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    Contribution to Division of Social Sciences Summer Reading List

    June 15, 2016

    The division asked students, faculty, staff, and alumni from the social sciences to share a book about an inspiring person or a provocative idea, a social movement or an influential leader. Prof. Nirvikar Singh suggested The Book of Nanak, by Navtej Singh Sarna, as a way of informing the campus community about the beliefs and culture of Sikh students at UCSC.

  • Course: Introduction to the Sikhs, Winter Quarter 2016

    June 9, 2016

    Prof. Nirvikar Singh taught this 2-unit course, which he designed, for the fifth time in 2016. He teaches it in addition to his regular course load in Economics, so there is no financial claim on the two endowments for his time. The course introduces the Sikh community, including its origins, history, belief system, and contemporary issues. Other topics include Sikh music, art, literature, and aspects of Sikh society. Particular attention is paid to the Sikh diaspora in the United States and in California, including comparative perspectives with other minority communities. The class is listed under the new UCSC Department of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, which provides administrative support. Students write papers and make oral presentations. The class has a diverse enrollment, and includes a student trip to the San Jose Gurdwara, offering class members and their accompanying friends a first-hand cross-cultural experience. The cost of chartering a bus for the trip is covered from the Aurora Chair income. This year, the class was allowed to increase in size to 43 students, having been kept at about 35 students in previous years.

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    Undergraduate Research on California’s Punjabi-Mexican community

    March 28, 2016

    Inspired by Prof. Nirvikar Singh’s discussion of earlier research on this topic (now several decades old), two undergraduate students have begun a project involving fresh ethnographic research on the current situation of this almost-vanished community and its lessons for contemporary California. The Aurora Chair endowment is providing funds for expenses involved in the fieldwork.

  • Punjabi Language Conversation Practice, Spring Quarter 2016

    March 28, 2016

    With funding from the Aurora Chair endowment, the UCSC Sikh Student Association organized weekly conversation practice sessions for students enrolled in the Introductory Punjabi Language class.

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    Punjabi Language Teaching, Spring Quarter 2016

    March 28, 2016

    Introductory Punjabi language (one quarter of instruction) has been supported since 2012 by the GNHF, with bridge funding from the Dean of Humanities and the SSAC. The class was taught for the fourth time in Spring 2016, and for the first time on the main UCSC campus. Enrollments were very strong, with 27 students taking the class, well above the target of 15 students. As a result of the strong on-campus enrollment, a second course in Punjabi language, to create a two-quarter sequence, will be added in 2016-17. The course approval forms were prepared by Prof. Nirvikar Singh and have been reviewed and approved with minor modifications by the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics. Final campus approval is expected in Fall 2016, and the sequence will be offered in Winter and Spring 2017. Savings from previous years’ income are being used to fund the second quarter of the sequence for two years, after which additional external funding will be sought to make the sequence permanent. Prof. Nirvikar Singh also made a class visit at the request of the Chair of the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics, and submitted a written report on the instructor, to fulfill university requirements.

  • Planning Meeting for Journal of Punjab Studies

    February 26, 2016

    Prof. Gurinder Singh Mann, former holder of the Kundan Kaur Kapany Chair of Global and Sikh Studies, and emeritus professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, joined Dr. Shinder Thandi and Prof. Nirvikar Singh in discussions for strengthening the visibility and profile of the Journal of Punjab Studies, one of only two academic journals devoted to Sikh and Punjabi Studies. The visitors also met with members of the UCSC Sikh Student Association.

  • Sikhs in the California Schools Curriculum

    November 1, 2015

    At the request of the Sikh Coalition, Prof. Nirvikar Singh provided a second letter of support for an effort to ensure that Sikhs, as one of the oldest immigrant communities in California, have their identity recognized and preserved in the California schools curriculum. After he wrote the letter, it was also signed by two other California Sikh academics (Prof. Pashaura Singh of UCR and Prof. Rahuldeep Singh Gill of California Lutheran). The letter was sent to the California Instructional Quality Commission.