About The Department
The Centre for Diaspora Studies was established in the year 2012 at Punjabi University Patiala to promote the diasporic research and studies. The university had allocated a grant of Rs 5.00 Lac to support the Centre financially. Since its inception, it has been striving to accomplish a holistic study programme related both to Diaspora in general and Punjabi Diaspora specifically.
In the year 2012-13, the research proposal was forwarded under UGC Area Study Programme (XII Plan) for financial assistance. The standing advisory committee of UGC held on 05-12-13 had recommended the proposal and allocated the grant of Rs 15,00,000/- to start the research for the establishment of Area Study Centre for Advanced Research in Indian Diaspora Studies and Research in Indian Diaspora, with Special Focus on Punjab/ Punjabi Diaspora Punjabi University, Patiala. It was mentioned in the UGC letter that the performance of the Centre will be reviewed/assessed from time to time. The allocation of funds was made for a period of five years from 1-4-2014 to 31-3-2019. The 50% amount of total amount (i.e., Rs 7,50,000/-) allocated was released as per UGC letter dated August 2014.
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Vision of the Centre for Diaspora Studies
The Centre for Advanced Studies and Research in Indian Diaspora, with Special Focus on Punjab/Punjabi Diaspora is envisioned in line with the strong and dedicated commitment of Punjabi University to engage in quality research and academic pursuits for creating a holistic environment. Punjabi University is committed to the promotion of Punjabi language, culture, literature, art and other allied areas for strengthening its focus on Punjabi life, ethos while providing space for multilingual and multicultural regional Indian social character and plurality.
Considering the growing importance of diasporic groups/communities and their involvement in world culture today, the Centre envisions engaging in advanced research and exploration of the significant aspects of diasporic geo-political, economic and cultural shifts from its beginnings, to the present post-colonial and globalised scenario affecting patterns of complex forms of adjustments and involvement of migrant populations. There is dire need to research and articulate the multidimensional features of the new face of diasporas in late stage of global capitalism. Indian regionally oriented diasporas with cultural, ethnic, religious, specificities, present hybrid patterns of resistance and response across the developed and developing world, whether it is professional/skilled work, labour, issues of gender, race, activism, economic productions or the darker side of deprived oversees populations. The centre aims to focus on several of these and related issues in an interdisciplinary frame of study.
The Punjabi diaspora and its patterns of migrations; the historical frames of reference and their changing configurations; the several models of Punjabi/Sikh diasporic identity in terms of pre-and post-colonial, post-partition mutations; the need for close study of a collective Punjabi diasporic experience, as well separately articulating the special Sikh identity in terms of its historical, cultural, ethical, religious, political, economic and sociological variants is self-evident.
The vision of the Centre is not only to research the obvious or ostensible aspects of Punjabi migrant population in terms of its gradations and demography in extremely diverse geographical cultural settings, but also the problems and imperatives of adjustments in the face of global, transnational equations, the U.S. sponsored conflicts in Middle East and Asia, influencing other Indian diasporic groups as well Punjabi diasporic community, ever expanding numerically carrying ahead its vibrancy, has been confronting challenges in facing identification issues, attempts at self-definition and affirmation, both to ascertain and stress the transformative shift in defining ‘Punjabiat’ as well as the newer inputs in economic and professional fields to India in general, and Punjab in particular.
The late capitalist developments affecting post modernity, the impact of computerization and new digital technologies, advanced media studies, the new discourses of local-global relationship, the unprecedented explosion in professional fields, opened up by corporate industries, world bodies and institutions resulting from global/economic networks of expansion. The Centre is envisaged to initiate and conduct research and advanced studies in the above diverse areas to achieve a measure of excellence in this premier institution encouraging interdisciplinary academic climate.
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Courses Offered and Faculty
Objectives and Goals
- The Centre of Advanced Studies and Research in Diaspora is part of initiating a sustained programme of academic engagement by creating fresh opportunities for students, researchers, faculty members and experts in serious involvement in contemporary interdisciplinary diaspora studies in India and elsewhere.
- The fact that diaspora studies have today acquired a multidisciplinary character and a legitimization as a scholarly, religious, political, philosophical, gendered/sexual- itself speaks for its phenomenal value as the most coveted global engagement in theory and practice for the 21st century.
- There are vexed and intricate questions for outlining the historical roots and contemporary ‘routes’ of international migration. What is important for a Centre is to place Indian diasporic communities within several historical and contemporary frames, from the older forms of movements, to examining twentieth and twenty-first century forms of international migrations, particularly after the late cold war.
- All diasporas are differentiated, contested sites of experience in terms of their ethos-cultural specificities- from Jewish, African, Palestinian, diasporas, to the European colonial expansions in the 19th century and its impact on the later waves of Indian/Punjabi(and other) waves of 20th century postcolonial migrations.
- The goal of such a research centre is to conduct research and advanced studies while contextualizing contemporary diasporic identities within the geo-political, economic and demographic shifts of the twentieth and the twenty-first century.
- Further, what has always contributed to diasporic movement, settlement and exchange is the factor of trade, commerce, agriculture, industry, raw materials, and the traffic of labour and workers to different parts across continents.
- Indian diaspora has been involved in different historical stages with plantation, economy, agriculture, and opportunities for professional advancement and economic betterment-something that still continues as a process in new forms and paradigms. This provides new research possibilities for evaluating and documenting the changing role of contemporary diasporas. The sociological and familial aspects have been no less significant in shaping the existential and cultural affiliations and identities of new generation of diasporics, affecting their familial ties and generational relationships, further in centering in the use of language, media, technology, the value system in terms of their eastern and western differences.
- One of the aims of such a centre is to closely study the factors influencing diasporic populations (including Punjabis) across nations and cultures for investigating specific reasons (sociological, cultural, biological, existential) for the gap or split in psychological or emotional responses of previous and present generations.
- Indian/Punjabi Diaspora: Narratives of Migration in Southeast Asia and Far East” Feb. 24 - 26, 2014.
- "Indian/Punjabi Diasporic Cinema: Narratives of Transnational Experience" March 25-27, 2015.
- "Diaspora and Development: Emerging Multidisciplinary Dynamics of Indian/Punjabi Migration" Feb. 24-26, 2016.
- “Komagata Maru and Punjabi Diaspora: Emerging Trends and Dimensions” Sep. 22, 2015.
- “Music, Dance and Indian/Punjabi Diaspora: Transition and Transgression” Nov. 04, 2016.
Chandarshekhar Bhatt, Professor of Eminence (Sociology), Central University of Assam “The Emerging Indian Diaspora: Some Reflections on Overseas Punjabis” on Feb. 27, 2013
Dr. Paramjit Singh Judge, Professor, Department of Sociology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar “Transnationalism and Long Distance Nationalism among the Diaspora Punjabi Sikhs” on March 31, 2014
Dr Avadhesh K. Singh, Director, School of Translation Studies and Training, IGNOU, New Delhi “Diaspora and Translation” on Oct. 17, 2014
Professor Alka Pande, Curator and Art Consultant, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi "Re-inventing Homelands: Art and Diaspora through the artworks of Shiv Dev Singh and Sheba Remy Kharbanda" on March 2, 2015
Dr. Anjali Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, University of Allahabad “Conflict Management in Diaspora” Nov. 20, 2015
Dr. M.S. Kang, Former Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana" Contribution of Punjabi Diaspora to Indian and World Agriculture" March 14, 2016
Dr. Gurpreet Lehal, Professor, Computer Science, Director, Research Centre for Punjabi Language Technology, Punjabi University, Patiala" Role of IT in Breaking the Language, Script and Distance Barriers for Diaspora" Oct. 03, 2016
Dr Diditi Mitra, Business and Social Science Institute, Brookdale Community College, New Jersey, USA. “Sikh Cabbies in NYC: Race, Class and Adaptation” July 21, 2017
- Multiple Perspectives on Punjabi Diaspora: Identities, Locations and Intersections. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2014
- Critical Perspectives on Indian/Punjabi Diaspora: Narratives of Migration in Southeast Asia and Far East. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2015
- Indian/Punjabi Diasporic Cinema: Representations of Transnational Experience.
- Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2016
- Diaspora and Development: Emerging Multidisciplinary Dynamics of Indian/Punjabi Migration. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2017
Komagata Maru and Punjabi Diaspora: Emerging Trends and Dimensions. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2017.
Dr. Alka Pande "Reinventing Home: Punjab and Punjabiyat through the Artworks of Shiv Dev Singh and Sheba Remy Kharbanda" Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2016
Dr. Anjali "Conflict Management in Indian Diaspora: A Saga of Uprooting and Rerooting" Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2016
Dr. M. S. Kang "Contributions of Punjabi Diaspora to Indian and World Agriculture"
Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2016
As per the approval of the Dean Academic Affairs on the decision of Advisory Committee of Centre for Diaspora Studies (CDS), Punjabi University, Patiala on 9th Oct., 2017, the Punjabi Bhawan, Toronto, Canada has initiated a two year project which was proposed to the Centre in June 2017 i.e. “Planning the Strategic Measures to Promote Punjabi Language at School Level Education for Punjabi Diaspora in Canada” for which it has committed to provide a financial grant of Canadian $ 20,000/- to the Centre for Diaspora Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala. They also want to sign MOU with the university.
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Dr. GURMUKH SINGH ,Director
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