Punjab Research Group

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

Parminder, a Cosmopolitan

Posted in Diaspora, Film, Migration by Pippa on January 3, 2014

Notes to accompany the film on Parminder: A Cosmopolitan

The film has resonated with people across the world and went on to twitter and many face book pages. It has been viral via university and other sites across Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, and other transnational sites across the diaspora. It will used on courses at University of California campuses at Berkeley, Riverside, and also Santa Barbara in Ethnic and Diversity Studies, and also on Global Diasporas. This film’s impact much beyond the Clark University media class for which it was made is as much a surprise to Parminder, as it is to the film maker, for whom many opportunities have emerged to make other films, though with much longer time formats than 9 minute length of this film.

Jonathan Dana, the talented young film maker is 20 years old. He was awarded a prestigious Clinton Media Fellowship last year and worked in New York at the Clinton Foundation. His work was greatly admired by Hilary Clinton and it is now on her official site. He is the son of an eminent cinematographer.

Parminder was a fellow graduate student with me at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the late 70s. She received her Ph.D. in 1981 and has since authored four books, the latest of which is Dangerous Designs. Her current work is on diasporic creativity and innovation, a theme on which she is currently writing a book.

I hope that some of you will watch the film. A number of us already know Parminder well, both from her time in the British academy, and since her migration to the USA in 1990, firstly to UCLA, and then to Clark University in Massachusetts. She held a prestigious Henry R. Luce Professorship in Cultural Identities and Global Processes for 9 years at Clark, before moving into the Sociology Department there in 2000, which has been her departmental home for the past 13 years.

It is a pleasure for me to see a member of the Punjab Research Group being celebrated across the world, especially as she is of the pioneering generation of British Asian, and indeed now Asian American intellectuals of the diaspora, whose academic work focuses on the Punjabi migrants and their multiple diasporas. She has been in the USA now for 24 years, which is longer than any other site in which she has been lived in the past.

I have included below a link to the film. As stated above, you can also watch it on You Tube on Jonathan Dana’s site, entitled Parminder: A Cosmopolitan.

Dr. Shinder S. Thandi, Coventry University, Founding Member of the Journal of Punjab Studies

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8:2013 South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal: Delhi’s Margins

Posted in Academic Journals by Pippa on January 3, 2014

Edited by Radhika Govinda


This thematic issue is the first in a series of issues jointly co-edited by SAMAJ and the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS).

Radhika Govinda – Introduction. Delhi’s Margins: Negotiating Changing Spaces, Identities and Governmentalities

Radhika Govinda – ‘First Our Fields, Now Our Women’: Gender Politics in Delhi’s Urban Villages in Transition

Tarangini Sriraman – Enumeration as Pedagogic Process: Gendered Encounters with Identity Documents in Delhi’s Urban Poor Spaces

Martin Webb – Meeting at the Edges: Spaces, Places and Grassroots Governance Activism in Delhi

Véronique Dupont – Which Place for the Homeless in Delhi? Scrutiny of a Mobilisation Campaign in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Context

Link to journal: http://samaj.revues.org/

PRG Meeting Coventry University – 29 June 2013

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 29, 2013

The meeting was very kindly hosted by Shinder Thandi and Coventry University.

Malik Hammad Ahmad Lang

Malik Hammad Ahmad Lang

Malik Hammad Ahmad Lang, Civil Resistance Movements of Pakistan: Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) 1981-84

The research project focuses on political civil resistance in Pakistan covering the period of 1977-88, the martial law regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. The worst martial law in the history of Pakistan changed the political, social, economical and cultural outlook of the country. To resist the dictatorship, democratic forces launched a movement to restore the democracy in the country in 1981 called MRD, which continued periodically until 1988. However, my presentation looks at its first phase covering 1981-84. Political scholarship, largely, blamed Punjab of not taking part effectively in the movement along with Sindh, and made it a reason of its failure. Countering the argument, this study tries to highlight some facts to overruled the blame.



Pippa Virdee

Pippa Virdee

Pippa Virdee, Emergence and Resistance: the dichotomy of women’s space in Pakistan.

