Punjab Research Group

PRG meeting 27 June 2015, SOAS

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on June 26, 2015

The Politics of the Social and Beyond:

Hegemonies, Resistances, and Negotiations

B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, WC1H OXG

27 June 2015 at 10:00 AM


Full Programme: PRG Programme June 2015

Samina Bashir (Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)

The Communal Award in Colonial Punjab: Implications and Impacts for Sikhs

Michael Nijhawan (Department of Sociology, York University, Canada)

The Asylum Courts’ Radiating Effect on Religion

Nicola Mooney (University of the Fraser Valley, Canada)

Caste, Dominance, and the Question of Form

Kavita Bhanot (University of Manchester)

Unpacking Multiculturalism and Hybridity: ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ in ‘Third Generation’ British Asian Literature

Yaqoob Khan Bangash (Forman Christian College, Lahore)

Bahawalpur State and Pakistan, 1947-55: Accession and Integration

And book launch of A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947-1955 (OUP, 2015)

Radhika Chopra (Department of Sociology, University of Delhi)

Seeing off the dead: Post mortem photographs in the Durbar Sahib

Silas Webb (Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Syracuse University)

State Surveillance, Neighbourhood Formation and Diaspora Politics: The ‘Pedlar Fraternity’ in Glasgow, 1925-1949

Virinder S. Kalra (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester)

Book Launch and reception, with musical performance and dialogue with Rajveer Singh, Hardeep Singh Siera and Amrit Kaur Lohia: Sacred and Secular Musics: A Postcolonial Approach (Bloomsbury Press, 2015)

cfp: International Sikh Research Conference (ISRC)

Posted in Conferences, Events by Pippa on February 16, 2015

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

Sikhs in Latin America

Posted in Diaspora, News/Information, sikhs by Pippa on November 26, 2014

Invitation for an international conference on the Punjabi Diaspora’s linkages to host societies

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on October 8, 2014

The Department of Punjabi at Punjabi University has planned a three day conference on the Punjabi Diaspora on January 20-22, 2015. This will be a third such gathering of scholars with the main theme of this seminar will be an exploration of the Punjabi Diaspora’s interaction with host societies. The last two conferences were devoted to [a] Punjabi Diasporas’ linkage with Punjab as its ‘homeland’ [b] The first conference had a general theme while trying to map various aspects of the Punjabi Diaspora. This third conference, like the previous two, will be spread over three days. Scholars are invited to contribute on any of the topics falling under the main theme of the Punjabi Diaspora’s interaction with host societies which is elaborated below.

Please see attached for full details Diaspora Conference 2015

Lakhvir Singh, Chairman, Punjabi Department.

Email address: punjabidiasporaconference@gmail.com

Alternatively, please write to us at:

Department of Punjabi, Punjabi University, Patiala-147002, Punjab, India


cfp: 4th Sikh Studies Conference, University of California

Posted in Conferences, Events by Pippa on August 19, 2014


The Department of Religious Studies at the University of California Riverside and the Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies are inviting papers for an international Sikh Studies conference on the theme of “Living and Making Sikhi in the Diaspora: The Millennial Generation Comes of Age” on May 8-9, 2015


The conference will be a two day event of panel discussions, and will be held at the newly-built Interdisciplinary Building (Symposium INTS 1113) of the Riverside Campus of the University of California. The abstracts of the papers are due by December 15, 2014 and complete papers by April 15, 2015. Attendance at the seminar will be open to graduate students, faculty and the public.

Please find the call for proposals in the attached pdf: Call 4th Sikh Studies Conference 2015



Chair of the Organizing Committee: Professor Pashaura Singh

Members: Professor Verne A. Dusenbery and Charles M. Townsend

Event Coordinator: Ryan A. Mariano



Special Issue of South Asian Diaspora: Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi Diaspora

Posted in Academic Journals, Articles, Migration, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on July 30, 2014

South Asian Diaspora Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014




Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora: after more than a century of Punjabi migration

Anjali Gera Roy


  • ‘The heart, stomach and backbone of Pakistan’: Lahore in novels by Bapsi Sidhwa and Mohsin Hamid Claire Chambers
  • Culture shock on Southall Broadway: re-thinking ‘second-generation’ return through ‘geographies of Punjabiness’ Kaveri Qureshi
  • Punjabiyat and the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Virinder S. Kalra
  • Tracing Sufi influence in the works of contemporary Siraiki Poet, Riffat Abbas Nukhbah Taj Langah
  • Exiled in its own land: Diasporification of Punjabi in Punjab Abbas Zaidi
  • (Dis)honourable paradigms: a critical reading of Provoked, Shame and Daughters of Shame Shweta Kushal & Evangeline Manickam

PRG Conference 27-28 June 2014, Coventry University – revised programme

Posted in Conferences, PRG Meetings by Pippa on June 11, 2014

As you know this year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Punjab Research Group. To celebrate this milestone we have teamed up with Dr Churnjeet Mahn, University of Surrey, and are planning a two-day conference at Coventry University. The conference will be supported by the AHRC project, ‘A Punjabi Palimpsest: Cultural Memory and Amnesia at the Aam Khas Bagh’. A website connected to the project can be found here: http://www.thegtroad.com.

