Anneeth Kaur is presidential chair in Sikh studies at UCI

Rajinder Singh Mago
IRVINE, CA: Anneeth Kaur Hundle has been named the Dhan Kaur Sahota Presidential Chair in Sikh Studies at the University of California, Irvine School of Social Sciences (UCI).
The $2 million endowed chair – housed in the Department of Anthropology – was created in 2017 with a $1.5 million gift from Drs. Harvinder and Asha Sahota and $500,000 from the UC Presidential Match for Endowed Chairs program.

“With the establishment of this endowed chair, we hope members of the UCI community will deepen their understanding of Sikh religion and culture by learning the vibrant traditions, many contributions in world history and American society,” said cardiologist Harvinder Sahota. “We are particularly keen to ensure UCI students are aware of the religion’s commitment to equality and social justice.”
“Annett Kaur will teach courses and develop research programs using anthropological theory and methods to investigate critical themes of diaspora communities, citizenship, migration, nativism, political violence, and gender and feminist issues,” stated School of Social Sciences / UCI.

She will contribute to the study of the Sikh religion and culture in global, comparative, cross-racial and religious community frameworks. She will teach courses and develop research programs to increase understanding of immigrant incorporation and civil rights issues affecting Sikhs in the U.S.
Bill Maurer, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, said “We are quite fortunate that we were able to recruit such an accomplished junior scholar to launch what we hope will be more research, education and outreach aligned with the school’s commitment to bridging divides in our diverse society and around the world.”

Hundle joined UCI in January from UC Merced, where she was an assistant professor of anthropology and associated faculty with the critical race & ethnic studies program. She said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on my existing expertise and advance Sikh studies scholarly research in local, transnational and global contexts, and I look forward to promoting cross-religious – ethnic and – racial community outreach and engagement via Sikh studies and anthropology with this position.”

Born and raised in Chicago suburbs in Illinois, she spent her childhood visiting family for several months at a time in Punjab and intermittently during her school years. She completed all of her education attending the Hinsdale South High School and is a first generation Ph.D. and academic in the US academy.

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