I have written often about the annual Sikholars Graduate Student Conference that takes place in California each year. My interest and involvement with the conference has been as a member of the audience, but I feel strongly about the forum that Sikholars provides to our community, and support it wholeheartedly.
I’ve enjoyed immensely each of the three conferences I attended. The conference brings together those engaged in academic study of topics pertaining to Sikhs: from India to the diaspora, and from past to present. The diversity and depth of the presentations are stimulating, the expertise demonstrated by the presenters is inspiring, and the open discussion between presenters and audience (which is very diverse itself) is very engaging.
What makes this conference particularly valuable to me is that I have left each year’s event with my thinking challenged and with new perspectives that I had not considered before. Also valuable is that while Sikholars is an academic conference, it is open to all to attend. The conference provides a space for all who are interested in the Sikh faith, regardless of where one is on their spiritual path or what generation they are from, which brings forth a dialog that we do not have in many of our traditional spaces. It is for these reasons that I encourage any who are able to attend.
The next Sikholars Graduate Student Conference will be held during President’s Day weekend, February 16-17, 2013, at Stanford University in Stanford, California. The program will be announced in January. More information is available at the Sikholars 2013 website. If you are interested in presenting, the deadline for abstracts is December 15, 2012.