This paper is based on work in progress that will explore the transformation of women in Pakistan. In colonial Punjab reformers often took up the cause of women and advocated change that encouraged girl’s education and bringing women out of ‘purdah’ (veil/seclusion). This had limited results until Jinnah embraced the need to encourage women within the Pakistan Movement, which led many elite women to come out in support of it. This period is therefore crucial in understanding the transformation of women in public spaces. Yet by the 1980s (some thirty years later), women form resistance movements against oppressive legislation introduced by Zia. The Women’s Action Forum led the way in opposing this and resisting the curtailment of freedoms. Through visual and oral accounts this paper will attempt to understand the transformation of women in public spaces and the dichotomies of this within their private lives.






Kavita Bhanot

Kavita Bhanot

Kavita Bhanot, Depicting a dera community in Birmingham: extract from novel in progress

I will be presenting a chapter from my novel-in-progress, a fictional depiction of a dera community that gathers around a guru in Birmingham in the 1980’s. The novel spans ten years and charts, through the lives of first and second generation Punjabi immigrants , the growth of this dera community and the opposition that it faces in its local, national and international context. I recently edited an anthology titled ‘Too Asian, Not Asian Enough,’ which brought together short stories by British Asian writers – stories which go beyond marketable formulaic narratives about inter-generation/culture clash.  While one approach is to avoid the predictable subjects or writing about ‘Asians’ at all, my personal intention in my writing is to bring particularity, knowledge, a sense of history and context, into my depiction of Punjabis in Britain. To interrogate the Orientalist gaze that tends to dominate English language South Asian literature, a gaze that “strip(s) specific traditions, rituals, religions and other forms of lived faith…of their context and detail – of history, politics, class and caste.”


Umber Abad with Virinder Kalra

Umber Abad with Virinder Kalra

Umber Abad, Singular Muslim Identity and trail towards Auqaf; a becoming post-Colonial modern

The politics of Colonial Urban Punjab engendered a unique singular conception of Islam in the first half of twentieth century. The singular Islam, initially strived to open itself for all streams of Muslims within one religious idea, compelled to exclude deviant forms in order to clear the path for the prevalence of its politics. The singular Islam considered deviant any form of Muslim community and the mystical insight that threatened the idea of finality of prophet-hood and the idea of unity of God. The singular Islam, as became the basis of singular Muslim identity and a central point in the politics of Muslim League, in its exclusionary form prevailed further within the political elite of postcolonial state. In order to land in the modern world, the political elite strived to develop a society where the idea of singular Islam attached with high-moral practices could be implemented. However, the political situation eased to control the excluded forms of Islam. The efforts for Islamization soon found ways to control Waqf Properties, largely attached with shrines through an institution, as during 1952-53 to make Auqaf Board in order to curb un-Islamic practices. However till 1958, largely due to the incapacity of the state institution the control could not produce any significant effect. Re-surfacing the appropriating position of singular Islam through interpreting the thoughts of Allama Iqbal, however, military rule found it justified and co-related with its urge of reforming archaic society to take over the excluded religious practices at shrines through Auqaf Administration.


Daniel Haines with Ali Usman Qasmi and Chris Moffat

Daniel Haines with Ali Usman Qasmi and Chris Moffat

Daniel Haines, Making places national: Local agency in the Punjab borderland, 1952-1955

