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

cfp:Rethinking Territoriality – Between Independence and Interdependence

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on November 25, 2014

CALL FOR PAPERS AND PANELS: Rethinking Territoriality – Between Independence and Interdependence

University of Edinburgh, 16TH-18TH September 2015

This conference will bring together, for the first time, the three IPSA research committees to examine different aspects of territoriality evident in the world today. The conference, convened in Edinburgh one year after Scotland’s historic independence referendum, will provide an opportunity to examine the politics of territorial, ethnic and linguistic identity, state traditions and language regimes, the dynamics of federalism and multi-level government, and relations between power and territory in the context of regional integration.

We invite proposals for individual paper contributions or for panels engaging these issues. We welcome case studies and comparison of issues of territoriality evident in any part of the world, as well as papers adopting a theoretical perspective on territorial or identity and language politics. We aim to feature the best of contemporary research on territoriality, including new research by established academics as well as early career scholars.

Proposals for papers should include full contact details (including an email address, mailing address, and affiliation) of the author(s) and an abstract of up to 200 words.

Panel proposals must include:

  • a minimum of three papers and a maximum of five.
  • contact details of paper-givers, and (if you have them) the discussant and chair
  • Panel title and individual paper titles
  • Short description of panel (max 200 words)

Conference languages are English and French. The final deadline for electronic submission of proposals for papers or panels will be 28 February 2015. Proposals should be submitted to: http://form.jotformeu.com/form/42413501455344

Limited travel funds may be available.


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

PRG meeting University of Cambridge, 26 October

Posted in PRG Meetings by Pippa on October 29, 2013

The meeting was very kindly hosted by Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge and Tahir Kamran.

Chris Moffat

Chris Moffat

Chris Moffat, Placing Bhagat Singh

This paper raises some questions around the political life of monuments and the spectral potentiality of the past in contemporary India and Pakistan. It is an attempt to square the resonant and often ideologically-promiscuous meaning of the revolutionary martyr Bhagat Singh (1907-1931) with the seemingly insatiable compulsion among individuals and groups to ‘ground’ his ghost in space and place, to offer tribute to this iconic figure through memorial site and toponym, statue and museum. Interrogating this desire, I will consider the breathless calls for bigger museums, more statues, newly-named buildings and worthy events, caught, however they may be, in the uncertain space between genuine sentiment and populist politicking. Such calls are matched in volume by critiques of those memorials that already exist, lamenting their shortcomings or corruption. It is the elusiveness of consensus and the impossibility of ‘full’ recognition that interests me here: Bhagat Singh appears to exceed these place-making efforts in the same way he exceeds the language of nationalism. There is a challenge, perhaps, in monumentalizing a political death that was not in any clear sense foundational, that submits to no easy lineage, that was embraced by the revolutionary himself as a means to incite, to propel action: the infinite demand of rebellion standing against the comfortable finitude of statues. This tension becomes clear in the scene of a crowd shouting Bhagat Singh Zindabad, ‘Long Live Bhagat Singh’, before a memorial– as if to conjure his return, to offer him life, denying his entombment in bronze. This is not mourning nor genuflection but a call that affirms ongoing responsibility. Moving from New Delhi to Chandigarh, Jalandhar to Khatkar Kalan, Hussainiwala to Lahore, I will also consider those who resist monumentalization; who seek to fight alongside the ghost in a battle they see as ongoing, not yet ‘past’. Monuments, here, make way for street theatre groups and new pedagogical initiatives, activating different relationships to space and place. Through these preliminary reflections I hope to open a discussion on the work of the spectre, the problem of memory, and the public life of history in contemporary Punjab.


