SASI Symposium and Commemoration of 550th Gurpurab

The SASI hosted two days of conversation and dialogue on November 28th and 29th, 2019. The first event on November 28th, titled “Commemorating 550th Gurpurab of Guru Nanak Dev ji,” was a community discussion on the life and impact of the philosophy of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji on humanity as many commemorate his 550th Birth year. Led by Dr. Harjeet Singh Grewal from the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary and Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains, the open dialogue sought to spark contemporary thoughts on the unique spiritual, social and political platforms of Guru Nanak’s philosophy.

The commemoration and dialogue was hosted at the Gur Sikh Temple and National Historic Site and included an opening kirtan (hymn singing) recitation from students at Dasmesh Punjabi School.

On November 29th, the SASI hosted its 3rd Annual Symposium on South Asia and Gender featuring a keynote address from Dr. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh.

Dr. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh is the head of the Department of Religious Studies at Colby College, and holds the Crawford Family Professor Chair. Her interests focus on Asian Religions, feminist issues, and sacred art and poetry. Dr. Singh has published extensively in the field of Sikh studies. Her books include Of Sacred and Secular Desire: An Anthology of Lyrical Writings from the Punjab (IB Tauris 2012), Sikhism: An Introduction (IB Tauris 2011), Cosmic Symphony (Sahitya Akademy, 2008), Birth of the Khalsa (SUNY 2005), Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision of the Transcendent (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Sikhism (Facts on File, translated into Japanese, 1993), and The Name of My Beloved (HarperCollins1995; Penguin 2001). She has authored over 100 articles and chapters, and given more than 250 lectures nationally and internationally.

The one day symposium and dialogue featured presentations and papers from SASI Faculty Associates, Dr. Nicola Mooney, Dr. Prabhjot Parmar, Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains and Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, SASI Community Advisory Committee Member, Anita Lal, along with UFV Sessional Faculty Dr. Kamal Arora, SFU Faculty Dr. Sharon Koehn and Kwantlen Polytechnic University Faculty Dr. Asma Sayed. The symposium ended on a high note with UFV student presentations from Gureena Kaur Saran (History) and Kemone Moodley (English) presenting excellent papers.