The India-Pakistan border in Punjab today features highly visible fences and guards. Shortly after Partition, however, many parts of the border were not demarcated, and the authorities on each side had different ideas about where the boundary line lay. Examining two incidents of minor border conflict between 1952 and 1955, the paper sets out a view of a historical moment in which the lack of a clear boundary gave space to the localised agency of minor officials, lower-ranking military and police officers, and even civilian agriculturalists. Rather than being hemmed in by territorial limits that the state’s higher echelons imposed, everyday actors explored the ill-defined borderland between the two countries. On both sides of the border, these actors themselves made de facto boundaries. Drawing on the wealth of political geography literature that informs border studies, as well as historical studies of border politics in post-Partition South Asia, the paper’s case studies examine the relationship between local agency and ideas of national territory in partitioned Punjab. Both case studies illustrate how civilian and petty-official mobility in the borderland forced the provincial authorities on both sides to continually negotiate the spatial dimensions of their authority, based as much on practical coercive power as on the disputed meaning of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. The paper argues that such local actions politicised the parts of the borderland in which they took place. Through the symbolism of land in the mythology of territorial nation-states, and through the hydro-geographical connections between canal headworks on the border and Punjab’s vast irrigation network, these incidents were integral to the definition of borderland spaces as national places. The paper is based on archival work in the Punjab Archives, Lahore, and the National Archives, New Delhi.


Round table discussion chaired by Ian Talbot

Round table discussion chaired by Ian Talbot

Tahir Kamran, Ali Usman Qasmi, Ifitkhar Malik and Yunas Samad, Round table discussion on the 2013 Elections in Pakistan: A Punjab perspective.









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PRG Meeting at University of Wolverhampton 3 Nov 2012

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 29, 2013

The meeting was very kindly hosted and arranged by Meena Dhanda, University of Wolverhampton

Doris Jakobsh

Doris Jakobsh

 Doris Jakobsh, Negotiating Sikh Female Identities Online: Image, Narrative and Text

The ‘marked body’ of the Sikh male has long been the focal point of coming to an understanding of Sikhism at large.  When speaking of Sikhism, it is the highly visible Khalsa Sikh male, complete with external signifiers known as the 5Ks (kirpan – dagger, kanga – comb, kes – uncut hair, kacchera – breeches, kara – steel bracelet) and the turban traditionally worn by Sikh males, that have come to characterize the Sikh community, both in the Indian homeland of Punjab and within Sikh diasporic contexts.  This paper examines the negotiation of Sikh female identity, in essence the religious particularization of Sikh women, taking place through varied means on the WWW.  Through increasing and repeated imaging and iconization on the internet, novel attempts are being made to mobilize, legitimize and historicize Sikh female identity to more closely resemble the Khalsa Sikh male.  The paper will address historical antecedents of these online gender constructions.  It will also examine notions of authority in terms of Sikh female identity-making and whether these virtual constructs in fact reflect the ‘offline’ realities of Sikh females.


Shazia Ahmad

Shazia Ahmad

Shazia Ahmad, Categorizing Muslims: Colonial Definitions of ‘Sect’ and ‘Community’

The political economy of the Punjab in the late 19th century shaped how the colonial administration defined religious categories in Islam. Categories of ‘sect’ and ‘minority community’ were interlocking but distinct categories. While ‘sect’ was politically defined by a group’s relationship to traditional forms of religious authority, and thus their relationship to non-Muslim rule, ‘minority community’ was a legal construction defined in the Punjab by the application of personal law. This paper argues that the influence of Henry Maine on agrarian policies, especially in the application of Muslim personal law in urban areas and customary law over agricultural lands, complicated how ‘orthodoxy’ and ‘heterodoxy’ were constructed, leading to the sometimes contradictory identifications based upon locality and belief. This was demonstrated by the complex identity of the Ahmadiyya community, which was defined both by its dissent from ‘Church fathers’ within ethnographic descriptions and by the location of its religious authority within the agrarian Punjab in the law.


Meena Dhanda, Certain Allegiances, Uncertain Identities: the fraught struggles for recognition of Dalits in Britain

This paper foregrounds what dalits in Britain say about their affiliations to the members of their own caste groups as well as about their relations to the so-called ‘upper-castes’. An ambiguity of self-identification as dalits is noted, accompanied by an inner tension often expressed in decisions about whether or not to support the exit options taken by the second and third generation of Punjabi migrants in choosing to marry out of caste. Of significance is the complex positioning of dalits apropos the so called ‘upper-castes’ in the socio-economic sphere in Britain, where some dalits have acquired significant wealth and accompanying status. Considerable energies are spent in checking the spread of fissures caused by intra-organisational politics that regularly threaten the otherwise congealed allegiance of groups to their respective places of worship and congregation. For Ravidassias, Buddhists and the Valmikis, the Jat Sikhs emerge as a common ‘enemy’, highlighting the fact that the upturning of the everyday relations of domination are the key to understanding the position of the dalits in Britain. It is argued that the driving force for reform in the UK is not an intellectually inspired criticism of casteism so much as a repugnance of the way in which Jat Sikhs are seen to assert their superiority.


