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Yogesh Snehi

Assistant Professor

PhD in History, Panjab University

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School of Liberal Studies

Education & Research

Dr. Yogesh Snehi’s major teaching and research interests focus on popular culture He tends to comprehend the social formation of Punjab through an understanding of Popular Sufi Shrines and investigate the long-term processes of region formation, debates on identities and growth of communalism. He problematizes the prevalent communal reductionism of historiography in contemporary Punjab and offers a critical insight into local and regional processes of social formation. His research provides a methodology to theorise the ‘popular’ which is people-oriented and appreciates the organic relationship between various identities. He is currently a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (December 2013- November 2015) and working on a monograph on the popular Sufi shrines in contemporary Punjab.


Snehi pursued his graduation, post-graduation and doctorate from Panjab University, Chandigarh. His doctoral work engaged with post-formation comparative dynamics of development and female education in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. Through an interdisciplinary understanding of state development priorities, colonial debates on sexualities and social reform, education and female literacy, and a case study of state units of Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) and their role in the National Literacy Mission (NLM), he investigated complex debates on social history, state developmentalism and its implications on the notion of empowerment.

Past Employment

Before joining Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) in March 2011, Snehi has worked as an Assistant Professor at DAV College, Amritsar (Punjab) from July 2006 to March 2011. He has also briefly served as a Lecturer at DAV College, Abohar (Punjab).



1.  Situating Popular Veneration, 2015, NMML OCCASIONAL PAPER- HISTORY AND SOCIETY, New Series- 68, New Delhi: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, ISBN: 978-93-83650-67-5.



2.  ‘Dreaming Baba, Restituting Memory: Popular Sufi Shrines and Historiography of Contemporary East Punjab’, Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia, Volume 2 (1) (June 2014), pp. 3-24.


3.  ‘The Entrapment of Selective Amnesia’, Economic and Political Weekly, 49 (32), 2014, pp. 21-23.


4.  ‘Vicissitudes of Gurdwara Politics’, Economic and Political Weekly, 49 (34), 2014, Report from the States.


5.  'Dissenting the Dominant: Caste Mobility, Ritual Practice and Popular Sufi Shrines in Contemporary Punjab' in Devotion and Dissent in Indian History edited by Vijaya Ramaswamy, New Delhi: Foundation Books (Cambridge University Press), 2014, pp. 291-320.


6.   ‘Replicating Memory, Creating Images: Pirs and Dargahs in Popular Art and Media of Contemporary East Punjab’ in an online journal ‘South Asia’s Islamic Shrines and Transcultural Visuality' edited by Yousuf Saeed and Christiane Brosius at Visual Pilgrim: Mapping Popular Visuality and Devotional Media at Sufi Shrines and Other Islamic Institutions in South Asia, Cluster of Excellence: Asia and Europe in Global Context, Heidelberg University, Germany,, published online on 12 October 2013.


7.  Five entries in an encyclopaedia India Today [Two Volumes]: An Encyclopaedia of Life in the Republic edited by Arnold P. Kaminsky and Roger D. Long, California (USA): ABC-CLIO, 2011.

a.  ‘Female Foeticide’, pp. 242-243

b.  ‘National Alliance of People’s Movement’, pp. 495-97

c.  ‘National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’, pp. 497-98

d.  ‘Right to Information’, pp. 602-04

e.   ‘Special Economic Zones’, pp. 659-662


8.   ‘Diversity as Counter-hegemony: Reet and Gender Relations in Himachal Pradesh’ in Recognizing Diversity: Society and Culture in the Himalaya edited by Chetan Singh, Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study co-published with Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 75-97.


9.   An entry ‘British Colonialism: Punjab’ in An Encyclopedia of Infanticide, edited by Brigitte H. Bechtold and Donna Cooper Graves, Lewiston NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, pp. 37-38.


