Learning Goal: I’m working on a literature writing question and need support to

Learning Goal: I’m working on a literature writing question and need support to help me learn.In a short 1-2 page paper reflection, reflect on your personal life story and identity, why you took this class, what your goals are for this class, what you want to devote your energies and time on learning, and what skills you want to develop. Some further suggestions on developing connections between yourself and your personal class goals this quarter: “Start where you are. The experiences in your life, both past and present, and who you are as a unique individual will lead you to certain questions about the world and certain problems about why things are the way they are. It is important to honor your own personal history and the knowledge you have accumulated up to this point, as well as the intuition and instincts that draw you toward particular directions, questions and topics—understanding you may not always know exactly why or how you are being drawn to a particular direction. You might ask yourself, ‘what truly interests me?’ ‘what do I want to know more about?’ ‘what concerns me about society?’ You can go even deeper and ask yourself, as Black feminist writer Alice Walker once did, ‘what is the work my soul must have?’ (Adapted from Soyini Madison’s Critical Ethnography). You may write more than 2 pages if you wish, but try to submit at least 2 pages.This course serves as an introduction to Sikhism (a religious or spiritual tradition with approximately 30 million followers world-wide) and Sikh Studies. Sikh Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that has traditionally been connected to religious studies, Punjab/diaspora studies, the area studies field of South Asia studies, among others. It continues to grow as an interdisciplinary field, incorporating, for example approaches from ethnic studies and Asian-American Studies, and most recently, anthropology. Indeed, scholars concur that the question of “what is Sikh Studies” is an open one that is not self-evident. There have been debates, spanning the South Asian subcontinent and among diaspora intellectuals in the West, which have tried to fix and define what the field is, question what kinds of relations of power are bound up within it, and expand what its disciplinary, theoretical focus and geographical scope should be.We will approach Sikh Studies as a combination of the academic study of Sikhi and its Western translation into Sikhism (framed as a spiritual, religious, philosophical and ethical tradition), Sikh communities (collectivities organized around the tradition), and the always shifting and changing circumstances and possibilities of “Sikh life” in relation to the unfolding of context. The course readings are interdisciplinary and globally framed, with particular attention to South Asia and its diasporic communities. As a class, we will attend to critical and contemporary topics in the field, while focusing on the historical, ongoing and future development of the field. We will think about what critical, academic approaches to the Punjab/diaspora, Sikhi and Sikhism through the field of Sikh Studies offers us. What do we need more research on and why? We will also attend to the development of the field via anthropological approaches and methodologies, which I will discuss more in class. By offering an overview of important themes in Sikh Studies, we will work together as a class to build Sikh Studies collaboratively at UCI, identifying preliminary topics of research for further study that we can then develop for the wider university community.
Requirements: 550