Parmbir Gill with Pritam Singh

Parmbir Gill with Pritam Singh

Parmbir Gill, Pious Rebels: The Religiosity of Ghadar Prose and Practice

My paper aims to investigate the relationship between religion and politics in the writings and activities of the Ghadar Party, a North America-based immigrant organization which sought to overthrow colonial rule in India in the early twentieth century. Though a diverse array of writings on this movement has emerged over the decades following its defeat, extant English-language scholarship has invariably characterized its politics as secular in form and content. Celebrating Ghadar’s secularism as an alternative to the more divisive faith-based mobilizations against British rule operating at the time, this historiography has, I argue, mistakenly assumed an identification of the religious with the communal, and has sacrificed an engagement with the former at the altar of principled opposition to the latter. As a result, the indispensability of religious language to Ghadar’s political project, as well as the rebels’ own transformation of pre-existing notions of religious identity, have both been precluded from serious analysis. I seek to redress this omission by tracing the currents of religiosity which pervade not only the Party’s newspaper and poetry but also the concrete activities of its non-writing mass base. In so doing I hope to open up possibilities for rethinking the historical existence of the Ghadar Party as well as our own attitudes toward the place of religion in political struggle.


Gurinder Singh Mann

Gurinder Singh Mann

Gurinder Singh Mann, British and the Sikhs: The Impact and Legacy of Colonial Dominance in the Punjab

The British came into India under the premise of trade and commerce. Over time their motivations and political ambitions became a dominant factor in establishing themselves as rulers of the country. This paper looks specifically at the institutions of the Panjab and the how the religion of the Sikhs was changed. As a direct consequence the Panjab became subservient to the new colonial powers. The paper looks at the various acts of UK parliament that influenced the lives of those living in Panjab. This includes the relatively unknown Charter Act of 1813 which produced tensions between The East India Company and the Christian missionary movement. Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) consolidated his base as the ruler of the Panjab and became a champion of European innovations. The interactions between Ranjit Singh and the British were a compelling narrative of the Nineteenth Century. With the advent of the Anglo-Sikh wars and the annexation of the Panjab, the British ushered in a new era of expansionism as a result a significant legacy was left on the Panjab. This legacy still influences the Panjab to this day.


Sukhwinder Singh

Sukhwinder Singh

Sukhwinder Singh (Prof Sukhpal Singh, Professor, IIM, Ahmedabad, India and Prof Julian Park, School of Agriculture, University of Reading, UK), Sustainability of Agriculture in the Indian Punjab: Indicators and determinants

Punjab has been at the centre stage in India since the green revolution days because of its exceptional performance in agriculture sector. However, the recent developments in agriculture in Punjab are quite concerning. The current cropping pattern using the modern green revolution technologies has started impacting the sustainability of agriculture in Punjab in terms of declining net farm incomes and mining of natural resources, especially soil and water. Subsidy and MSPAP (Minimum Support Price and Assured Purchase) driven policy regime has been encouraging mono-cropping (i.e. wheat and rice cultivation on more than two-third of Punjab’s gross cropped area) for the last four decades resulting into low crop diversity leading to a number of bio-diversity implications for farmers in Punjab. On the other hand, agricultural policy and research have been unsuccessful up to large extent in providing economically viable alternative cropping pattern to farmers in Punjab. Centre and State agricultural research institutions have been continuously facing major human and financial crunch due to squeezing of public expenditure on agriculture. Agricultural sustainability in Punjab is a complex phenomenon. Therefore, it becomes imperative to outline its main indicators and determinants to help understand the current and future implications of agricultural development in Punjab. Based on currently available literature on agricultural development in Punjab and a field survey conducted in 2010, this paper examines the current state of agriculture in Punjab, outlines the main indicators and determinants of agricultural sustainability in Punjab and infers policy suggestions for restoring the lost splendour of agriculture sector in Punjab.