10. ‘Historicity, Orality and Lesser Shrines: Popular Culture and Change at the Dargah of Panj Pirs at Abohar’ in Sufism in Punjab:    Mystics, Literature and Shrines edited by Surinder Singh and Ishwar Dayal Gaur, New Delhi: Aakar, 2009, pp. 402-429.


11. ‘Conjugality, Sexuality and Shastras: Debate on the Abolition of Reet in Colonial Himachal Pradesh’ in Indian Economic and Social History Review, 43(2): 2006, pp.163-197.


12. ‘State and Child Justice: Stories of Delinquent Juveniles’ in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.39, No.41, 9 October 2004, pp. 4512-4515.


13. ‘Hindutva as an Ideology of Cultural Nationalism’ in Social Change: Issues and Perspectives, Vol.33, No.4, December 2003, pp. 10-24.


14. ‘Female Infanticide and Gender in Punjab: Imperial Claims and Contemporary Discourse’ in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.38, No.41, 11 October 2003, pp. 4302-4305.


Book Reviews

1.   A review of Anne Murphy’s ‘The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in Sikh Tradition,’ in Studies in History, 31(2), 2015, pp. 252-56.


2.   A review of Anshu Malhotra and Farina Mir (eds), ‘Punjab Reconsidered: History, Culture and Practice’ was published by Studies in History, Vol. 29 (1), 2013, pp. 155-58.


3.   A review of Doris R. Jakobsh (ed.), 'Sikhism and Women: History, Text and Experience' published in Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 47 (2), 2013, pp. 324-27.


4.   A review of Ishwar Dayal Gaur’s ‘Martyrdom as Bridegroom: Folk Representation of Bhagat Singh’ published in Research Journal Social Science, Chandigarh: Panjab University, Vol. 16 (2 & 3), 2008, pp. 220-224.


5.  A review of Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain (eds.), ‘Honour: Crimes, Paradigms and Violence Against Women’ in Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 14 (3), 2007, pp. 543-547.



1.  The Making of Modern Punjab: 4 credits course offered to MA History


2.  Devotion, Diversity and Dissent in South Asia: 4 credits designed for MA History


3.   Meta-narratives and the Historiography of Everyday: 4 credit seminar paper offered to MA History


4.  Problems of Historical Knowledge: 1 credit module on ‘‘Hindus’ and ‘Muslims’ and the Idea of India’ for MA History with Prof. Denys Leighton (School of Liberal Studies)


5.  Comparative Studies in History of Education and History of Education in Modern India: 1 credit worth module on historiography, comparative education and oral history for MA Education with Dr. Manish Jain (School of Education Studies)


6.  Faith, Religion and Society: One module on ‘Popular religion’ for MA Sociology with Dr. Santosh Singh (School of Liberal Studies)


7.  Historical Methods: Two modules on ‘historical narrative’ and ‘gender in history’ for MPhil/PhD coursework.


8.  Medieval India: Economy and Society: 4 credit course offered for BA History (Hons)


9.  Medieval and Early Modern World: 2 credit component in the BA History course on the rise of Islam and state formation in the Middle East with Dr. Dhiraj Nite (School of Liberal Studies)


10. Delhi in History: 2 credit component in the BA History course on oral history and fieldwork with Dr. Dharitri Narzary (School of Liberal Studies)





1.  International South Asian Conference on ‘Religion and Social Diversity in India’ co-convened with K.L. Tuteja (Tagore Fellow, IIAS Shimla) is being planned in the month of October 2015 at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Niwas during the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Shimla.


2.  International Conference on ‘New Perspectives on Punjab Studies: Rethinking Historiography’ co-convened with Anne Murphy (University of British Columbia) and hosted by Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi from 29-30 April 2015.


3.  Collaborated with the Centre for Community Knowledge for a lecture series Delhi ??????? which culminated in a month long exhibition on Delhi (Jaani-Anjaani Dilli) at Ambedkar University, Delhi in 2014.


4.  Organised a workshop with Dr. Manish Jain for Saint Thomas School (STS, Delhi) to engage students with the project of building STS Archive on 20 November 2013.


