Prabhsharandeep Singh Sandhu

Prabhsharandeep Singh Sandhu

Thesis title:

Theorizing Religion and Literature in the Sikh Context: A Study of Bhai Vir Singh, Puran Singh, and Harinder Singh Mahboob


Scholars agree that the nineteenth century was a time of great ferment and transformation in South Asia, particularly in terms of linguistic, ethnic, and religious identities. There are multiple and overlapping genealogies that account for these changes. Historians have examined how the emergence of new literary genres was related to the development of new forms of linguistic and ethnic consciousness while religious studies scholars study the link between socio-religious reform movements and the coalescence or clarification of religious identities. However, the link between literature and religious identity has remained relatively unexplored. My dissertation will examine the role of literature in the evolution of Sikh identity throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the period that coincides with the Sikh experience of colonialism and post-colonialism.


Wolfson College, E.O. James Bequest

Selected Publications:

Experiences of Desertion: Locating the works of Harinder Singh Mahboob,’ Sikh Formations, 4:2,115-131.

Research interests:

Sikh Studies, Study of Religion, Religion and Literature, South Asian Studies, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, Philosophical Hermeneutics, Punjabi Literature, Translation theory, Bhakti Traditions, Intellectual History, Orientalism, Postcolonial Studies, Religion and Nationalism, and Dalit Literature

About me:

Prabhsharandeep Singh Sandhu writes poetry, fiction, and prose in Punjabi. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion, Literature, and History (Punjabi University), a certificate course in Persian (Punjabi University), an MA in English (Punjabi University), and an MA in Study of Religion (SOAS). He has been actively involved in teaching Sikh studies and organizing academic conferences and workshops at different Universities. He ran a Sikh studies lecture series at UC Berkeley between 2002 and 2010, during which he lectured for 13 semesters on Sikh religion, literature, culture, history, and politics. He has taught a summer course in Sikh Studies at the University of Michigan (2012) and language courses, including Punjabi (2013) and Hindi (2012) at the SOAS Language Centre (University of London). Between 2007 and 2010, he organized four major conferences and workshops at the University of California, Berkeley. More recently, he has co-coordinated a major academic conference at Hofstra University (2014).