Priya Atwal with Virinder Kalra

Priya Atwal with Virinder Kalra

Priya Atwal, Politics Behind the Purdah: Maharani Jind Kaur and Anglo-Sikh Relations

The Anglo-Sikh Wars of the 1840s were a huge turning point for British imperial power in Asia, as victory over the Sikh kingdom finally allowed the East India Company to control India’s perilous north-western frontier, threatened as it was by Russian and Afghan advances at the time. My paper will introduce the research ideas that I am about to start work on as a DPhil student. The focus of my research is to study Sikh and British colonial narratives on the wars and their origins. The aim of my paper is to demonstrate some of the tensions and conflicts that exist within these narratives, which I intend to highlight by re-examining in particular their portrayal of Maharani Jind Kaur and her political activities during the 1840s and beyond. Central to this analysis will therefore be an attempt to deconstruct the historical split in the Maharani’s image as “saint” or “sinner”, further asking how and why such representations became important political weapons in Anglo-Sikh colonial relations. In addition to this, the paper will make the case for a deeper exploration of how gender politics had a significant impact on shaping events during the 1840s. It will be argued that the manner in which Jindan flouted gender conventions within a male-dominated and militarised society had a strong part to play in destabilising both internal and external political relations for the Lahore kingdom. Such an analysis will attempt to provide fresh insights into the socio-political conditions that characterised and brought on the expansion of British imperial power into the Punjab and up to the northern frontiers of India.


Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul with Pippa Virdee

Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul with Pippa Virdee

Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul, The Making of New Delhi & Unmaking the Punjab’s Village Community and its Village Commons 1911-2011

Delhi became the southern-most district of the Punjab after the upheaval of 1857 and remained a very important link of the Punjab to the rest of British India till 1911 when it was catapulted on to the national stage by the pronouncement of the King George V and Queen Mary at their  Coronation Durbar of 12th December 1911 to shift the captital from Calcutta. Thus the city of Shahjahanabad became Old Delhi. The new  Imperial City of New Delhi was centred on Raisina hill enclosing, to begin with the common property resources of more than one hundred and thirty six village communities of the surrounding  countryside. Therefore a narrative of what we have almost lost in these last 100 years of New Delhi may be valuable in the context of ecological lessons from the past. In the debris of a century we can still resurrect narratives of survival strategies characteristic of an abiding culture of indigenous ecology – that of sedentary communities who cohered with nomadic cultures of distant deserts to the north west stretching as far back as Afghansitan and with shepherdic transhumance from the foothills of the Siwaliks and upper Himalayas.


Virinder Kalra and Waqas Butt, with Tahir Kamran

Virinder Kalra and Waqas Butt, with Tahir Kamran

Virinder Kalra and Waqas Butt ‘In one hand a pen in the other a gun’: Punjabi language radicalism in Punjab, Pakistan

The relationship between language and politics in South Asia has provided a rich vein for academic analysis as it is tied up with issues related to nationalism and political mobilization. However, much of this analysis has been based on the Indian reorganization of states along linguistic lines or the role of language in the Bangladeshi liberation movement. This article discusses the role of language in the mobilization of the Left in Pakistan, specifically the way in which Punjabi was utilized by the Mazdoor Kisan Party at the theoretical and practical levels, in its mobilizing in the early 1970s. The role that language played in the site of student politics is illustrated through a case study of Sahiwal College. Overall, the role that Punjabi played as a mobilizing tool for the Left in Pakistan demonstrates a practice where culture and politics are inseparable and in this sense the article contributes to the wider debates on language and politics in South Asia.


Kamalroop Singh and Harminder Singh Ragi

Kamalroop Singh and Harminder Singh Ragi

Kamalroop Singh and Harminder Singh Ragi, ‘Preserving the Northern Indian Musical Heritage Performed in 1970s Britain.’
In the 1970s great musicians from the Panjab visited the UK where they performed and shared their art over three years. The musicians were masters in their art, and they performed the khyal and dhrupad styles of music. Dhrupad literally means ‘fixed words’, and was developed for singing verses that were written in specific rhythms. The newer khyal genre has gained popularity at dhrupad’sexpense, as it places fewer constraints on the singers and allows displays of virtuosity. As a result the dhrupad art form is now becoming rare, especially since many maestros have now passed away. Luckily, some of their live performances were recorded on spool machines, which private collectors have donated to the Panjab Cultural Association.  We are currently cataloguing and digitising fifty of the recordings for posterity and we will be presenting the project to date. In our paper we explore how the Sikh music tradition has evolved from dhrupad, to khyal, along with the modern influence of ghazals and Hindi popular music.  Finally, we will examine and demonstrate how the introduction of new instruments has led to the original style of Kirtan to become endangered.


