Virtual Book Club
Join us each week as we connect you to great authors and content creators on topics of Sikh & Punjabi arts, culture, heritage and history. Register and Join in.
George Morton-Jack on 'The Indian Empire at War'
Join us for a conversation on the First World War and India with the historian George Morton-Jack, author of 'The Indian Empire at War' - drawing on long-lost Indian veteran interviews and oral memories in India and Pakistan to explore neglected personal stories of 1914-1918
Monday July 6, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Buy The Indian Empire at War here.
Kirit Singh on Sikh Musical Heritage
Kirit Singh is currently undertaking his PhD, titled Kirtan and Kala: Patrons and Musicians of Gurbani Kirtan and Hindustani Music in Punjab, 1801 to 1947 at SOAS University, London, under the supervision of Prof. Richard Widdess. This study is the first of its kind to explore in detail the tradition of gurbani kirtan in relation to Hindustani music in the Punjab region, during the unique period in which both traditions came to enjoy significant patronage from the Sikh princes and aristocracy. The study aims to document the outcome of the interactions and exchanges in such environments by drawing on written sources and oral histories. It will also focus on the major religious centres, such as Amritsar, which fostered a flourishing musical environment.
Monday July 13, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Learn more about Kirit's work and support him here.
Dr Nadhra Khan on the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh
Nadhra Khan's primary area of research and interest is 19th Century Sikh Art and Architectural Ornament in the Punjab, but she also focuses on Mughal Art and Architecture (16th to 18th century). Her work emphasizes the significance of the Sikh period as the last episode of centuries old indigenous art and architectural tradition before annexation of the Punjab by the British in 1849 that changed, among other things, the visual culture of the Punjab forever. A research project that started with one Sikh funerary monument or samadhi built to honor Maharaja Ranjit Singh has led her to study almost all major monuments dateable to this period, including the Golden Temple Amritsar, Sikh period havelis and various other samadhis.
Monday July 20, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Buy The Samadhi of Ranjit Singh here.
Prof Lou Fenech on an historical study of the Panj Pyara
Dr. Fenech's special expertise lies in the field of Punjabi and Sikh Studies. His publications include three books, the most recent of which is The Sikh Zafarnama of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire (2013). He is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies(2014). Professor Fenech notes that fringe benefits of being a 'Sikhologist' include the opportunity to sample the many delicacies for which the Punjab is noted. A particular favorite of his is a small bitter gourd known as karela. Professor Fenech teaches the Liberal Arts Core class on India, and upper level classes on the History of Modern and Pre-Modern South Asia.
Monday July 27, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Learn more about Prof Fenech work here.
Meera Syal in conversation with Amandeep Kaur Bhangu
We're absolutely thrilled that we are kicking off our 'South Asian Heritage Month' program with actor, comedian, writer, producer, playwright and national treasure Meera Syal. Joining her in conversation and leading a Q&A with the bookclub audience is reporter and filmmaker Amandeep Kaur Bhangu.
Monday August 3, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Gurmeet Rai on the Built Heritage of Amritsar
Gurmeet S. Rai is a conservation architect based in New Delhi, India. She established CRCI, a conservation consultancy firm in 1996. Since its inception the firm has undertaken a wide range of projects within the domain of cultural heritage conservation and management practice in India.
The works of CRCI include conservation and revitalization management plan for the Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar and the Grand Trunk Road in Punjab, conservation plans for historic buildings in the Golden temple in Amritsar. In collaboration with international multidisciplinary teams, Gurmeet has prepared the visitor management and site management plans for the World Heritage Site of Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha in Nepal and for UNESCO the Cultural Heritage Policy for Punjab.
Her vast experience in conservation and heritage management has been recognized by the World Monuments Fund in New York who appointed her as the project management consultant for scoping and coordinating conservation of 43 protected monuments in Madhya Pradesh. She is currently engaged in several conservation projects across the country.
Monday August 10, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
William Dalrymple on 'Anarchy' in Conversation with Jassa Ahluwalia
Author and Historian William Dalrymple the writer of a dozen books on Indian history presents his latest work - a worldwide bestseller on the rapacious East India Company titled 'Anarchy'
Monday August 31, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Buy Anarchy here.
more great book club talks coming soon
Prof. Kim Wagner, Amritsar 1919
Join us to hear Prof Wagner speak about his meticulously researched history of the 1919 massacre at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.
Monday April 20, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomWatch a recording of the event here.
Buy Prof. Wagner's book Amritsar 1919 here.
Philip Deslippe: The History of Yogi Bhajan, His Kundalini Yoga, and the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization
An unusual and controversial figure, Yogi Bhajan, claimed to teach a secret and powerful form of yoga openly for the first time and led thousands of Western spiritual seekers to convert to Sikhism. Philip will discuss the origins of Yogi Bhajan's yoga, the reorienting of his group towards Sikhism, and where recent revelations about his abuse and misconduct might lead his organization and legacy in the future.
Monday April 27, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomWatch a recording of the event here.
Download a free copy of Philip Deslippe's article here.
Kavita Puri on Partition Voices: Untold British Stories
Join us to hear BBC journalist Kavita Puri speak about the extraordinary testimonies she has collected of British South Asians, who broke their silence 70 years after partition, to reveal heart-breaking stories of loss, belonging and compassion.
Monday May 04, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Buy Partition Voices by Kavita Puri here.
Jvala Singh, Sourced Sikh History
Jvala Singh,a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia, is studying Sikh history particularly looking at pre-colonial texts, specifically the Suraj Prakash (1843) which he provides chapter summaries on his podcast, the Suraj Podcast.
Monday May 11, 2020. 5.00pm (UK) on zoomRegister now to receive your joining instructions here.
Listen to Jvala Singh's Suraj Podcast here. (Also available on Soundcloud and Spotify)