Call for Papers BC

Theeja Ghallughara: On Justice, Memory, and Transmission

For many in the Sikh community, the period of Indian state-sponsored violence has become enshrined in the catchall term — “1984.” However, violence began far before and continues long after that year. Just the mention of “1984” still has strong resonance within the Sikh community, embodying not only the tragic events of that year, but their continued relevance and ramifications up until the present.

Dhaadi jathas, Sikh minstrels, were amongst the first to frame these events within a longer heroic narrative of the unfolding of Sikh history. The term most often used is the “Theeja Ghallughara” (Third Sikh Genocide) — following two previous episodes in the 18th century.

Suggested topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Historical reflections on diasporic responses
  • Role of memory of the “Theeja Ghallughara” in contemporary Punjab
  • Reflections of ongoing traumas
  • Role of dhaadi jatha, rap, and Punjabi music forms in the preservation of memory
  • Proliferation of Sant Bhindranwale memorabilia in Punjab since the mid–2000s
  • Comparative genocide studies
  • Portrayals in Hindi and Punjabi film
  • Role of the new social media in the transmission of memory

This conference proposes to be explorative and is open to all disciplines, approaches, and methodologies that address the Theeja Ghallughara.

The conference is open to academics and young researchers. Travel bursaries and local accommodations will be provided.

Proposals for individual papers should be no more than 500 words in length and may be sent by email, with a current CV/resume, to or uploaded at the conference website.

Abstracts Due: May 15, 2012