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British Sikh Report 2013 – A Review

Posted in Book reviews, Journal of Punjab Studies, News/Information by gsjandu on October 27, 2013


In the summer of 2013, the first ever British Sikh Report was published using both the 2011 national census in England and Wales and an organic survey that attracted over 600 respondents – one of the most significant of its kind. Here a PRG website contributor offers their review as the annualised exercise begins for the next version in 2014. Please click on the link below for the review article.

bsr2013 reviewarticle

This post’s author can be contacted on: gorby.jandu@gmail.com

Call for book proposals for a new series: Language, Migration and Identity

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on February 15, 2013

Peter Lang would like to announce the launch of a new scholarly book series:

Language, Migration and Identity

Series Editor: Professor Vera Regan, University College Dublin

This series fills a hitherto neglected but now growing area in the treatment of migration: the role of language and identity. This topic is central in a globalized world where the definition of community is constantly challenged by the increased mobility of individuals. Linked to this mobility is the issue of identity construction, in which language plays a key role. Language practices are indicators of the socialization process in bilingual and multilingual settings, and part of the strategies by which speakers assert membership within social groups. Migrant speakers are constantly engaged in identity construction in varying settings.

Language, Migration and Identity invites proposals for revised dissertations, monographs and edited volumes on language practices and language use by migrant speakers. A wide range of themes is envisaged, within the area of migration, but from a broadly linguistic perspective. The series welcomes studies of migrant communities and their language practices, studies of language practices in multilingual educational settings, and case studies of identity building among migrants through language use. Proposals might focus on topics such as second language acquisition in social context, variation in L2 speech, multilingualism, acquisition of sociolinguistic competence, hybridity and ‘crossing’ in relation to identity. A multiplicity of approaches in the treatment of this interdisciplinary area will be welcome, from quantitative to ethnographic to mixed methods.

The series welcomes established scholars as well as early career academics and recent PhD research.

For information on how to submit a book proposal, please contact Christabel Scaife, Commissioning Editor, Peter Lang Ltd, c.scaife@peterlang.com.

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Dalit Pachan, Mukti Atey Shaktikaran (Dalit Identity, Emancipation and Empowerment) by Ronki Ram

Posted in New Publications by Pippa on March 1, 2012

Ronki Ram’s second book on Dalit Pachan, Mukti Atey Shaktikaran (Dalit Identity, Emancipation and Empowerment) in Punjabi is released on February 1, 2012 at the International Punjabi Development Conference (February 1-3, 2012), organized by Punjabi University, Patiala (India). This book is a detailed account of Dalit identity as it emerged in the border state of Punjab in North-West India where concentration of Dalit population is highest in the country. The central thesis of the book revolves around the critical processes of the emergence of Dalit identity and the ways it facilitates Dalit emancipation and empowerment since the beginning of the Dalit movement (Ad Dharm) in the state in the second half of 1920s. The book also provides an in-depth account of the role of the philosophy and teachings of Guru Ravidass, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh in the rise of Dalit consciousness in Punjab. How the complex process of Dalit identity has been represented in the grass-roots Dalit poetry is another interesting aspect of this book, which lays special emphasis on the importance of doing research in Punjabi for the better understanding of Dalit question in Punjab. The book is based on ethnographic study done during the last two decades in the villages of East Punjab.

The book is published by the Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala (India).

