Sarbjit Singh Aurora Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies

Established in loving memory of the donor's son, this Endowed Chair is intended to be held by a distinguished member of the humanities faculty and to support research and teaching about the Sikh community from a multicultural and global perspective, including, but not limited to foci on gender, diaspora, and literary, historical, and cultural studies.

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Sarbjit Singh Aurora

The chair was envisioned in 2007 by Hardit and Harbhajan K. Singh, through the Sikh Foundation, to fund an endowed chair in Sikh and Punjabi studies.

"The Sikhs have been in California for more than 100 years, and the Sarbjit Singh Aurora Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies provides an opportunity for students to learn more about Sikh religion, history, arts, culture and diaspora," said Dr. Narinder S. Kapany, chairman and founder of the Sikh Foundation. "The chair is an excellent basis for comprehensive study and research in Sikh studies at UC Santa Cruz."

The Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair is currently held by Dr. Nirvikar Singh. Professor Nirvikar Singh brings both a rich heritage and strong research and teaching acumen to the position, and UC Santa Cruz and the South Asia Studies Initiative fortunate to have his expertise and experience as a longtime member of the faculty in Economics at UCSC.

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Dr. Nirvikar Singh

Professor Nirvikar Singh's research and published articles in this area have included work on: healthcare systems in Punjab, the Punjab economy, comparison of past conflicts in Punjab and Kashmir, Sikh literature as an agent of social change in the early 20th century, and analysis of the fundamental doctrines of Sikhism in historical context. Professor Singh is also one of the leading scholars on political economy, and has researched and published extensively on topics such as federalism, governance, and macroeconomic policies.

As holder of the Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair, Professor Singh will add to the scholarship of Sikh and Punjabi Studies in areas that are as yet under-represented, including economy and society. He will chart a new and much-needed direction in Sikh and Punjabi Studies, and bring Sikh Studies scholars together in a discussion of an enlarged perspective of Sikh and Punjabi Studies. Professor Singh will draw on his heritage and family links with global Sikh communities to build bridges beyond the university, and to fulfill the University mission to serve the population of the state, including its vibrant and long-present Sikh community. He will also collaborate with Sikh Studies chairholders at UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside to help provide access for UC Santa Cruz students to the rich offerings in Sikh and Punjabi Studies at those campuses. To learn more about Dr. Singh, visit his faculty profile.