SAFAR comprises academics, educators, activists, community organisers and independent researchers, committed to promoting and sustaining Sikh feminist research, praxis and activism.
SAFAR will achieve this by: promoting and cultivating research; creating discourse and spaces that will help develop these values and politics; building alliances and partnerships with academic and non-academic organizations as well as communities and spaces committed to these ideals; and by supporting local and global Sikh institutions and communities.
Recognizing the emancipatory nature of Sikhi, SAFAR defines the Sikh feminist initiative as that which uncovers and understands what causes and sustains oppression in all its forms and strives to create social equity through individual and collective efforts.
To achieve the goals of promoting and sustaining Sikh feminist research, SAFAR will continue to seek to democratise access to academic research, create avenues for applying and connecting theoretical work, and preserve the authenticity of Sikh women’s voices within the academy and beyond.
SAFAR’s activities include:
SAFAR has three communities of accountability:
SAFAR is committed to promoting and sustaining Sikh feminist research by drawing on the inherent egalitarian and social justice messages of Sikhi.
SAFAR is dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge, to uphold the fundamental commitments of academic freedom, freedom of expression and association.
SAFAR is committed to protect the right to be free of hate activity, based on any axis of subordination, including, but not limited to, age, ancestry, citizenship, creed, colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
Harpreet has a Bachelor of Science from McMaster University where she undertook a double major in Mathematics and Biology and minor Pyschology. She completed her Masters in Education in Theory Policy Studies in Education Administration with a focus on Social Justice and Equity at OISE-University of Toronto. She is also working full-time as Instructional Coordinator for Science and Technological Education in Curriculum and Instruction Department for the Peel District School Board. Harpreet recently completed a secondment at The Ontario Ministry of Education in the Inclusive Education Branch and is currently on sabbatical.
Harpreet has volunteered for organizations including Sikh Centennial Foundation, Spinning Wheel Film Festival in which she coordinated the Sikh Arts and Literature Competition, Sikh Art Council, Toronto Sikh Retreat, and has facilitated Workshops for SikhRI. She also runs summer camps for Guru Granth Sahib Academy and has taught at the Mississauga Dunwin Gurmat School for many years. Harpreet is passionate about Classical music and routinely does seva of Gurbani Kirtan
Dr. Jaspreet Kaur completed her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. She recently defended her dissertation, which looked at the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada and India. In her non-academic life Jaspreet volunteers with Kaur’s United and is a Muay Thai Kru (instructor). As a martial arts instructor her focus is on the realities of violence in the lives of women in North America and the development of self-preservation skills.
Kirpa Kaur is an ever aspiring spiritual political activist. With over a decade of experience spanning from the Red Cross Child Abuse education and Global Justice programs, to local violence against women education and support, to co-creating and founding a number of programs including the first South Asian specific mentorship program and forums on gang related issues in BC and local women’s groups focusing on inter-generational dialogue and stigma; Kirpa brings a diverse range of community development experience to the table. Through her grassroots work with a number of Sikh organizations she hopes to help inspire individuals and whole communities to build personal and active relationships with Sikhi. Currently she is working part time on her Masters in Counseling and Community Psychology with a focus on education curriculum and policy, while managing the family business.
She continues to be inspired by the all-encompassing inclusive feminist critical spiritual political economic analysis of the Khalsa.
Lakhpreet currently serves as the editor-in-chief for Kaur Life, a non-profit, online magazine geared to empower Sikh women. Lakhpreet was born in Wisconsin but has lived all over the U.S. and abroad. She earned a BA in Political Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she also received an Honors in the Liberal Arts. Lakhpreet then went on to obtain her MA in International Environmental Policy form the Monterey Institute of International Studies and did a year of post-graduate studies at American University studying international relations.
