What: This conference examines the new importance that memory and trauma have come to assume in recent Sikh and Punjabi experience. Focusing on the three main events which underpin the psychological disembodiment of the Sikh and Punjabi self – Partition, 1984/post 1984 Insurgency and Migration, the conference will specifically attend to the central role that trauma and victimization have come to play in the politics of memory.
Our basic premise is that memories are never simply records of the past but are interpretive reconstructions that bear the imprint of local narratives, cultural assumptions discursive formations and practices and social contexts of recall and commemoration. Participants are encouraged to examine the complex relationship between the performative aspects of memory and its capacity to recall the truth about literally “unspeakable” events. Or to consider ways in which memories of violence and victimhood have been shaped by official or expert discourses, or by local idioms of distress. The conference will be organised around four main panels: Keynote Address: Re-evaluating Theoretical Issues Panel 1: Partition Panel 2: 1984 and Post-84 Period of Insurgency Panel 3: Migration, Diasporic Settlement and Local Histories.
Location and Date: Hofstra University, May 8-9, 2004