Gurmat Concepts:  Summer Seminar

University of Michigan
Gurmat Concepts
Summer Workshop in Sikh Studies

In July 2012 the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan offered an  intensive, week-long  summer workshop  focusing  on the central ideas and teachings of the Sikh Gurus. The  workshop will be taught as a continuous lecture-seminar format. It will be taught jointly at the University of Michigan (mornings and afternoon) and at the Gurdwara Sahib, Hidden Falls, Plymouth, Michigan (with an evening session devoted to aspects of Sikh musicology). The workshop is targeted at a variety of different audiences, including college students (graduate and undergraduate) as well members of the wider Sikh community who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge of gurmat or the teachings of the Sikh Gurus. Based at one of the world’s leading research universities, this intensive summer workshop will bring rigorous academic scholarship on this subject within the reach of adult Sikh communities in the USA and Canada. Lectures will be conducted by a team of 4 instructors under the overall guidance of Professor Arvind-Pal S. Mandair.

This year’s seminar will focus on three areas: (i) sources of Sikh tradition, (ii) modern Sikh literature and (iii) Sikh philosophy. Students will receive a broad introduction to the central literary sources of Sikh tradition  – including Sikh scriptures, the works of Bhai Gurdas, selected Janamsakhis as well as selected modern literature. This will be followed by lectures that aim to analyze and reinterpret key concepts of Sikh tradition in the context of contemporary global consciousness. The workshop will be of particular benefit to second and third generation diaspora Sikhs who want to learn how to apply the lecture themes to current ethical, political and educational issues facing Sikhs. On the last day of the workshop there will be a workshop on Sikhism and Critical Theory which will be especially beneficial to graduate students working in Sikh studies and related areas.

Because this is a pilot course, enrollment on the workshop is limited to a max of 25 students. In subsequent years this course may be offered with credit depending on student demand.

In addition, course fees for in-State participants will be waived (for this year only). However, out of state participants requiring accommodation, will be asked to pay $150-00 to cover costs of board and lodging at the Hidden Falls Community Center.


Morning and Afternoon: University of Michigan, Central Campus
Evening:  Gurdwara Sahib Hidden Falls, Plymouth, Michigan