Punjab Research Group

The Punjab and its Diaspora: Representations and Identities

Posted in New Publications, Research by Pippa on April 12, 2009

Attention to Punjab has tended to be bifurcated along the lines created by Partition, with scholars of India and Pakistan focusing on their own part of the region. However, this book breaks down such divisions to consider the area on both sides of the border.  In doing this, the contributing scholars (who include the poets Amarjit Chandan and Daljit Nagra, historian Grainne Goodwin, religious studies scholar Jasjit Singh, and literary critic Nukhbah T. Langah) draw upon the two Punjabs’ shared but differentiated legacies of British colonialism, traumatic experiences of partition, relative economic vitality, dominance in their regions, and centrality to (re)inventions and imaginings of the postcolonial Indian and Pakistani nation-states. Given many of the contributors’ location in Britain and elsewhere, non-resident Punjabis are another key area of concern.

 

In an effort to enhance understandings of Punjabi literature, history, and anthropology, the volume discusses representations of the Punjab and its diaspora in research from different disciplines. It examines the protean nature of Punjabi identities and the cultural, religious and linguistic diversity of the region/s. The collection represents a genuinely interdisciplinary attempt to theorize the Punjab and many of the major languages and dialects spoken there are represented (including Punjabi, Siraiki, and English).

 

Possible paper topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Partition and its legacies
  • Rural, urban, and suburban Punjab
  • The politics of language in the Punjab (interventions into Potohari and Hindko are particularly welcome)
  • Punjabi Islam and Sufism
  • Punjabi cultural identities and practices
  • Political flashpoints in the region
  • Artistic, filmic, literary, and musical representations
  • Political relations between the two Punjabs
  • The Punjabi diaspora

Please send an abstracts of not more than 200 words and a few sentences of biodata (via Word attachment) to Claire Chambers: c.chambers@leedsmet.ac.uk by the deadline of  21 April 2009.  The volume’s emphasis is on representations and identities, and your abstract needs to address one or both of these issues.

Advertisements

Saadat Hasan Manto 1912-1955

Posted in Articles, Partition by Pippa on November 17, 2008
Saadat Hasan Manto by Kanwal Dhaliwal
Saadat Hasan Manto by Kanwal Dhaliwal

Saadat Hasan Manto was born in Sambrala, East Punjab, in 1912 and died in Lahore in 1955, not quite 43 years old. Much of his working life was spent in Bombay, the setting of many of his stories, where he earned a living as a journalist and screenwriter. Over a literary career spanning a quarter of a century, he wrote for the radio, translated several works from Russian writers, whom he admired, and by the time he died he had produced 22 collections and written well over 200 short stories. It is Manto’s short stories that have continued to enhance his reputation as one of the world’s great masters of this craft.

 

Manto always remained the outsider and was content with that, something he wore as a badge of honour. He once wrote that he pronounced a thousand curses on that society which put a halo proclaiming “of blessed memory” around a man’s head after his death. He said if such a thing was done to him, his rotting bones would find no peace in the grave. Manto’s prayer has not been answered and with time, his reputation has grown.

 

 Manto’s subjects were often outsiders and outcasts, in particular prostitutes and street traders, procurers and gangsters. He wrote about the absurdity and inhumanity of the religious divide and the hypocrisy of the so-called respectable classes. He always wrote about society’s rejects, viewing the world through their eyes. The despised and downtrodden people that he wrote about emerge through his stories with more dignity than the established order has ever thought them capable of possessing. Manto chronicled the holocaust of the Partition of India not with teary-eyed sentimentality but with compassion, managing to extract in the process, as he put it, gems of a rare hue from the sea of blood in which he had plunged himself to get at the truth. What makes Manto great is his humanism, his feeling for the human condition and his belief that that in the heart of even the vilest man, the light of decency and fellow feeling is never quite extinguished. Manto wrote his own epitaph: “Here lies Saadat Hasan Manto. With him lie buried all the arts and mysteries of short story writing. Under tons of earth he lies, wondering if he is a greater short story writer than God.”

 

Ironically, his headstone bears no such inscription, but it does bear a couplet of Ghalib, Manto’s favourite poet about whom he once said: The truth is that after Ghalib no one has the right to write poetry.

 

_ Khalid Hasan

Washington

For further information on Kanwal Dhaliwal: http://www.art-d-kanwal.com/

Comments Off on Saadat Hasan Manto 1912-1955

The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies University of California, San Diego

Posted in News/Information, Research Fellowships, Vacancies by Pippa on November 11, 2008
Visiting Research Fellowships
Academic Year, 2009-10
Application Deadline: January 15, 2009
CCIS will offer a limited number of Visiting Research Fellowships at both the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels for the 2009-10 academic year. These awards are to support advanced research and writing on any aspect of international migration and refugee flows, in any of the social sciences, history, law, and comparative literature. Due to funding constraints, CCIS is able to award fellowships only to scholars who have a current or former affiliation with a University of California campus (as a graduate student, faculty member, or researcher). Self-funded Guest Scholars are not required to have a UC affiliation. Fellowships must be held in residence at UCSD (commuting from outside of San Diego is not permissible).
For further details: http://www.ccis-ucsd.org/programs/fellowships.htm

Comments Off on The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies University of California, San Diego