Previous courses on Sikhism include:

Sikhism (RS 162C) is a lecture course in which we trace the development of the Sikh community from its founding in the 1520s to its modern manifestation as a powerful religious minority in India. This undergraduate Sikhism course remains our flagship offering and the number of students taking this course have continued to grow over the years, for example, rising from 132 to 231 and to 253 in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Graduate Seminars

Issues in Sikh Studies (RS 213A): Using primary sources in translation, this seminar examines the history of the Sikh community from its inception in the 1520s to the present day. In the process, it traces the evolution of the Sikh community against the backdrop of ever changing religious, cultural, social, and political circumstances.

The Guru Granth and the Sikh Tradition (RS 213C):
Using the Guru Granth as a hermeneutical prism, this seminar examines issues of  religious subjectivity, identity, and community formation in the Sikh tradition; explores the literary culture of the Sikhs as expressed through both canonical and non-canonical writings; investigates pre- colonial,  colonial,  and  post-colonial commentary  and scholarship vis-a-vis the status of the Guru Granth; and finally, considers the ritual and liturgical importance of the text in contexts of worship and congregation.

The Early Texts of the Sikh Tradition (RS 213D): The seminar focuses on the history and making of the early Sikh texts. Starting with information about the physical processes of manuscript production, i.e. paper-making, ink-making, binding, orthography, the scribes, etc., and the key archives that hold these texts, the seminar examines one major text each week. The readings draw on scholarship in English, the introductions to these texts in their currently available editions, and copies of the folios from the opening and closing sections of their earliest extant manuscripts. Along with learning how to read early Gurmukhi orthography and building familiarity with the manuscripts of these texts, the participants have the opportunity to examine issues surrounding their dating, location in the larger historical context, and the resulting relevance for understanding Sikh history.

Graduate Class - Spring 2011

The participants of The Early Texts of the Sikh Tradition in 2011.

The Sikhs: From Regional to a Global Community (RS 213E): Beginning with the journeys of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh community, Sikhs have historically been mobile people. Although their numbers remain concentrated in the Punjab, the Sikh settlements in other parts of the Indian subcontinent and central Asia can be traced back to the early seventeenth century. Under the aegis of the British colonial empire beginning with the 1850s, the Sikhs had the opportunity to move to other parts of the world and this trend further accelerated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This seminar focus on the historical and contemporary locations of Sikh settlements; political and literary responses emerging from diasporic contexts; and the challenge and promise of maintaining, transmitting, and transforming religious and cultural identities within the community.

Other courses such as Global Religions (GS 102), Global Terrorism (GS 134), and Religious Nationalism (GS 200) also examine issues relating to Sikhism and Punjab.