Kamal Arora

Research Key Words:

gender; violence; religion; affect and emotion; sikhism; india; south asia

Research to be conducted at UBC:

Legacies of Violence: Sikh Widows in New Delhi’s ‘Widow Colony.’

I am interested in the multifarious spaces that are created by the intersections between religiosity, affect, embodiment, and gendered identities. My research involves exploring the religious practices of Sikh women the ways in which religious bodies and practices are created, honed, practiced and carried out in everyday life. My other areas of interest include: Indic religious practice, death, mourning and grief, spirit possession and religious ecstasy, Partition history, diasporic studies, postcolonial feminisms, communal violence, the anthropology of space and place, phenomenology, social memory and traversing connections between quantum physics and religious experience.

I have a number of years of experience working in university research settings, community development and international development, both in Canada and India in various fields.

MA Gender and Development, University of Sussex/Institute of Development Studies, 2008.

BA Communication, Simon Fraser University, 2004

Supervisor/s: Gaston Gordillo

  • Arora, Kamal and Sophie Voegele. 2013. Questioning Assumptions of Universally Applicable Social Theories: Considerations on Women’s Empowerment in India. In Indian Women: Issues and Perspectives. Delhi: Indian Publishers Distributors.
  • Nijhawan, Michael and Kamal Arora. 2013. ‘Lullabies for Broken Children’: Diasporic Citizenship and the Dissenting Voices of Young Sikhs in Canada.Sikh Formations 9(3): 299-321.
  • Arora, Kamal. January 2013. Review: Becoming Men in a Modern City: Masculinity, Migration and Globalization in North India by Harjant Gill.Dissertation Reviews.
  • Arora, Kamal, Duygu Gul and Michael Nijhawan. December 2013 Editorial: Violence, Memory, and the Dynamics of Transnational Youth Formations. Sikh Formations 9(3): 269-277.
  • Arora, Kamal.  2012. “Let Me Tell You about 1984”: Identity and Aesthetic Renderings of Violence Amongst Sikh Youth in Toronto, Canada. Paper presented at Constellations, Confrontations and Aspirations: Reflections on Diaspora and Transnationalism Through the Lens of Youth Formations. York University, Toronto, May 22-23.
  • Arora, Kamal. August 2012. Wisconsin shooting: Tragic extension of everyday hate experienced by Sikhs in North America. rabble.ca
  • Arora, Kamal and Všgele, Sophie. 2010. Questioning assumptions of universally applicable social theories: Considerations on women’s empowerment in India. Paper presented at the Canadian Asian Studies Association Annual Conference, October 30.
  • Haines, R.J., Johnson, J.L., Carter, C.I., Arora, K. June 2009. “I couldn’t say, I’m not a girl” – Adolescents Talk about Gender and Marijuana Use. Social Science & Medicine. 68(11): 2029-2036.
  • Arora, K. 2008. The Politics of Pain: Gender, Mourning and the Punjab Crisis. Paper presented at the Association for Research on Mothering Annual Conference, Toronto, York University, October 26.
  • Arora, Kamal. 2008. The Politics of Pain: Gender, Mourning and the Punjab Crisis. MA dissertation. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK.

 

Conference Posters:

  • Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Conference. Paper: Clutching a Can of Pink Pepper Spray: Fieldwork under the Shadow of the Delhi Gangrape. Vancouver, BC. March 30, 2016.
  • Museum of Anthropology (UBC) Visual and Material Culture Research Seminar Series. Sikh Women in New Delhi’s ‘Widow Colony’: On Affective Religious Practice, Memory, and the Material. April 9, 2015.
  • American Association for Anthropology Annual Conference. Chair: Matters of Faith: Feminist Anthropological Explorations of Religion and Gender. Paper: Sikh Women in New Delhi’s ‘Widow Colony’: On Affective Religious Practice, Memory, and Violent Spatiotemporal Junctures. Washington, DC, December 2014.
  • Deconstructing the Myth of Violence and Religion in South Asia and Beyond. Paper: Sikh Women in New Delhi’s ‘Widow Colony’: On Affective Religious Practice, Memory, and Violent Spatiotemporal Junctures. Religion Program (College of the Humanities), Ottawa, October 18 2014.
  • Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Meeting. Paper: Memory and Affective Religious Practice among Sikh women in New Delhi’s Widow Colony. York University, Toronto, April 30, 2014.
  • Punjab Today. Paper: Memory and Affective Religious Practice among Sikh women in Delhi’s Widow Colony. Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, February 7, 2014.
  • Constellations, Confrontations and Aspirations: Reflections on Diaspora and Transnationalism Through the Lens of Youth Formations. Paper: “Let Me Tell You about 1984:” Identity and Aesthetic Renderings of Violence Amongst Sikh Youth in Toronto, Canada. York University, Toronto, May 23, 2012.
  • Canadian Asian Studies Association Annual Conference. Paper: Questioning assumptions of universally applicable social theories: Considerations on women’s empowerment in India. Ottawa, October 30, 2010.
  • The Association for Research on Mothering Annual Conference: York University, Toronto, ONT Paper: The Politics of Pain: Gender, Mourning, and the Punjab Crisis. York University, Toronto, October 26, 2008.
Nehru Humanitarian Award , 2014
Zora Neale Hurston Graduate Award , 2014
Dr. Lakhbir K. Jassal Graduate Award , 2014
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship (Government of Canada) , 2012
4YF Four Year Fellowship (University of British Columbia) , 2012
Arts Graduate Award (University of British Columbia) , 2013
Arts Graduate Research Award (University of British Columbia) , 2013
Hans Singer Memorial Award (Institute of Development Studies/University of Sussex) , 2007