Curriculum Vitae


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Education 1965-71 M.A., English, Baring Union Christian College, Batala, Punjab
1974-75 Diploma in English Studies, CIEFL, Hyderabad, India
1975-76 M.A., English, University of Kent at Canterbury, England
1984-87 Master of Theological Studies, Harvard University
1987-93 Ph.D., Middle East Languages and Culture, Columbia University

Work 1971-84 Lecturer, English, Baring Union Christian College, Batala, Punjab
1988-99 Instructor (88-92), Assistant Professor (92-97), and Associate Professor (97-99), Religion, Columbia University
99-2015 Kundan Kaur Kapany Professor of Sikh Studies, UC Santa Barbara
2004-15 Founder Director, Center of Sikh and Punjab Studies, UC Santa Barbara
2016-     Founder Director, Global Institute for Sikh Studies, New York, NY

Publications 1996 The Goindval Pothis. Cambridge: Harvard Oriental Series 51
2001 The Making of Sikh Scripture. New York: Oxford University Press; New Delhi: OUP, 2001 (hardbound), 2003, 2006, 2009 (paperback)
2004 Sikhism. Prentice Hall: Religions of the World; 2007 (Japanese & Spanish editions)

Co-author 2001 With P. D. Numrich and R. B. Williams, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs in America New York: Oxford University Press; 2008 (paperback)
2011 With Gurdit Singh, Ami P. Shah, Gibb Schreffler, and with Anne Murphy, Introduction to Punjabi. Patiala: Punjabi University.P. D. Numrich

Editor 1993 With J. S. Hawley, Studying the Sikhs: Issues for North America (SUNY Press)P. D. Numrich
2006 Modern Punjabi Poetry, a special issue of the Journal of Punjab Studies 13:1-2
2008 Guru Gobind Singh, a special issue of the Journal of Punjab Studies 15:1-2
2010 W. H. McLeod, a special issue of the Journal of Punjab Studies 17:1-2
2016 Co-editor, with Shinder Thandi, The Gurdvara, a special issue of the Journal of Sikh and Punjab Studies 23:1-2
2016 Co-editor, with Knut A. Jacobsen, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Sikhism. Leiden: E.J. Brill

Recent Articles 2012 “Guru Nanak’s Life and Legacy: An Appraisal.” In Punjab Reconsidered, edited by A. Malhotra and F. Mir. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, pp. 116-160.
2013 "Conversion to Sikhism." In Oxford Handbook on Religious Conversion, edited by L. Rambo and C. Farhadian. New York: OUP, pp. 488-507.
2013 With J. S. Hawley, “Mirabai at the Court of Guru Gobind Singh.” In Culture and Circulation, edited by A. Busch and T. deBruijn. E.J. Brill, pp. 107-138.
2016 “The Sikh Panth.” In Religion in the Modern World, edited by L. Woodhead, C. Partridge, and H. Kawanami. London: Routledge , pp. 113-141.
2016 With Ami P. Shah, “Sikhism.” In The Norton Anthology of World Religions. New York: W.W. Norton.

Reviews 2009- Reviewed 26 manuscripts under consideration for publication by a wide array of Presses including Cambridge, Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford (Nabha).

Teaching at UC Santa Barbara (1999-2015)

RS 20 “Indian Civilization” (Winter 2014: 120 students)
RS 60A-F “Punjabi” (Spring 2014: 28 students)
GS 104 “Global Diaspora and Cultural Change” (Winter 2014: 154 students)
RS 162C “Sikhism” (Fall 2013: 287 students)
RS 213 Offered a set of five graduate seminars, and was associated with 15 doctoral dissertations on the Sikh community and the region of Punjab
2011 Awarded “Outstanding Faculty” by Residence Hall Association (May 6)
2013 & 2014 Nominated for Distinguished Teaching Award by UCSB Students

Teaching at Columbia University (Fall 2015-)

G 8515 “Bhakti Texts of North India” (With Prof. J.S. Hawley, Fall 2015) Supervisory committee member, “The Life of the Puratan Janam Sakhi,” doctoral thesis by Simran Jeet Singh (Chair, Prof. R.F. McDermott, Fall 2015)
G 9902 “Readings in Baba Farid” (With Prof. J.S. Hawley, Spring 2016)

Invited Lectures
In the past two decades, delivered 85 lectures at the following 50 institutions:
AAR; Barnard College; Boston University; California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks; California State University, Northridge; Carthage College, Kenosha; Claremont Graduate University; Claremont Lincoln University; Columbia University; Elizabethtown College, PA; Harvard University; Hofstra University; Lutheran Marymount University, LA; Rutgers University; Stanford University; State University of New York, Binghamton; Syracuse University; UC Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Riverside, Santa Barbara, & Santa Cruz; University of Florida, Gainesville; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Wisconsin, Madison, & Milwaukee; Valparaiso University; Yale University; American Society for the Study of Religion; Asia Society, NYC; Library of Congress, Washington DC; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC; Pioneers’ Museum, Imperial Valley, CA; Human Rights Commission, Montreal; Simon Fraser University, Vancouver; University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford; University of Toronto; Coventry University, UK; Punjab Research Group, Oxford University; SOAS, London University; Lund University, Sweden; Baring College, Batala, Punjab; GNDU, Amritsar, Punjab; Indian History Congress, annual meeting held at Patiala; Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab; Institute of Languages, Singapore (May-16 Yale)

