An Exploratory Workshop on "The Sikhs in Europe. History, Religion and Representation" was held at Lund University, 13-14 June 2008. The conference was funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. The invited speakers included Prof. Shinder Thandi from Coventry University, UK, who talked about "Migration and History of the Sikhs in Europe"; and Prof. David Omissi, University of Hull, UK, who talked about "Indian Soldiers in Europe, 1914-1918". The entire workshop was public. On the second day, discussions were held regarding possibilities for future European collaborative research projects on Sikhs in Europe. More information.
At the end of the workshop, the participants decided to establish the network Sikhs-in-Europe for the purpose of developing closer academic cooperation between students and researchers with a common interest in the Sikhs and Sikhism in Europe.
The creation of the network Sikh-in-Europe reflects a growing academic interest in the European Sikh and Punjabi diasporas. An extensive migration from the Punjab – the north-western state of India and the “ homeland" of the Sikhs - in the twentieth century resulted in Sikh settlements in different parts of the world. This development attracted the scholarly attention to the Sikh religion and Sikh diasporas, especially in English-speaking countries. New patterns of migration, settlements, representations and transnational networks of the Sikhs in more recent decades have made scholars aware of the importance to undertake research studies of the Sikhs in different European contexts and the need to create academic collaborations across disciplinary and national borders. As the first step in this direction, the network Sikhs-in-Europe is an initiative to create cooperation between scholars who come from a wide range of disciplines and are affiliated to different universities in Europe and beyond. In July 2008, a new web site was established by the network, titled Sikhs-in-Europe It contains a lot of useful information about conferences etc. Go to the web site.
A full-scale three-day conference on "Sikhs in Europe. Migration, Identity and Translocal Practices" was then held at Lund University, 16–18 June 2010. The aim was to gather leading scholars in the multidisciplinary field of Sikh studies and discuss current research projects focusing on patterns of migration, identity formations, self-representations, transmission of traditions and trans-local practices among Sikhs in different parts of Europe.
While two conference days were dedicated to presentation and peer-review of papers by the members of the academic network Sikhs-in-Europe, the third conference day was a workshop for Ph.D. students affiliated to European universities, organised by Dr. Laura Hirvi, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Knut and KristinaGurinder S MannThe conference was again convened by Dr. Kristina Myrvold, Lund University. Here seen with Prof. Knut Jacobsen, University of Bergen (photo to the right).
The keynote lecture on 16 June was given by Prof. Gurinder Singh Mann, Centre for Sikh and Punjabi Studies, University of Californa at Santa Barbara, USA (photo to the left). He spoke about "Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion: Some Reflections", and focused on the classic 1968 monograph "Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion" by Prof. W H McLeod, University of Otago, New Zealand.
Other participants to the conference included Dr. Doris Jakobsh, University of Waterloo, Ontario, who gave a SASNET lecture in 2004 on "Sikhs, Colonization, Gender and Ritual" (more information); Prof. Eleanor Nesbitt, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK (also Reviews Editor for the Journal of Punjab Studies); and PhD candidate Kathryn Dominique Lum, who completed Lund University’s Masters programme in Asian Studies in 2007, and is now based at the European University Institute in San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy, working on a doctoral dissertation project related to the Ravidassia Community and Identity(ies) in Catalonia, Spain (more information).
Conference report: Sikhs in Europe 2010
Written by Administrator
The first report of the conference "Sikhs in Europe: Migration, Identity and Translocal Practices" that was held at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, on June 16 to 18 is now available at the Swedish South Asian Studies Network (SASNET).
Sikhs-in Europe is an independent and interdisciplinary academic network for students, teachers and scholars conducting studies of and research in all areas related to the Sikh history, religion and culture in Europe. The forum was created in 2008 and is managed by a collaborative group of scholars from different European universities.The aims of the network are:
- To promote and establish academic cooperation and exchange between students, teachers and scholars from various disciplines who share the interest in Sikh Studies.
- To assist students and scholars by facilitating access to information about research projects and publications on the Sikhs in Europe.
- To provide updated information about academic events and activities related to the Sikh Diasporas.
Participants of the conference "Sikhs in Europe: Migration, Identity and Translocal Practices" held at Lund University on June 16 to 18, 2010. Photo: Martin Lund.