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“(Re-)Building Punjab: Political Economy, Society and Values” Conference

March 29, 2013 - March 30, 2013  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


Punjab is a state in the nation of India, but also a state of mind. The larger geographic region of Punjab was the birthplace of the Sikh religion. The Indian state of Punjab, within that larger region, is the homeland of the Sikhs, the nation’s granary, and a major recipient of diaspora remittances. But within an economically resurgent India, Punjab is in relative decline, apparently beset by societal and environmental problems. This multi- and inter-disciplinary conference will explore the complex relations between the Sikh community and its real and imagined homeland. Individual sessions will be on the historical roots of Punjab’s contemporary society, the state of its politics and political culture, possibilities of economic improvement, challenges of environmental degradation, the role of diaspora philanthropy, and ways in which Punjab’s situation is expressed in and shaped by music and film as forms of cultural production.


The conference and dinner are free and open to the public. Conference sessions will take place in the Humanities Building 1, Room 210 each day.
Dinner space is limited and attendees should register by March 20th, by emailing Courtney Mahaney.
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Friday, March 29

8:15-8:45 AM – Breakfast

8:45-9:00 AM – Welcome

9:00-10:30 AM – Session 1: Sikh Values and Punjab Society in Historical Perspective
Presenter: Prof. Pashaura Singh, Religious Studies, UC Riverside
Discussant: Dr. Harpreet Singh, South Asian Studies, Harvard University
Session Chair: Prof. Nathaniel Deutsch, History, UC Santa Cruz

10:30-10:45 AM – Break

10:45 AM – 12:15 PM – Session 2: A Case Study of Sikh Diaspora Philanthropy in Punjab
Presenter: Prof. Verne A. Dusenbery, Anthropology, Hamline University
Discussant: Prof. Supreet Kaur, Economics, Columbia University
Session Chair: Prof. James Clifford, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz

12:15-1:45 PM – Lunch

1:45-3:15 PM – Session 3: Punjab Politics and Society
Presenter: Prof. Pritam Singh, Accounting, Finance and Economics, Oxford Brookes University
Discussant: Prof. Jugdep S. Chima, Political Science, Hiram College
Session Chair: Prof. Ronnie D. Lipschutz, Politics, UC Santa Cruz

3:15-3:30 PM – Break

3:30-5:00 PM – Session 4: The Punjab Economy: Problems and Prospects
Presenter: Prof. Lakhwinder Singh, Economics, Punjabi University
Discussant: Prof. Nirvikar Singh, Economics, UC Santa Cruz
Session Chair: Prof. Helen Shapiro, Sociology, UC Santa Cruz

6:30-9:00 PM – Dinner & Lecture: Reflections on the Columbia/UC Santa Barbara Punjab Summer Program
Presenter: Prof. Gurinder Mann, Religious Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Saturday, March 30

8:30-9:00 AM – Breakfast

9:00-10:30 AM – Session 5: Groundwater in Punjab: Environmental Challenges
Presenter: Prof. Rajinder Singh Sidhu, Punjab Agricultural University
Discussant: Prof. Upmanu Lall, Engineering, Columbia University
Session Chair: Prof. Ben Crow, Sociology, UC Santa Cruz

10:30-10:45 AM – Break

10:45 AM – 12:15 PM – Session 6: Punjab’s Ethical Soundscapes: From Asa ki Var to Dhadi Var and Hip Hop
Presenter: Dr. Inderjit Kaur, Music, UC Santa Cruz
Discussion and demonstration: Mr. Mandeep S. Sethi, Rapper
Session Chair: Prof. Linda Burman-Hall, Music, UC Santa Cruz

12:15-2:30 PM – Session 7: Lunch Panel: Punjab’s Future – What’s to be Done?
Panelist: Dr. Narinder Kapany, Sikh Foundation
Panelist: Dr. Ajit Singh, Artiman Ventures and Stanford University
Panelist: Mr. Michael Singh, Filmmaker
Panel Chair: Dr. Inder Mohan Singh, LynuxWorks and Chardi Kalaa Foundation
Sponsored by the UCSC Punjab Studies Endowment and Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies


March 29, 2013
March 30, 2013


Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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