Golden Temple

UBC-Punjabi University Patiala Joint Undergraduate Research Forum

About the program

Forum Dates: February 18, 2019 – February 22, 2019

Where: Punjabi University of Patiala (PUP), Patiala India

A one week, fully funded, student forum for undergraduate students. This is an opportunity to collaborate with students from UBC and PUP to come together and co-create original research. With mixed-teams involving students from both universities, the forum consists of the following:

  • Expert Lectures & discussions
  • Group work based on different topics
  • Pre-assignment to prepare for group work
  • Field trips around Patiala and Amritsar
  • Final presentations in Amritsar
  • Final individual report

Theme: How do we know and experience the past? Heritage, Memory, & the Punjabi Landscape

Program Directors:

Dr. Anne Murphy, UBC

Dr. Jaspaul Kaur Dhanju, PUP

Dr. Parneet Kaur Dhillon, PUP

This undergraduate and graduate research conference will explore the meaning and practice of "Heritage" in the Indian state of Punjab, in the context of its global configurations. The program will commence with two days of lectures and group experiences at Punjabi University Patiala (PUP) with a group of students from the University of British Columbia and PUP and affiliated colleges (a combination of post-graduate and college students). We will also make visits to local historical sites in and around Patiala. After these two days of reading, listening and discussion at PUP, the group will relocate to the city of Amritsar, where students will visit local heritage sites; engage in heritage-related interactive activities with local artists and heritage specialists; and visit an exhibition on view in Amritsar and in the village of Preet Nagar, near the India/Pakistan border, where contemporary art works on view engage with the legacy of Partition, the division of the cultural and linguistic region of Punjab into the post-colonial states of India and Pakistan in 1947. Students will engage with the people and places of Amritsar, Preet Nagar, and nearby localities to reflect on Heritage practice, and present their work along these lines on the fifth and final day of the program, at a one-day conference at Preet Nagar. Back in Vancouver, students will be invited to present the results of their work at UBC and beyond, when (all or some of) the works of art on view in India are brought to BC for an exhibition here.

If you find yourself interested in this program, you are encouraged (but not required) to register for the following class next term, which will provide relevant and complimentary content:

ASIA 376: The Sikhs: Formations, contexts, and historical development

RGLA 372B: Topics in Religion, Literature, and the Arts

(you can sign up for either one—a cross-listed class)

Term 2, W2018, 3 Credits

M/W/F 1-2 p.m. Instructor: Anne Murphy

This class provides an introduction to the Sikh tradition within the historical contexts of its formation and with attention to the transnational nature of its historical and present forms. The goal of the class is to provide a basic understanding of the historical formations of Sikh tradition, and to encourage thinking about the Sikhs in broader contexts and in relation to multiple theoretical and analytical perspectives.

Work done on the Conference Program can be submitted for course credit in the class; see Dr. Murphy for details.


Conditions for Selection of Participants

Undergraduate students or graduate students are eligible to apply, though priority will be given to senior undergraduate students. Successful applicants should demonstrate a strong academic performance, interest and experiences in extra-curricular activities, and be a good team-player. They must fulfil all of the following requirements:

  • Approximately 15 participants each from UBC will be selected (to be joined by 15 PUP students)
  • Proficient enough in English to prepare materials, participate in discussions, and deliver presentations
  • Highly motivated students who possess a strong interest in the applicable year’s forum theme. Prior to the forum, participants should prepare themselves for fruitful discussion by researching on a specific topic of their interest relevant to the main theme
  • Students with previous year’s academic score above 70% will be given priority
  • Students that have graduated in the last 2 years and have unclassified student status may also apply, but priority consideration will be given to current students
  • Students that have not received Go Global funding in the past will be given priority consideration, but all applications are welcome


Costs and fees

Participation Fee: $415.00 (Go Global Fee)

The UBC-PUP Student Forum will bear the costs for:

  • Flight costs
  • Accommodation expenses in Patiala and Amritsar
  • A few meals will be provided throughout the conference, but students should expect to bear the majority of food costs
  • Field trip fees

Participants are responsible for the following expenses:

  • Meals
  • Incidental expenses at accommodation
  • Passport and Visa acquisition fees
  • Travel insurance

How to apply

Students should submit the following

  • Academic Resume
  • Statement of Intent; details include:500 words maximum, Please be sure to include the following points:
    • Motivation for joining this program
    • How will this program benefit you in your current academic program and support your career goals;
    • Comment on any experience working in a team

Deadline: All documents must be submitted by email to by November 15, 2018 @4:00 pm