Conferences Organized

At Columbia University
March 25, 1989 “Sikh Studies: The American Agenda”
March 31, 1990 “Sikh Theology”
April 3, 1993 “Sikh Diaspora”
April 30, 1994 “Post-1947 Punjabi Literature”
March 18, 1995 “Parvasi Punjabi Sahitt”
April 1, 1995 “Agriculture of the Punjab”
At UC Santa Barbara
November 7, 1998 “Sikh Studies: Toward the American Agenda”
December 4-5, 1999 “Guru Gobind Singh: Life and Legacy”
May 12, 2000 “Canon Formation in the Sikh Tradition”
April 21-22, 2001 “The Sikh Diaspora”
May 4, 2004 “Debates in Sikh Studies”
May 29, 2004 “Punjabi Culture”
December 2, 2005 “South Asian Studies in the United States”
November 14-15, 2009 “Expanding Horizons: Sikh Studies around 2000”
May 16-17, 2014 “Sikh Studies in the 21st Century”
Co-sponsored Events
December 13-15, 2003 “Sikh Studies,” University of Otego, Dunedin, New Zealand
March 19, 2005 “Workshop on Sikh Studies,” Lund University, Lund, Sweden
March 19-21, 2009 “State of Sikh Studies since 1947,” GNDU, Amritsar, Punjab
March 15-16, 2010 “Sanghol and Punjab Archeology,” JNU, New Delhi, India
November 17, 2011 “Textuality, Religious Difference, Embodied Practices, and a Bit of Bhakti: A Day(’s Very) Long Symposium in Honor of Prof. John S. Hawley Convened by His Students,” at UCSB

Service to the Field

1987- Member American Academy of Religion
1991- Advisor, Pluralism Project, Harvard University
1991- Compiled a collection of photographs of pre-1800 Gurmukhi manuscripts, and portraits created by Amritsar-based Sikh artists between 1900 and 1950
1997-2009 Created and directed a six-week intensive Summer Program in Punjab Studies held in Chandigarh, India. Activities included classes inPunjabi; lectures by experts in history, art, and culture; and weekend field trips to historical sites in the Punjab plains and hills. During its operation, 182 scholars from 71 universities in 10 countries participated.
2003 Keynote address at the first fundraiser for the chair in Sikhs studies at UC Riverside, Mission Inn, Riverside (June 11)
2004-15 As the director, Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies, UCSB., my work with the Sikh community translated into donations ($250,000+) to help fund the activities at UCSB, and was also instrumental in receiving the federal government’s Title VI grant ($286,000) to develop Punjabi materials to teach Elementary Punjabi online.
2004-15 Co-editor, Journal of Punjab Studies. Now starting its third decade of publication, the JPS is the longest-running journal in the field.
2007-10 Served on a three-member committee responsible for organizing Ahluwalia Memorial Lectures, Center for South Asian Studies, UC Berkeley
2007- Advisor, Center for Advanced Research and Language Acquisition, Univ. of Minnesota
2008 A weekend workshop for 100+ teachers of Punjabi, Singapore School Board (December)
2009 Invited to review the Sikh studies program at the AAR, but declined
2009 “W. H. McLeod: An Obituary” appeared in several academic journals.
2009 “The Sikhs of the Punjab,” a three-hour workshop with the Immigration and Naturalization Service officials at San Francisco (September 16)
2009-11 Facilitated the gift of Gurmukhi manuscripts in the custody of the Bansal family of Sangrur to Punjabi University, Patiala. This transaction constituted the largest single gift of rare documents donated to any university library in the Punjab.
2010 Reviewed the appointment of the Aurora Chair in Sikh Studies at UC Santa Cruz
2011- Appointed advisor, Center for Guru Granth Studies, GNDU, Amritsar, Punjab
2013- Helped the Sikh Coalition, a New York–based Sikh advocacy group, in its effort to improve the accuracy of information about the Sikhs in school books in the U.S.
2014 Contributor, “The Pluralism Project,” a NEH initiative based at CSU, Fresno (December)
2015 Member, Committee of UC scholars that prepared report for revisions required in the textbooks published by California Department of Education (Fall)

