Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sikh Students Conference ||

Host: Center for Sikh Studies & Sikh Students Federation (UC Berkeley)
Start Time: Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 4:00pm
End Time: Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 6:00pm
Location: UC Berkeley Campus

The Sikh Students Conference will bring focus on the determining factors in the current Sikh situation as well as the trends among the Sikhs. The Sikhs, whose entity has been reduced to subjects after 1849, have been victims of the processes that defined the nature of the secular Indian nation-state. Such definitions represent the imperialist agenda to universalize meaning, construct a uniform identity, and deny any difference. The conference aims to contest the accepted definitions and break away with the conventions in Sikh activism. The conference is a result of the realization of having a fresh engagement with the area of Sikh studies in particular and the related areas such as theory and method in the study of religion and different branches of Western philosophical traditions that provide basis for theoretical approaches. Although the conference is mainly focusing on the 1984 attack on Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, the primary focus is on the philosophical trends that shaped historically-significant events or even the historical context itself.

Therefore, the conference is unlike venues that try to locate the Sikhs within any given space, whether it’s Indian secularism, or the American liberal democracy, but an attempt to locate a Sikh space. Because what Sikhs encounter in life, particularly in the West, is unavoidably complex, simplistic approaches are incapacitating. The few available venues are stifling potential. The Sikh Students Conference aims to foster the faculties critical and necessary for a real engagement with life and the issues.

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