Professor Chris Bayly

Professor Chris Bayly











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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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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

The Hermeneutics of Sikh Music (rāg) and Word (shabad)

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on May 8, 2010

May 21-23, 2010 Hofstra University Organized by the S.K.K.Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies

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.
Full details: http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/REL/SIKH/sikh_hermeneutics_may2010.html

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South Asian Diaspora, Volume 2, Issue 1 is now available online

Posted in Academic Journals by Pippa on May 8, 2010

South Asian Diaspora, Volume 2, Issue 1 is now available online at Informaworld: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g920438076
Special Issue: South Asian Diaspora and the BBC World Service: Contacts, Conflicts and Contestations
This new issue contains the following articles:

Mediating the diaspora Parvati Raghuram

Introduction – South Asian diasporas and the BBC World Service: contacts, conflicts, and contestations Marie Gillespie ; Alasdair Pinkerton ; Gerd Baumann ;Sharika Thiranagama

The BBC Empire Service: the voice, the discourse of the master and ventriloquism Andrew Hill

Partitioning the BBC: from colonial to postcolonial broadcaster Sharika Thiranagama

South Asian broadcasters in Britain and the BBC: talking to India (1941–1943) Ruvani Ranasinha

Bangladesh, 1971, and the BBC South Asian language services: perceptions of a conflict William Crawley

Sweet tales of the Sarangi: creative strategies and ‘cosmopolitan’ radio drama in Nepal Andrew Skuse

The Mumbai attacks and diasporic nationalism: BBC World Service online forums as conflict, contact and comfort zones Marie Gillespie; David Herbert; Matilda Andersson

Reaching for roots by Nonika Singh

Posted in Articles, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on February 16, 2010

The Sunday Tribune, 14 Feb 2010

Roots remind me of root infinite, the source of everything.

THAT’s Amarjit Chandan, the celebrated poet rooted in Punjabi soil—its chaste language and ethos—yet spanning continents, the universe, the timeless zone. Living in the UK, where his poetry is etched in a 40-feet-long sculpture, he seeks and finds refuge in his language. And just as the lines read, “Far, far away on a distant planet there lies a stone unseen unturned, it can only be seen with closed eyes as you see your loved ones,” he, too, can see and feel Punjab with closed eyes.

Read full article:  http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20100214/spectrum/book8.htm

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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/

2nd CFP:Language, Migration and Labour

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on September 14, 2009

AILA Research Network on Language and Migration, Institute of Multilingualism, University of Fribourg and HEP Fribourg, Switzerland

Date: 28-29 January 2010 (Thursday-Friday)

Topic of the Seminar

The fourth AILA Language and Migration Research Network Seminar focuses on the relationship between language, migration flows and labour processes. Our major concern is to explore the complex relationship between the economic and cultural capital of migrants and its use or exploitation by power institutions in a globalized labour market. We will focus on the role of language in access, selection, social mobility and gate-keeping processes.

Plenary speakers

–         Beatriz P. Lorente, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

–         Ingrid Piller, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

–         Cécile Vigouroux, Simon Fraser University, Canada


The submission deadline for proposals for papers is October 1st, 2009.

Acknowledgement of receipt of the abstract will be sent by e-mail as soon as possible after receipt. You will receive notification of acceptance no later than November 1st, 2009.

Host Institution:

Institute of Multilingualism, University and HEP Fribourg, Rue de Morat 24, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

Chair: Prof. Alexandre Duchêne (alexandre.duchene@unifr.ch)



For information on the AILA Research Network on Language and Migration, please consult the following website: http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~extcmh/ReNLM/index.htm

Prof Chaman Lal

Posted in Networking, News/Information by Pippa on September 14, 2009
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