It’s Identities? Week here at the Religious Studies Project, with not one but two specially-recorded roundtable discussions about how identity is negotiated (if indeed it is) through our religious, ethnic, sexual and socio-cultural identities.
This first podcast, recorded at the Open University’s Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective conference in Milton Keynes in May, organised with Paul-Francois Tremlett (convenor of the OU’s Cross-Cultural Identities research theme) focuses on identity and dislocation, either through diaspora or through rapid social change. Jasjit Singh’s research focuses on how young British Sikh’s negotiate their religious identity; Isabel Cabana Rojas discusses the emigration of Peruvian Catholics to Japan in the 19th century and the subsequent return of some of them to Peru; Marta Turkot discusses the rapidly changing religious situation in Poland today, one of the bastions of Catholicism in Europe. The discussion takes these as a starting-points, however, to address broader issues of identity formation.
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You can read Paul-Francois Tremlett’s report of the two Cross-Cultural Identities panels at the conference here.
Paul-François Tremlett is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University. His PhD research focused on local religion and national identity in the Philippines at the extinct volcano Mount Banahaw. His present research is more theoretically oriented, including spatialities and geographies and place-making practices; modernity(ies) and secularism(s); Marxism and classical and contemporary social theory.
Dr Jasjit Singh has recently completed a PhD which examined the religious lives of 18-30 year old British Sikhs focusing on the different ways in which young Sikhs now learn about Sikhism. He has spoken about his research on BBC Radio 4 and has published a number of academic articles and book chapters. He is currently employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds and is looking to examine the role of devotional music in identity formation and religious transmission. Further details about his work can be found at: www.leeds.ac.uk/sikhs