Attached are all the details for the conference, including the programme and abstracts. If you would like to attend please complete the registration form and send this to me by Thursday 19 June. Please note that the programme for Saturday has been revised and extended.


PRG 27-28 June 2014

Useful Information

blank registration form

New Publication on Sikh Studies: Diaspora: A Journal for Transnational Studies

Posted in Academic Journals, Diaspora, Migration, New Publications, News/Information, sikhs by gsjandu on April 9, 2014

Michael Nijhawan has alerted us of a new edition of the above journal that contains three papers on the Sikh diapora. One of which is as per this link:



The author can be reached on:

Michael Nijhawan
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology, York University
4700 Keele St, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3
Phone: 416-736-2100 xt.77994
Tagged with: , ,

cfp: Punjabi Diaspora Conference at Patiala, February 3-5, 2014

Posted in Conferences, Diaspora, News/Information by Pippa on January 2, 2014

The Punjabi University is holding a major three-day conference on the Punjabi Diaspora at its campus on February 3-5, 2014. Organised by the Punjabi Department, the main focus of the conference is an exploration of multiple connections of the Punjabi Diaspora to its land of origins, starting from the late nineteenth century to the present era.

While the new technology, especially internet has helped to make the relationship of global Diasporas and their lands of origins, lively, complex and more intense, the study of the multidimensional exchange between the Punjabi Diaspora and its homeland presents severe challenges and issues. In the case of overseas Sikhs, as several scholarly studies have underlined, there has been a close linkages from the late nineteenth century to the present; this became especially problematic in the 1980s after the traumatic events in the Indian Punjab. A fierce debate ensued on the issue of Sikh minority in India and continues to draw attention of a large part of the Sikh Diaspora – which constitutes a major section of Punjabis abroad. This immediately alerts us to the question: what about the Punjabi Hindus and other smaller sections of the Punjabi Diaspora, how they relate to the land of their origins; and what about Muslim Punjabis from West Punjab in Pakistan?

This is just one dimension of the set of questions that await thorough analysis by experts. We also know how the Punjabi Diaspora has enriched the Punjab economy [both in India and Pakistan], through remittances and contributed to social capital by several philanthropic projects.  The Punjabi Diaspora is also a major site of Punjabi creative literature –what are its salient features? How does the Punjabi Diaspora relate to host societies through its imagined word-maps? Then there is related question of Punjabi language –how does the Punjabi Diaspora maintain its home language and impart to its new generations?  How does it draw upon the land of origins in such an endeavour? Similar questions arise as far the reproduction issues of various religious traditions among the Punjabi Diaspora.

Thus, besides welcoming papers addressed to fundamental theoretical question of the idea of ‘homeland,’ among the Punjabi Diaspora, contributors are encouraged to explore multi-dimensional ways overseas Punjabi communities relate to the land of their origins; Papers on any aspect of such connections through economic, cultural, religious and political linkages are welcome as also exploration of the kind of debates among the Punjabi Diaspora through the media as it has undergone vast change from earlier newspapers exchanges to extensive discussions via websites and cyberspace.

Here is a summary of themes for papers:

A. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: Where is Home? Idea of Homeland and Problematic of Country

B. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: Creative Spaces and shared linkages through Literary Productions

C. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora:  The Economic Exchange: Philanthropy and Developmental issues

D. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: Political Linkages, Role and Tensions

E. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Gender Dimension

F. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Print Media and Radio

G. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: New Forms of communication and debates: Cyberspace and Websites

H. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: On Linguistic Exchanges: Erosion, Consolidation and Challenges

I. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Cultural Dimension

J. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Punjabi Family, Generational Conflict, Reproduction of Culture

K. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Religious interconnections: The role of Pilgrimage and other forms of Exchange

The University will provide usual facilities for contributors, free board and lodging including travel assistance up to Patiala campus for all participants from other states of India, and in the case of foreign participants’ return fare for railway passage from New Delhi airport to Patiala.

Please contact with the title of your paper and an abstract by 15 January:

Prof. Lakhvir Singh, Convenor Seminar and Head, PunjabI Department, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India

Email: punjabidiasporaconference@gmail.com; Phone: 00 91 -98728-60245

cfp: Pakistan Workshop 2014: State, society, bureaucracy and networks

Posted in Conferences, News/Information by Pippa on November 19, 2013

Venue: The Lake District, 9th-11th May 2014

The Pakistani bureaucracy has been acclaimed as the inheritor to the proceduralist bureaucracy of the khagazi raj or ‘document rule’ of the British colonial administration. The continuities with post-colonial Pakistani bureaucracy have frequently been noted. However, in recent years, parts of Pakistani bureaucracy have been prodded by international development assistance to reorganise on the lines of market efficiency, intermeshing the private corporate sector and ‘civil society’ with traditional bureaucratic proceduralism. This primacy of the market has been argued to have combined with new ideas about the legitimate relationship between state and society, advancing a new vision of the state itself. Elsewhere, bureaucracies have been studied as flexible, affective and humane organisations rather than rational, inflexible, and disenchanted structures. Pakistan is no exception to the moral embeddedness of bureaucracy and the fallacy of the impersonal bureaucratic persona is self-evident in a society where relations of patron-client have been suggested as foundational. This is a call for papers to explore aspects of Pakistani bureaucracy as networks –whether in the Latourian sense as in the Actor-Network Theory, or in a more traditional sociological understanding as forms of association between individuals and groups.

The Pakistan Workshop 2014 invites researchers of Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora to submit abstracts around this theme. ‘State, society, bureaucracy and networks’, as the theme for 2014 workshop, is only a guide to encourage submissions around this area which has been under represented in the academic discussions on Pakistan.  You may submit abstract of your papers even if they do not coincide with this theme but would be of interest to those working on Pakistan. The Pakistan Workshop was originally intended to bring together anthropologists and sociologists working on Pakistan, Pakistani diaspora and Islam in South Asia. However, we regularly receive work from a broad range of concepts and disciplines. This workshop is a forum for younger and more experienced researchers, providing an opportunity for people working in common fields to get acquainted with each other. It is therefore normally kept small and intimate with a group of 25 or less people. The venue, Rook How, is one of the oldest Quaker Meeting Houses in Britain and is an important location in the Quaker world. The Rook How offers dormitory style sleeping arrangements which are comfortable and affordable. For those who prefer B&B accommodation, there are several nice places around the area which can only be accessed if they have their own car. The deadline for abstracts is 28 February 2014. The selected contributors will be requested to pre-circulate their papers to two weeks before the workshop. For further information send an email at pakistanworkshop@googlemail.com or aq1@soas.ac.uk.

Organiser for Pakistan Workshop 2014

Ayaz Qureshi

Department of Anthropology

SOAS, University of London

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square

London WC1H 0XG


Pool of Life: The Autobiography of a Punjabi Agony Aunt by Kailash Puri

Posted in New Publications by Pippa on August 12, 2013

Pur PoolOfLifePool of Life

The Autobiography of a Punjabi Agony Aunt

Kailash Puri and Eleanor Nesbitt

Eleanor Nesbitt’s introduction contextualises the life of Kailash Puri, Punjabi author and agony aunt, providing the story of the book itself and connecting the narrative to the history of the Punjabi diaspora and themes in Sikh Studies. She suggests that representation of the stereotypical South Asian woman as victim needs to give way to a nuanced recognition of agency, multiple voices and a differentiated experience.

… The narrative presents sixty years of Kailash’s life. Her memories of childhood in West Punjab evoke rural customs and religious practices consistent with recent scholarship on ‘Punjabi religion’ rather than with the currently dominant Sikh discourse of a religion sharply distinguished from Hindu society. Her marriage, as a shy 15-year-old, with no knowledge of English, to a scientist, Gopal Puri, brought ever-widening horizons as husband and wife moved from India to London, and later to West Africa, before returning to the UK in 1966. This life experience, and Gopal’s constant encouragement, brought confidence to write and publish numerous stories and articles.

… Kailash writes of the contrasting experiences of life as an Indian in the UK of the 1940s and the 1960s. She points up differences between her own outlook and the life-world of the post-war community of Sikhs from East Punjab now living in the West. In their distress and dilemmas many people consulted Kailash for assistance, and the descriptive narrative of her responses and advice and increasingly public profile provides insight into Sikhs’ experience in their adopted country. In later years, as grandparents and established citizens of Liverpool, Kailash and Gopal revisited their ancestral home, now in Pakistan – a reflective and moving experience. The book includes a glossary of Punjabi words and suggestions for further reading.

Further details: http://www.sussex-academic.com/sa/titles/biography/PurlNesbitt.htm

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.

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