5.  Organised a workshop with Dr. Manish Jain on ‘Self, Memory and Education in Oral Family Narratives’ for the students of History of Education in Modern India (School of Educational Studies) at AUD, Delhi on 09 November 2013.


6.  Convened a two-day Workshop on Teaching History: Perspectives, Technology and Pedagogy under UGC Scheme ‘College with Potential for Excellence’ at the Department of History, DAV College Amritsar from 26-27 November 2010. The workshop was attended by School teachers from various parts of Punjab.


7.  Convened a three-day International Seminar on Modernity and Changing Social Fabric of Punjab and Haryana in association with Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla and held at the Institute from 27-29 September 2010.


8.  Organised an International Conference on ‘Contemporary Amritsar: Society, Economy, Polity’ sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research (NWRC, Chandigarh) at the Department of History, D.A.V. College, Amritsar (Punjab) from 30 November- 01 December 2009.


9.  Organised a two-day workshop on ‘How to Make History Interesting for Students?’ and ‘The Relevance of Audio-visual Aids in the Teaching of History’ as a resource person under In-Service Teachers Training of Western Command Level for TGT (S.St) at Army School, Bathinda Cantonment from 24-25 May 2004.



1.  Participated in a Workshop on ‘Transnational Abandonment in NRI Marriages’ at ICSSR Regional Centre, Panjab University, Chandigarh on 14 January 2014 organised by Anupama Roy (Centre for Political Studies, JNU) and Anitha Sundari (University of Lincoln, U.K.).


2.  A presentation on ‘Locating Popular Veneration’ at a Round Table on Contemporary History for a conference on The Long Indian Century: Historical Transitions and Social Transformations organised in association with Prof. James Manor (University of London), Prof. K. Sivaramakrishnan (Yale University, USA) and The Indian Institute of Advanced Study (Shimla) on 2-4 July 2014 at NMML, New Delhi.


3.   Presented a paper ‘Becoming Langurs: Shrines, Colonialism & Hypermasculinization in Contemporary Amritsar’ at an Seminar Punjab Today organised by Radhika Chopra (DU) and Ravinder Kaur (IIT, Delhi) at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics on 6-7 February 2014.


4.   Presented a paper ‘Comparatives within a Region: Exploring Historical Correlates between Sexuality, Plan Outlays and Education’ at the Annual International Conference of Comparative Education Society of India (CESI) held at Jammu University, Jammu from 10-12 October 2012.


5.  Presented a paper ‘Dreaming Baba, Restituting Memory: Popular Sufi Shrines in Contemporary East Punjab’ at a Workshop (W133) on Muslim Saints, Dreams, and Veneration of Shrines convened by Iain Edgar (Durham University) and Pedram Khosronejad (St. Andrews University) at the 12th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Biennial Conference Uncertainty and Disquiet organised at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense from 10-13 July 2012.


6.  Presented a paper on ‘Contesting Pahari Conjugality in the Western Himalayas: Sexuality, Colonialism and the Question of Inheritance’ at an International Conference Women and Gender in the Colonial Contexts, organised by Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po, Paris from 19-21 January 2012.


7.  Presented a paper on ‘Language of Reform and Exclusion in Colonial and Post-Partition Punjab’ at an International Conference on Structures of Exclusion in South Asia organised by Indian Formation Research Society at University of Delhi from 23-25 November 2011.


8. ‘Identity , Practices and Historiography: Exploring Popular Spaces in Modern and Contemporary Social Formation of Punjab’ at Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla during first tenure as an Associate of the UGC Inter-University Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences on 22 June 2010.


9.  ‘Becoming ‘Langurs’: Religiosity, Gender, Hypermasculinity’ at an International Seminar on Religion and Social Identity in Punjab organised by Department of Sociology, Panjab University in association with Manchester University (U.K.), at ICSSR, Chandigarh from 18-19 February 2010.


