International Sikh Research Conference 2015 shows the growth of Sikh Studies in the UK
The second International Sikh Research Conference (ISRC) showcased the research of University students as well as seasoned scholars of the Sikh faith. The conference was convened by Harjinder Singh Lallie (University of Warwick) and Gurinder Singh Mann (Director of the Sikh Museum Initiative). The event followed on from the tremendous success of the first conference in 2014.
The ISRC was hosted for the second time at the University of Warwick on the 28th of June 2015. The scope and range of presentations varied and brought together researchers from different disciplines. Sujinder Singh started the proceedings and gave reasons, as to why Sikh studies needed to be formalised within the University network and offered a number of solutions. Four papers looked at the Heritage of the Sikh faith; Clare Canning considered how Gurdwaras within Leicester were architecturally designed, whilst Harjinder Singh gave unique perspectives on the role of the Rabab in Sikh history. Gurinder Singh Mann explained how the Sikh Museum Initiative would consider the role of technology to exhibit and catalogue Sikh relics and artefacts in the UK. Iain Smith gave insights on how the British Army recruited Sikhs from 1846 into its ranks.
Mandeep Singh using interviews gave reasons as to why divorce was becoming common place within the Sikh community. Sarbjit Kaur gave a unique perspective on how poetry guides Sikh thinking, whilst Manoher Singh gave a philosophical perspective in his De Novo Gur-mat: Towards a theory of human understanding. Eleanor Nesbitt showed how the Nanaksar Sampradaya differed in the practices to ‘mainstream Sikhism.’
The conference ended with the Harminder Singh explaining the importance of Rags in Sikh musicology, he was joined with Virpal Singh on the Tabla. They gave renditions of different Rags to the delight of the conference participants.
The conference papers and participants were as follows: Gurnam Singh( University of Coventry), Sujinder Singh(Independent), Harjinder Singh Lallie (University of Warwick), Mandeep Singh Sehmi (University of Coventry), Clare Canning (University Of Leicester), Gurinder Singh Mann (Sikh Museum Initiative), Manoher Singh (Sikh Studies Forum), Sarbjit Kaur (Manchester Metropolitan University), Iain Smith, (Sikh Pioneers and Sikh Light Infantry Association, Harminder Singh Panjab Cultural Association and Professor Emeritus Eleanor Nesbitt (University of Warwick).