetry and text / Esperanto

4. Public, Private and Virtual Spaces of Diaspora

The controversial meaning of private/public spaces remain fundamental arenas in the re/construction of gendered identities in an in-between space as a Diaspora context nurtures challenges to traditional socio-cultural behaviors. Virtual Diasporas – This questions a range of pre conceived notions about physicality, actuality and place (which in turn open up the discussions around ownership, representation and nation). Virtual diasporas are not limited to the arts of course but the shifts toward new technologies within art and design production are highlighting such issues through various forms of creativity and the critique that surrounds it.

We anticipate that these and related issues will be of interest to those working/researching in philosophy, education, ethics, cinematic/ literature, politics, sociology, history, architecture, photography, geography, globalization, international relations, refugee studies, migration studies, urban studies and cultural studies.

5. Novel ways to think about Diaspora due to globalization

In the new global world in which cultures act simultaneously how should we be thinking about Diaspora?

Some pertinent questions in this area that the conference is interested in addressing are: What are some of the ways to identity and define the subject in changing political boundaries where cultural interactions are amplified? What are the processes of social formation and reformation of? Diasporas that is unique to a global age? How do an intensified migration age that is coupled with broader and more flexible terrains of social structures can give Diaspora communities a window of opportunity to redefine their social position in both the country of origin and the host country? How does immigration in an age where the media and the internet are highly accessible, bring individuals to deal with multiple levels of traditions and cultures? What new cross-‘ethnoscapes’ and cross-‘ideoscapes’ are emerging in? In what new methods can we capture the web of forces that influences Diasporas at the same time?

Other aspects of Diaspora that we are interested in having discussions about are:

* Economics of diaspora
* Gendered diasporas
* Queer diasporas ‘flexible citizenship’
* Contested diasporic identities
* Invisible diasporas
* Emerging and changing patterns – is there an ‘American diaspora’ in
China? In Dubai? Etc.
* Stateless or homeless diasporas – diasporas of no return
* Guest workers as diasporans?
* Diasporas created by shifting state boundaries
* Internal (intranational diasporas) – for example, First Nations or
Indigenous/Native migration into urban areas
* Diasporans by adoption or ‘diasporans-in-law’ (partners of diasporans
adopted into diasporic communities, extended diasporas through family
relations, etc.)
* Overlapping diasporas, entanglement
* Competing claims or multiple claims on diasporans Inter-diasporan or
multi-diasporan realities

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 13th January 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 11th May 2012. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs;abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: DIAS5 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Dr S. Ram Vemuri
School of Law and Business
Faculty of Law, Business and Arts
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT0909
Email: Ram.Vemuri@cdu.edu.au

Rob Fisher
Network Founder and Leader
Freeland, Oxfordshire,
United Kingdom
Email: dias5@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the ‘Diversity and Recognition’ series of research projects, which in turn belong to the At the Interface programmes of ID.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and challenging. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into 20-25 page chapters for publication in a themed dialogic ISBN hard copy volume.

For further details of the project, please visit:


For further details of the conference, please visit:


Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we
are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or

Rababi Kirtan Performances by Bhai Ghulam Mohammed Chand- November 2011

Posted in Events, Music by santhyb on November 3, 2011
Tagged with: , , ,

Bharat Britain: South Asians Making Britain, 1870-1950

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on June 3, 2010

13/14 September 2010
British Library Conference Centre, St Pancras, London

This major international conference marks the culmination of the AHRC-funded project ‘Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870-1950’, led by the Open University in collaboration with the University of Oxford and King’s College, London. ‘Bharat Britain’ will showcase new research from distinguished scholars, curators and writers worldwide. Held in partnership with the British Library, it will explore the manifold ways in which South Asians impacted on the formation of Britain’s cultural and political life prior to Independence and Partition in 1947.