Service to the Community

1990 “Sikhism,” a public lecture at The Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (June 7)
1992 “The Sikh Community in the U.S.” a question-and-answer session with the police officers working in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York
1992-95 Volunteer teacher for a two-hour seminar (Friday evenings) on Sikh history and religion for young Sikh adults at Richmond Hill Sikh temple, Queens, New York
1993 “Ethics and Values: A Sikh Perspective,” Parliament of World Religions, (August 29)
1994 Provided declaration on Sikh beliefs in R.S. Cheema et al, represented by the ACLU, versus Livingston School District, CA (April 8)
1994-96 Participated regularly in the activity of the Temple of Understanding, an Interfaith organization then based at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York
1997 Led a two-day workshop on “The Current Situation in the Punjab” for the employees of The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Montreal (January 24-25)
1999 Deposed on the significance of the kirpan in the Sikh tradition, in a civil suit, Anand-Gurdas Singh vs. City of Oakland, Santa Barbara, (October 8)
1999 Helped Michel Foot, Santa Ana Police Commander, in mediating a conflict between the Sikh temple and the local community, (October 13)
1999 Founding member of the Board of Trustees of Sikh Temple, Ventura, CA (September)
2000 Helped prepare a special issue of Faces: People, Places, and Cultures (NH: Cobblestone), a magazine for elementary school children
2002-04 External Reviewer, “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab,” an exhibition held at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, from 2004 to 2007.
2010 Worked closely with Hardit Singh Aurora of San Antonio that eventually resulted in the establishment of the Aurora Chair in Sikh Studies at UC Santa Cruz.
2011 “The Early Sikh community,” a keynote address to the members of Indo-Canadian Business Association along with local politicians, farmers, and administrators of the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC (350 people, April 12)
2011 “The Sikh Heritage,” a lecture at Dashmesh School, Abbotsford, BC (April 12)
2012 "From Stockton to Oak Creek" (with Ami P. Shah), Santa Barbara News-Press (July 12)
2012 Interview with KPFK, an NPR affiliate regarding the shooting at the Oak Creek Sikh Temple and Sikh attitude toward death and living in the United States (August 6)
2012 One of the two keynote speakers (with B. N. Goswamy) at the release of Sikh Heritage: Ethos and Relics, India International Center, New Delhi, presided over by Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, wife of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India (December 24)
2012-14 External reviewer, Development of Punjabi language teaching materials under the auspices of Language Commission, Government of Singapore
2013 One of the two keynote speakers (with Surjit Patar) at the inauguration of D.S. Kalepani Museum, Chandigarh, presided over by Mr. P.S. Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab (Dec. 23)
2014 “The Sikhs of the Punjab,” a lecture at Anacapa School, Santa Barbara, accompanied by a visit to the Sikh temple, Ventura (January 28)
2014 “Paul L. Love: A Teacher, Mentor, and Builder of Institutions.” In Love in Madurai. A publication of the American College, Madurai (Fall)
2015 “Narinder Singh Kapany: The Man and His Accomplishments” to appear in a forthcoming book edited by Paul Taylor, Smithsonian Institution (Fall)
2015 “J.S. Ahluwalia: From Petroleum Industry to Sikh Studies,” San Jose (October 3)
2016 “The Khalsa Panth,” (1775 words) appeared in the souvenir released by the Sikh Cultural Society, Richmond Hill, Queens, on the Sikh Day Parade, in Manhattan (April 23)


1995 Recognized for introducing the teaching of Sikh studies at Columbia University, by G.S. Tohra, President, SGPC, Manji Sahib, Darbar Sahib, Amritsar (December 20)
1996 Felicitated at Takhat Harimandir Sahib, Patna, for service to Sikh education (December 15)
1999 Felicitated by Sikh Educational Foundation, Singapore, for work in the U.S. (January 14)
1999 Awarded “Maharaj Puraskar” for Goindval Pothis (HOS, 51) considered to be “a landmark contribution to the study of Sikh scripture,” in a public function chaired by Piara Singh Padam of Kalgidhar Foundation, Patiala (October 10)
2000 Felicitated by Sikh Organization of New York at a function chaired by Mr. T. S. Bindra for “dedication and earnest efforts towards developing Sikh Studies at Columbia” (May 17)
2003 Felicitated by The Sikh Foundation, Palo Alto, in recognition of “of his distinguished achievements and services to the community” at a function presided over by Willie Brown, Mayor of San Francisco
2004 Sikh Dharma International and the Sikh community of California honored me for “selfless service to humanity” (April 11)
2004 The California Commission on Teacher Credentials’ certification of appreciation for services in the development of Punjabi language.
2006- Admitted to the American Society for the Study of Religion
2009 Invited to attend a luncheon in honor of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, hosted by Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (November 19)
2012 Felicitated by Oak Creek, Wisconsin, gurdvara for community service (November 1)
2013 Honored by Sikh Studies Program, University of California, Santa Cruz, in appreciation for “creating and running the Summer Program in Punjab Studies for 13 years, providing priceless training to a new generation of scholars of Punjab and the Sikhs” (March 29)
2016 Felicitated by Sri Guru Ravidas gurdvara, Denhaag (Holland), (July 2)