Thirty-fifth International Conference of the Punjab Research Group Theme: Past, Present and Future

Conveners: Professor Pritam Singh; Muhammad Ali Jan; R. S. Mann.

Speakers: Jaskiran Bhoga (Chair); Kanika Singh; Kiranpreet Kaur; Saadia Sumbal; Pritam Singh (Chair); Mazhar Abbas; Anupama Uppal; Raphaela Kormol; Pippa Virdee (Chair); Harminder Kaur Bhoga; Eleanor Nesbitt; Samia Khalid; Iftikhar H. Malik (Chair); Atsushi Ikeda; Simple Kochar; 


The Punjab Research Group has been hosting conferences at least twice a year since 1984, and was established as an inclusive and all- embracing forum for discussion and debate on issues pertaining to the East and West Punjab as well as the Punjabi diaspora. During the past 34 years, the PRG has provided space for academics to interact with each other regardless of territorial or disciplinary boundaries. Our second conference for 2018 will be held as a one-day event on 27 October in Oxford. The conference will provide a platform to academics, young researchers, journalists, artists, and activists for an inter-disciplinary discussion focusing on the theme of ‘Past, Present and Future’.

There is a registration fee of £10 which should be paid in cash on the day.  To register to attend the conference please click here.



(Saturday 27 October, 2018)

09.00- 09.15: Registration

09.15- 09.30: Welcome address: Pritam Singh, Academic Visitor, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford


09.30-11.15: Session I Religion and Punjab studies

Chair: Jaskiran Bhogal, PhD Candidate, London School of Economics, United Kingdom

09.30-09.55: Punjab and Sind Bank and the Creation of Sikh Heritage

Kanika Singh, Director, Centre for Writing & Communication, Ashoka University

09.55-10.20: Referendum 2020: A view from Punjab

Kiranpreet Kaur, PhD Student, Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham

10.20-10.45: The jama’at of Allah’s Friends: Maulana Allahyar’s reformist Movement and sacralising the space of the Armed Forces of Pakistan

Saadia Sumbal, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Forman Christian College University Lahore

10.45-11.15: Discussion


11.15-11.45: Tea/Coffee Break


11.45-01.30: Session II Land reforms, rural economy, politics and governance

Chair: Pritam Singh, Academic Visitor, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford

11.45-12.10: Killing the two birds with one stone? Land Reforms as Power Sustenance and Peasants’ Suppression Tool in the West Punjab

Mazhar Abbas, PhD Candidate1 and Lecturer2

1. World History, Shanghai University, China and

2. History and Pakistan Studies, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan

12.10-12.35: The Quality of Employment in Rural Non-Farm Sector of Punjab

Anupama Uppal, Professor, Economics Department of Economics, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab - India

12.35-13.00: Governing (In-) Security Practices in the Punjab Borderland

Raphaela Kormoll, PhD Candidate, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University

13.00-13.30: Discussion


13.30-14.15: Lunch Break

14.15-14.30: Conference Announcements regarding Publications, Scholarships and Research Projects


14.30-16:15: Session III Gender studies

Chair: Dr. Pippa Virdee, Senior Lecturer, De Montfort University, Leicester

14:30-14:55: The role of East Punjabi women in textiles manufacturing – Sewing for success

Harminder Kaur Bhogal, Project Director of Community Education Academy of Leadership (CEAL), West Midlands, England

14:55-15:20: Christian lenses, Christian goals? Two centuries of western women’s reporting of Sikhs

Eleanor Nesbitt, Professor Emeritus, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick

15:20-15:45: Women freedom in Bahawalpur State and the Colonial Punjab

Samia Khalid, Assistant Professor at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan

15.45- 16.15: Discussion


16.15-16.45: Tea/Coffee Break


16.45-17.55: Session IV History and art studies

Chair: Professor Iftikhar H. Malik, Bath Spa University

16.45-17.10: Social Transformation of Sikh Identity in Colonial Punjab: Portraits of Guru Nanak, the Founder of Sikhism

Mr. Atsushi Ikeda, PhD Candidate, Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

17.10-17.35: Heer Waris Shah: A Meme of Punjabiyat

Simple Kochar, PhD Candidate, Dept. of English, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

17.35-17.55: Discussion


17.55-18.15: Deliberation on/Announcement of Best Presenter Award


18.15-18.30: Vote of Thanks

Pritam Singh, Conference Director


For links to the conference handbook and abstracts, please see below.