Talks 

Join us for a scintillating series of 13 talks, discussions and performances as we explore some of the themes in the exhibition. These engaging weekend sessions will provide insights into the history, art, artefacts, architecture and musical traditions of the Sikh Empire, drawing on new discoveries and fascinating western encounters.

Don't miss your chance to attend these very special events which will explore some of the key issues, characters and facets of the rise and fall of the Sikh Empire by booking your place now

 

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A Game of Thrones: The End of the Sikh Empire

Saturday 1 September 2018 at 13:00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

In the opening talk, author and historian, Amandeep Singh Madra, examines the political intrigues, plotting and grisly murders that swept through the corridors of power at Lahore following the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839. This illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

 

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The Koh-i-Noor

Saturday 1 September 2018 at 15:30 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

For our second talk, best-selling author and broadcaster, Anita Anand, challenges the accepted version of the history of the world's most famous jewel to tell a gripping story of greed, murder, torture and colonialism. This illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

 

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The Last Queen of Punjab: Maharani Jind Kaur

Sunday 2 September 2018 at 13:00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

Our third talk sees journalist Herpreet Kaur Grewal brings to life the remarkable story of the gutsy, articulate and resourceful Sikh queen who took on the British Empire. This illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

 

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Rebel King: Maharaja Duleep Singh

Sunday 2 September 2018 at 15:00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

The fourth talk of our series sees prize-winning author and former defence correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph, Christy Campbell, examine how the story of Maharaja Duleep Singh, set against the international power struggles of the late nineteenth century, spookily mirrors the para-politics of today in an era of fake news and black operations. This illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

 

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Sikh Women Through the Eyes of Western Women

Saturday 8 September 2018 at 13.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

In our fifth talk of the series, Emeritus Professor at the University of Warwick, Eleanor Nesbitt, takes a journey of discovery through the writings and artworks of western women including the Eden sisters, Madame Helena Blavatsky and JK Rowling to reveal unique perspectives on the Sikh ladies they encountered over two centuries.

 

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In the Mind of the Collector

Saturday 8 September 2018 at 15.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

Our sixth talk sees the world's leading private collector of Sikh art, Davinder Toor, exploring the psychology behind collecting and reveals some of the key moments in a remarkable collecting journey spanning two decades.

 

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Cosmopolitan Patronage: Persian Manuscripts of the Sikh Empire at the British Library

Sunday 9 September 2018 at 13.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

For our seventh talk in the series, Dr Sâqib Bâburî, Curator for the Persian Manuscripts Digitisation Project at the British Library, explores the patronage of Persian manuscripts during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his successors, including several recently made discoveries.

 

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Musicians and Dancers in 19th-century Punjab

Sunday 9 September 2018 at 15.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

The series continues with our eighth talk, in which historian and ethnomusicologist, Radha Kapuria, establishes how Punjab emerged as a major centre for classical music patronage under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, revealing the particular centrality of sword-yielding, cross-dressing female dancers in his diplomatic negotiations with political rivals.

 

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Music and Nobility at the Lahore Darbar

Sunday 9 September 2018 at 17.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

Musician and PhD researcher, Kirit Singh, delves into the story of music at the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh with a talk and unique performance reflecting some of the music associated with the Court of Lahore in collaboration with the dhrupad vocalist, Shri Prassanna Vishwanathan.

 

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The Tartan Turban: In Search of Alexander Gardner

Saturday 15 September 2018 at 13.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

Best-selling author and historian, John Keay, goes in conversation with author Amandeep Singh Madra to unravel the mysteries surrounding the remarkable life of this Scots-American mercenary, a white-man who went native in Central Asia before re-emerging in Punjab as a colonel of artillery, where he witnessed at close quarters the death throes of the Sikh Empire.

 

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For the Kings of Lahore: Frenchmen of the Sikh Empire

Saturday 15 September 2018 at 15.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

Historian and author, Jean-Marie Lafont, provides a fascinating insight into the experiences of the Frenchmen who served under the most powerful Asiatic empire of its day, offering a Euro-centric counterpoint to the story of the British Empire in the subcontinent.

 

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Ranjit Singh and the Court of Lahore

Sunday 16 September 2018 at 13.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

Senior Curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Susan Stronge, looks at the splendid magnificence of the royal court of the 'Lion of Punjab' and his role as an avid collector of treasures, revealing the deeply embedded artistic traditions of the historic region of Punjab, the land of the ‘five rivers’.

 

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Who Really Owns Sikh Heritage?

Sunday 16 September 2018 at 15.00 (1 hour)

Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), SOAS, London, WC1H 0XH

Award-winning author and journalist Sathnam Sanghera joins historians Amandeep Singh Madra and Parmjit Singh in conversation to explore who really owns Sikh heritage, picking apart themes of empire, loot and repatriation, and delving into the role played by collectors, auction houses and national museums in the dispersal of a rich cultural legacy.

 

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This lecture series has been organised by the UK Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA) in partnership with the SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI).