What: It is increasingly recognized that the university classroom at once forms and is informed by issues of a global nature, and is influenced by the concerns of students who enter and populate that space. Using this as a guiding insight, the purpose of this workshop is to bring together a group of experienced faculty who specialize in teaching Sikh studies and have been instrumental in introducing the subject of Sikh studies in North America and Europe. The workshop will consider some broad questions outlined below. Invited faculty are encouraged to reflect on their long experience of teaching and research in Sikh studies and to engage with any subset or combination of questions that speak directly to the way that their classroom experience intersects with research interests. What does it mean to teach Sikhism in the Western academy today? Can the field of Sikh studies pose challenges to conventional pedagogies? Can Sikh Studies be taught beyond the constraints of area studies (e.g. as a subset of Punjab Studies, or South Asian studies)? If so, to what extent can the space of the Sikh Studies classroom directly “engage with various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences in such a way as to affect and infect the very matter and content of the mainstream, while simultaneously inculcating a self-critique…”. Does the status of Sikh Studies as a minority or outlier field require scholars to reflexively engage with the frameworks within which it is taught? To what extent is this engagement with the structures of disciplinarity delimiting and to what extent is it essential? How can we work toward a critical pedagogical standpoint that is inimical neither to Sikh experience nor to the materiality of Sikh Studies/Sikh tradition? How does one develop a pedagogy that complicates the continued dominance of Anglophone conceptuality, or the language of global education in undergraduate and graduate classrooms?
Location and Date: University of Michigan, December 5-6, 2015