Sikhi, Literature and Film Conference at Hofstra University

This weekend, from Friday to Sunday October 19-21st, the Sikh Studies department at Hofstra University will host’Sikhi(sm), Literature and Film,’ a conference on literary and visual cultures in the Sikh tradition, both in Panjab and the Diaspora.

Paper presentations will be given during five sessions, with presentations ranging from de-categorizing the janamsakhis to the poetry of Puran Singh, discourses on secularism to literary representations of Sikhs, Sikh masculine identity vis--vis kesh and the dastaar to Panjabi theater, Museum exhibitions to Sikh identity in film and Bollywood, Hip Hop and rap as expressive forms among Panjabi youth to Gurbani sangeet and femalekirtaniya. Presentation topics and bios can be accessed via the Sikh Studies website at Hofstra.

This year the conference will also host two supplementary film screenings and offer a forum to deepen the discourse around the recent Oak Creek Massacre. The films include Safina Uberois Gurdwara: the Gurus Portal: a door to document Truth and Harjant Gills Roots of Love, while the pieces related to Oak Creek include Dr. Nikhil Pal Singhs Remainders of White Supremacy,’ and Dr. Balbinder Singh Bhogals Oak Creek Killings: The Denial of a culture of oppression (which can be read online).

When I attended the conference back in 2002 as a young college student, I recall the giant rift that existed between members of the community and the Orientalist trajectory of the Sikh Studies field at the time., (i.e. the Sikh community Richmond Hill is right next door but remains invisible in thewell funded forumsin New York). The conference has moved to bring in a wider range of speakers and engaging with topics that challenge these rifts (i.e. female kirtaniya). I’m look forward to hearing from others on how these forums can become increasingly more inclusive and representative of Sikhs, Sikhi, and Sikh life today.

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8 Responses to “Sikhi, Literature and Film Conference at Hofstra University”

  1. Roop Dhillon says:

    Re Sikh Literature

    You may find these links interesting, as I am a Sikh trying to push Punjabi in a new direction…

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