Mallika Kaur is a lawyer and writer who focuses on human rights, particularly gender and minority issues. Mallika has worked with victim-survivors of gendered violence since 2003, including as a crisis counselor, an expert witness, and a domestic violence attorney. She has worked closely with immigrant communities on issues ranging from post-9/11 civil rights violations to police reform to political asylum and is a founding board member of the Sikh Family Center. In The Hague, she has worked with the Appeals team of the ICTR, as well as conducted a consultative research project for the International Criminal Court. In South Asia, she has worked with issues of farmer suicides, female feticide, enforced disappearances, and transitional and transformative justice. She holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Juris Doctorate from the UC Berkeley Law School, where she is currently a Lecturer. Kaur grew up in Chandigarh, enjoys long walks, folk music and poetry, and regularly writes for academic & non-academic fora to channel her awe at extraordinary human resiliency.
Tejpreet Kaur is the Founder & Managing Director of Strong Start, a social enterprise in Kenya that focuses on Early Childhood Development. She has worked in the field of community development for over 15 years and specializes in addressing systemic issues affecting and limiting the advancement of women, youth and families.
Tejpreet holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Women and Gender Studies. She was born and raised in Canada and currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya with her husband and daughter.
Anne Murphy is Assistant Professor and Chair of Punjabi Language, Literature, and Sikh Studies at the University of British Columbia. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University’s Department of Religion and her Master’s degree in Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Washington. She previously taught in the Religious Studies and Historical Studies Concentrations at The New School in New York City. Her research interests focus on the historical formation of religious communities in Punjab and northern South Asia, with particular but not exclusive attention to the Sikh tradition. Her monograph, The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in Sikh Tradition, was published by Oxford University Press in September 2012. The book explores the construction of Sikh memory and historical consciousness around material representations and religious sites from the eighteenth century to the present. She edited a thematically related volume entitled Time, History and the Religious Imaginary in South Asia (Routledge, 2011).
Dr. Murphy’s current research interests concern the formations of modern Punjabi literature, and particularly the articulation of the secular within it, and the historical formations of social service or “seva” as an expression of ethical life within Sikh tradition. She conducted research on the latter topic as a Senior Fellow with the American Institute of Indian Studies in 2009-2010, and received a grant for the project from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in 2010. Dr. Murphy has recently instituted a new oral history program in her third-year Punjabi class, and teaches classes on the history of Sikh and other religious traditions in South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora, Punjabi language and literature, and South Asian cultural history. She is from New York City.
The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in Sikh Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
“The gurbilas literature and the idea of ‘religion’” in The Punjab Reader, edited by Anshu Malhotra and Farina Mir (New York and New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012), 93-115.
“The Specter of Violence in Sikh Pasts,” in Teaching Religion and Violence, edited by Brian Pennington (New York: Oxford University Press and the AAR, 2012), 149-163.
Editor, Time, History, and the Religious Imaginary in South Asia (Routledge, 2011). Includes work by: Aparna Balachandran (Delhi University), Varuni Bhatia (Michigan), Nicolas Dejenne (Sorbonne), Purnima Dhavan (University of Washington), James Hare (Columbia University), James Hegarty (Cardiff), Rajeev Kinra (Northwestern), Arvind-pal Singh Mandair (Michigan), Rastin Mehri (SOAS), Christian Novetzke (University of Washington), and Teena Purohit (Boston University), as well as my introductory essay.
“Objects, ethics, and the gendering of Sikh memory” in Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 4 (2009): 161-168. Part of an interdisciplinary forum on “Early Modern Women and Material Culture.”
“The Guru’s Weapons,” in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (June 2009).
Guest editor for issue of Sikh Formations (December 2007); topic: “Time and history.” Contributors include: Purnima Dhavan (University of Washington), James Hare (Columbia University), Christian Novetzke (University of Washington), Teena Purohit (Columbia University), Rajeev Kinra (Northwestern).
“History in the Sikh Past,” in History and Theory (October 2007).
“Materializing Sikh Pasts,” in Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory (December 2005).
Translations of selected poems of the 15th century saint Ravidas, in Untouchable Saints: An Indian Phenomenon, edited by Eleanor Zelliot and Rohini Mokashi-Punekar (Delhi: Manohar, 2004).