‘Bharat Britain’ will map the various networks and affiliations South Asians and Britons formed across boundaries of ‘race’, ‘nation’, ‘culture’ and ‘class’, setting up connections which were to anticipate the shape of things to come. The conference will add historical depth and breadth to our present-day readings of ‘diaspora’ and ‘migration’, and counter the common perception that a British monoculture only began to diversify after the Second World War.

• Opening of panel exhibition ‘South Asians Making Britain, 1858-1950’, which will then tour the UK.
• Launch of online interactive database comprising several hundred entries on South Asians in Britain.

For further details and the programme, please go to: http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/south-asians-making-britain/conference.htm

Call for Papers: 1th EASA Biennial Conference: Maynooth, Ireland

Posted in Conferences by harjant on February 10, 2010

1th EASA Biennial Conference: Maynooth, Ireland – 24-27th August 2010

Panel: Material Culture, Migration and the Transnational Imaginary

Short Abstract
Material objects are used to objectify memory; as things with their own trajectories, migrating objects are also used to create new links and new relations, positively or negatively affecting imaginations of community and belonging, making migration a crisis of local/global identification.

Migration is not just about citizens crossing borders from homeland to host-countries; it incorporates global movements of things, ideas and people: transnational movements affecting those who move as well as those who don’t. Migration as the crisis of passage moves the traditional paradigm of migration into the realm of the imaginary, in which distant and previously unknown peoples can become connected through materials circulating in this global domain. The same types of objects cited previously can similarly be used to express outward belonging and membership to “imagined communities” not able to be experienced personally, changing persons and altering their concepts of local and global belonging.

We welcome papers addressing this crisis and how ordinary people respond to their extraordinary situations through the multiple meanings objects provide.

To submit a paper to this panel, see: http://www.nomadit.co.uk/easa/easa2010/paperproposal.php5?PanelID=595
For general information on the conference, see: http://www.easaonline.org/conferences/easa2010/index.htm

CFP:Bharat Britain South Asians Making Britain, 1870–1950

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on September 14, 2009

13/14 September 2010, British Library Conference Centre, London

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Dr Florian Stadtler on f.c.stadtler@open.ac.uk, with ‘MB conference’ in the subject line, by 30 September 2009.

In what ways did South Asians impact on Britain’s cultural and political life between 1870 and 1950? To what extent did South Asian intellectuals and activists interact and exchange ideas with their British counterparts? What are the legacies of this early diasporic community?

This conference will explore the manifold ways in which the presence of South Asians in Britain during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries impacted on Britain and influenced the shaping of the nation. It will map out the various networks and affiliations South Asians and Britons formed across boundaries of ‘race’, ‘nation’ and ‘class’. These can be traced in different areas of cultural and political life, from the elitist literary and artistic circles of Bloomsbury where friendships were forged between poets and painters; to the anticolonial organisations which brought South Asian and British activists together in the lead up to Independence; to the battlefields of the two world wars where Indian sepoys and volunteers fought alongside Britain’s youth. Yet these interactions were also, at times, marked by hierarchies and dissent, with South Asians facing barriers in this chapter of their journey to negotiate the peripheries of Britain as well as its ‘centre’. Whether through riot, strike or petition, they struggled for their rights as imperial citizens, shifting ideas of ‘Britishness’ in the process.

Held in partnership with the British Library, the conference will address the ways in which South Asians – whether writers, politicians, students or lascars – positioned themselves in Britain during this period, and, in turn, how they were depicted by the British public and in British culture. Further, it will examine the significance of their activities and their influence on the cultural-political make-up of Britain, the ways in which their interventions challenged the national imaginary, and how debates about citizenship and Britishness during the period continue to resonate with contemporary preoccupations regarding Britain’s multi-ethnic identity.

Invited plenary speakers include: Humayun Ansari, Antoinette Burton, Chandani Lokugé, Nayantara Sahgal, Amartya Sen, A. Martin Wainwright, Rozina Visram, with more to be announced.

