Decolonizing Sikh Studies: A Feminist Manifesto

Katy Pal Sian, Rita Dhamoon

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n celebrating the epistemological reform and empowerment of non-white peoples in the academy, we propose a manifesto that seeks to dislodge the complacencies within Sikh Studies and within Sikh communities, and invite non-Sikhs to engage with radical Sikhi social justice. By dwelling at feminist intersections of postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, and decolonization studies, we are inspired to share the radical possibilities of Sikh Studies, and we also urge Sikh Studies and Sikh people to inhabit an explicit political orientation of insurrection and subversion. Importantly, such a feminist decolonial orientation may well hold promise for other fields of study on the margins as well. In particular, we foreground eight points of action: gendering Sikh Studies; de-policing intimate desire and the diversity of relationships; disrupting Eurocentric knowledge production; de-territorializing diasporas; challenging caste politics; disrupting Islamophobia; undoing our roles in contemporary colonialisms; and fostering care and responsibility for the nonhuman world. In this manifesto we hope to develop interdisciplinary connections, critical interventions, and broader alliances to cultivate debates and action that both challenge tradition and participatewithin broader political campaigns for social justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of World Philosophies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Katy Pal Sian and Rita Kaur Dhamoo.


  • Sikh Studies
  • Social justice
  • Feminism
  • Decoloniality

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