“Mobilizing seva (Service): Modes of Sikh diasporic action,” in South Asians in the Diaspora: Histories and Religious Traditions, edited by Knut Axel Jacobsen and Pratap Kumar (Leiden: Brill, 2004).
Inderpal Grewal is Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. Most recently she has taught at University of California, Irvine, where she was director of Women’s Studies and of the PhD Program in Culture and Theory.. Her research interests include transnational feminist theory; gender and globalization, human rights; NGO’s and theories of civil society; theories of travel and mobility; South Asian cultural studies, and postcolonial feminism. She is the author of Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel (Duke University Press, 1996) and Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms (Duke University Press, 2005), and (with Caren Kaplan) has written and edited Gender in a Transnational World: Introduction to Women’s Studies (Mc-Graw Hill 2001, 2005) and Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational: Feminist Practices (University of Minnesota Press, 1994). Currently she is working on a book length project on the relation between feminist practices and security discourses. She is also co-editing (with Victoria Bernal, UC Irvine, Anthropology) an edited collection entitled “The NGO Boom: Critical Feminist. Practices.”
WGSS 115 Gender in Transnational World
WGSS 631 Feminist Theory–State & Non-State
WGSS 340 Feminist & Queer Theory
WGSS 380 Gender and Sexuality in Media and Popular Culture
WGSS 630 Feminist Postcolonial Theories: Subjects and Knowledges
WGSS 364 Sex, Gender, and the Modern Body
An Introduction to Women’s Studies: Gender in a Transnational World, 2nd Edition
Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel
Scattered Hegemonies Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices
Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Crawford Family Professor at Colby College. She has published extensively in the field of Sikhism, including books entitled
1. Of Sacred and Secular Desire, An Anthology of Lyrical Writings from the Punjab (IB Tauris 2012)
2. Sikhism: An Introduction (IB Tauris 2011)
3. Cosmic Symphony (Sahitya Akademy, 2008)
4. The Birth of the Khalsa (SUNY 2005)
5. The Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision of the Transcendent (1993)
5. Sikhism (translated into several languages including Japanese) (1993)
7. The Name of My Beloved: Verses of the Sikh Gurus (1995; 2001)
8. Metaphysics and Physics of the Guru Granth Sahib (1981)
Her views have also been aired on television and radio in America, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, India, and Bangladesh.
Professor Nikky Singh was born in India, and came to attend Stuart Hall, a Girls’ Preparatory School in Virginia. She received her BA in Philosophy and Religion from Wellesley College, her MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. from Temple University. Over the years she has received many awards including Phi Beta Kappa, Durant Scholar, Best Paper, Daughters of the American Revolution Award, Outstanding Young Women of America Award, a Senior Fellow at Harvard University, and Fellowship from Punjabi University. She has received honors from the Sikh community for her distinguished scholarship including the Outstanding Accomplishments Award (presented by Sikh Association of Fresno, California), Sewa Award by the Sikh-Canadian Centennial Foundation for Scholarship on Sikhism (Toronto), and Guru Gobind Singh Foundation Lecture and Award (Chandigarh, India). She serves as a trustee for the American Institute for Indian Studies, and as Co-Chair of the Sikh Studies Section of the American Academy of Religion. She is on the editorial board of the History of Religions.
Ms. Palbinder Kaur Shergill completed her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1990. Called to the B.C. bar in 1991, Palbinder is a lawyer and certified mediator. She specializes in the areas of personal injury, civil litigation and constitutional law. She was appointed Queens Counsel in 2012.
In addition to practicing civil and personal injury litigation, Ms. Shergill has been the General Counsel for the World Sikh Organization for over 20 years. Palbinder’s work towards the advancement of human rights law in Canada, has resulted in her appearing as counsel in landmark human rights cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Palbinder is currently a Governor for the Trial Lawyers Association of BC. She has served as a Director of the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) Board from 2002-2008 and as National Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section.
Palbinder is an active volunteer in pro bono legal clinics, and often serves as a guest lecturer at universities, high schools, and various community organizations, on issues relating to human rights, law, politics, and gender equity.