Sikhs in Europe. Migration, Identities and Representations, Edited by Knut A. Jacobsen & Kristina Myrvold

Posted in New Publications, sikhs by Pippa on February 10, 2012

Sikhs in Europe. Migration, Identities and Representations, Edited by Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, Norway; Kristina Myrvold, Lund University, Sweden (Ashgate, 2011)

Sikhs in Europe are neglected in the study of religions and migrant groups: previous studies have focused on the history, culture and religious practices of Sikhs in North America and the UK, but few have focused on Sikhs in continental Europe. This book fills this gap, presenting new data and analyses of Sikhs in eleven European countries; examining the broader European presence of Sikhs in new and old host countries. Focusing on patterns of migration, transmission of traditions, identity construction and cultural representations from the perspective of local Sikh communities, this book explores important patterns of settlement, institution building and cultural transmission among European Sikhs.

Contents: Introduction: Sikhs in Europe, Knut A. Jacobsen and Kristina Myrvold; Part I Sikhs in Northern and Eastern Europe: Institutionalization of Sikhism in Norway: community growth and generational transfer, Knut A. Jacobsen; The Sikh community in Denmark: balancing between cooperation and conflict, Helene Ilkjaer; The Swedish Sikhs: community building, representation and generational change, Kristina Myrvold; Sikhs in Finland: migration histories and work in the restaurant sector, Laura Hirvi; The Sikhs in Poland: a short history of migration and settlement, Zbigniew Igielski. Part II Sikhs in Southern Europe: Mirror games: a fresco of Sikh settlements among Italian local societies, Barbara Bertolani, Federica Ferraris and Fabio Perocco; ‘Did you get papers?’: Sikh migrants in France, Christine Moliner; Caste, religion, and community assertion: a case study of the Ravidasias in Spain, Kathryn Lum; Sikh immigrants in Greece: on the road to integration, Niki Papageorgiou. Part III Sikhs in the United Kingdom and Ireland: Sikh diversity in the UK: contexts and evolution, Eleanor Nesbitt; Sikh-ing beliefs: British Sikh camps in the UK, Jasjit Singh; The Valmiki, Ravidasi and Namdhari communities in Britain: self-representations and transmission of traditions, Opinderjit Kaur Takhar; The Sikh diaspora in Ireland: a short history, Glenn Jordan and Satwinder Singh; Glossary; Index.

Link to publisher – Ashgate: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&pageSubject=549&calcTitle=1&sort=pubdate&forthcoming=1&title_id=10934&edition_id=14157

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

PRG meeting October 2011 – Wolfson College, University of Oxford

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 31, 2011

This meeting was kindly organised by Kaveri Qureshi and supported by Wolfson College, University of Oxford.

Adnan Rafiq, DPhil Candidate Politics, University of Oxford
‘Challenging Social Structures: A Practice-based Model for Understanding Maverick Behaviour’

Muhammad Shafique, Department of History, University College London
‘Cunningham’s Lahore 1832-1849: Cultural Homogenization of Religio-Political Heterogeneity under Sikhs’

Pritam Singh, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University
‘Instrumentalist versus intrinsic worth conception of human rights: the context of India and Punjab’

Gurdeep Khabra, PhD Candidate, School of Music, University of Liverpool
‘Music and the Heritage of the Punjabi Diaspora: Narrations of Cultural Memory and Cultural Identity’

Rusi Jaspal, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham
‘The construction of ethno-religious identity among a group of second generation British Sikhs: a socio-psychological approach’

The idea of Punjabiyat by Pritam Singh

Posted in Articles by Pippa on June 3, 2010

Despite fragmentation for centuries, the Punjabi identity today is engaged in a remarkably active attempt at consolidation.

For a community that has experienced such fragmentation through the centuries, the Punjabi identity today is engaged in a remarkably active attempt at consolidation.

The moment we use the word Punjabiyat, it suggests a reference simultaneously to something that is very tangible while still elusive. This dual character opens the term to many imaginations and possibilities. Is Punjabiyat a concrete socio-political reality, a project, a movement in process, something in the making, a mere idea floated by some ivory-tower intellectuals and literary figures, a wishful dream of some Indo-Pakistani pacifists, a seductive fantasy of some Punjabi nationalists, a secular utopia envisioned by leftist nationalists, a business plan of market-seeking capitalists, or a dangerous regionalism dreaded by the nation states of India and Pakistan?
Read full article: http://www.himalmag.com/read.php?id=4516

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