This conference arises out of the 3-year AHRC-funded project ‘Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870–1950’. Please see the project website for further details: http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/south-asians-making-britain/

Starved of literary gatherings

Posted in Articles by Pippa on September 5, 2009

August 27, 2009  http://www.thenews.com.pk/

Lahore has always been a hub of cultural and literary activities and has produced a lot many men of letter. Most of these activities have traditionally been revolved around cafes and restaurants that served intellectuals, writers and artistes with endless cups of tea and coffee and provided them with an opportunity to discuss subjects and matters close to their hearts and minds.

The colonial Lahore was full of restaurants and cafes with most of them locating along The Mall. One such place was the India Coffee House established by two Sikh brothers. Immediately after the Partition, the name India was dropped from the title and it was renamed as Pak Tea House. The Pak Tea House was located opposite to the Coffee House and Cheney’s lunch home on The Mall near Anarkali Bazaar. These two places used to have intellectual gatherings. Cheney’s lunch home was popular with people from different walks of life. University teachers and students were also frequent visitors.

The Pak Tea House had had a different status altogether. It was a hub of literary gatherings. Non-residents of Lahore used to call it their information centre that served them round the clock. Giants like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Sa’adat Hassan Manto, Muneer Niazi, Ahmad Faraz, Mira Ji and Kamal Rizvi frequented the .Pak Tea House which became unofficial headquarters of an eclectic bunch of writers, artistes, musicians and the Halqa e Arbab e Zauq.

The celebrated fiction writer, Intizar Hussain, who had been a regular visitor to the tea house since 1949 till its closure, believed it was a cultural institution known all over the sub-continent.

No other literary institution of the country, including the Academy of Letters had credibility equal to the Pak Tea House,” he said. He said people freely expressed their political views in the Pak Tea House even in the repressive days of the military regimes of Generals Ayub Khan and Zia ul Haq. Literary interaction as well as literary programmes was the core of Pak Tea House.

It was recognized as a National Level Centre as people from all fields and schools of thought visited it.

This centre had played an important role in the promotion of literary people in Pakistan but during Sarajuddin’s era the Pak Tea House had faced a couple of disputes as it was a part of the YMCA so the authorities demanded its evacuation and took this case to a court of law. All literary figures and people had protested and the court very fairly announced that poets and writers were the soul of a society and were spiritual guardians and the Pak Tea House was known as a centre of knowledge and depicted the culture of Lahore so this place could not be used for any other purpose. After Sarajuddin’s death, his son Zahid Hasan owned the place. Because of financial constraints and his heart surgery, he wanted to open a garments or tire shop. However, the YMCA authorities again demanded evacuation of the tea house and the court didn’t give any decision at that time and the matter was still pending.

The Pak Tea House, having served against all odds for well over 50 years to countless poets and writers of all shades and political stripes, finally yielded to the irreversible forces of commodity culture raging. After the tea house places like Aadbi Baithak in Alhamra and Chaupaal in Nasser Bagh failed to serve the purpose. Many senior writers and poets had died, some have gone abroad. Sarfaraz Syed, a senior journalist and writer who was once a member of the committee of the Pak Tea House said that cities were recognized and respected because of their culture and literature.

For him, thePak Tea House and places like it were a source of intimation, information, education, knowledge and wisdom. —SAKEENA IBAD

(The writer is an intern from the Lahore College for Women University)

Punjabi Khoj Garh

Posted in Academic associations, News/Information by Pippa on July 14, 2009

Punjabi Khojgarh is centre of research, publication and advocacy on the history, culture, literature, music, and art of the Punjab. It was established on the 10th March 2001 under the initiative of celebrated poet and historian Mr Iqbal Qasier . It is maintained by the Punjabi Khojgarh Trust and individuals who work voluntarily to maintain and upkeep the Centre. They have lauched a new blog:


Photos of Khojgarh and from a recent conference on Guru Nanak which drew guests and speakers from around the globe including India.

Library at Khojgarh Iqbal Qaiser

Conference on Guru Nanak at PKG Conference on Guru Nanak at PKG

Conference on Guru Nanak at PKG Conference on Guru Nanak at PKG

%d bloggers like this: