UK: The aim of the international Sikh Research conference (ISRC) was to showcase the work of Sikh scholars and historians and to share their research on a wider platform. The conference was set up by Harjinder Singh Lallie (University of Warwick), Gurinder Singh Mann (independent Researcher) and Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar (University of Wolverhampton). All three scholars are actively researching with in the field of Sikh studies and have published in both books and peer reviewed journals, as well as having participated in international Conferences relating to Religion and History.
The ISRC was hosted at the University of Warwich on the 29th June 2014. The international scope ensured that religious perspectives were explored from a transnational angle whist also acknowledging current trends within Sikh Studies in Britain. The four panels were themed around: ‘Deconstructing colonialism and the Sikhs’; ‘Understanding Caste and identity’; ‘Tradition and Social deconstruction’ and ‘Understanding Gender bias’. The papers covered diverse themes of Liturgical studies, Sikh musicology, female foeticide, Caste/varan and Sikh identity
There was a tribute to the late Dr William Owen cole (1931 – 26 October 2013) who as instrumental in contributing to Sikh Studies. Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, Eleanor Nesbitt and Joy Barrow gave insights into the life and scholarship of Dr Owen cole.
The ‘Plenary and Panel discussion on th future of Sikh Studies’ was an opportunity for attendees to offer feedback on the conference as well as suggestions for the way forward for Sikh Studies in the UK. Suggestions ranged from setting up a Sikh Think Tank to creating a panel fo experts to proberly identify Sikh artefacts in the UK. The organisers as well as the participants deemed the event a success and will build on this for the next conference in 2015. Future conferences will continue to provide a platform for established scholars as well as new researchers in the field to share their cutting edge research in Sikh Studies.
The conference papers were delivered by scholars from an international platform: Harjinder Singh Lallie (University of Warwick), Gurinder Singh Mann (Independent Resarcher) Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar (University of Wolverhampton), Dr james Lewis (University of Tramso, Norway), Manoher Singh (Sikh Studies Forum), Raj kumar Hans (University of Baroda, India), Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (University of Derby), Dr Nadhra Shahbaz Khan (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan), Harjinder Singh Majhail (Independent Researcher), Dr Kamalroop Singh (Independent Researcher), Sarbjit Kaur (MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University), Prof Brian Brocking (University College Cork, Ireland) and Professor Emeritus Eleanor Nesbitt (University of Warwick).