10. ‘Understanding Popular Sufi Centres in Punjab’ at an International Conference on Pre-Colonial Punjabi Consciousness and its Continuities jointly organised by Punjab Research Group (UK) and Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Punjabi University, Patiala on 19 December 2009.


11. ‘On the Margins of Sufi Discourse: Popular Sufi Centres and their role in Indian Historiography’ at an International Seminar on Exploring the Margins organised by History Association, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi from 3-5 September 2009.


12. ‘Colonialism and the Ideology of Female Education in Punjab’ at 41st Punjab History Conference, Punjabi University, Patiala from 14-16 March 2009.


13. ‘Diversity, Pluralism and Syncretism: Reflections on the Nature of ‘Panj Pir’ Tradition in Punjab’ at a State-level Seminar on Exploring Historical Perspectives on Pluralistic Society and Polity in Punjab organised by DAV College, Abohar on 25 October 2008.


14. ‘Invasions, Martyrdom and the ‘Other’: Representation of Muslims in the Curricula and Popular Textbooks on Pre-Partition Punjab’ at a National Seminar on Trends in Modern Historiography of Punjab organised by Department of History, Panjab University, Chandigarh from 30 Nov.- 1 Dec. 2006.


15. ‘From Infanticide to Foeticide: Gender and Sex Ratios in the Malwa Region of Punjab’ at a State level Seminar on Malwa Region in Emerging Scenario- In Social, Economic, Political, Historical and Cultural Perspective held at DAV College, Abohar on 28 January 2006.



1.   Lectured and initiated discussion on themes like Islam, Conversion and Popular Religion at a workshop on ‘Religion in Indian History’ organised by Azim Premji University (Bangalore) and Eklavya at Hoshangabad from 16-20 September 2014.


2.   Delivered a talk on ‘Identity and Diversity’ at JGU-LUMS Conclave organised at O P Jindal Global University, Sonipat on 21 April 2014.


3.   Delivered a talk on ‘From Region to Transnational: Shrines, Wilayat and the Sacred Landscapes of Punjab’ at the Tuesday Lecture Series of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (New Delhi) on 18 February 2014.


4.   Conducted two teacher-training workshops on ‘History and the Subalternity' and 'Everyday' in the imagination of History’ with the teachers of DAV Schools of Delhi at Kulachi Hansraj Model School, Ashik Vihar (Delhi) on 27-28 June 2013.


5.   Delivered a lecture on ‘Significance of ‘Everyday’ in the discourse on History’ to BA History students of Department of History, Gargi College, University of Delhi on 18 February 2013.


6.   Delivered a lecture on ‘Historicity, Orality and Social Memory: Popular Piety, Rituals and Shrines in Everyday Counter-Modernities of Contemporary Punjab’ to MPhil students of Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics on 17 October 2012.


7.   Delivered a talk on ‘Sufi Shrines in Post-partition Punjab? Dreams, Memory and Continuities’ organised by Department of History and Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia on 18 October 2012.


8.    Facilitated a discussion on ‘Dialectics of a Space: Binary of Popular/Plural and Language/Identity’ at a Workshop Regional Histories: Perspectives from Punjab and the North West organised by Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), New Delhi on 25 February 2012.


9.   Delivered an audio-visual presentation on a documentary ‘The ‘Wall’ of Sirhind: A Journey to a Medieval Town of Punjab’ at the Inauguration of a two-week workshop on Oral History and Video Documentation organised by Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), New Delhi on 21 June 2011.


10.  Initiated discussions on the following themes related to Greater Punjab region from 12-15 July 2010 at a Summer School organised by Indian Formation Research Society at Pachmarhi & Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) from 19 June - 17 July 2010;


a)   ‘Regions within a Region: Exploring Region Formations within Greater Punjab’- 12 July 2010

b)   ‘Understanding Khaps Panchayats and State in Haryana’- The discussion was followed by the screening of a recorded lecture on a similar theme by Jagmati Sangwan (AIDWA, Haryana)- 13 July 2010

c)   ‘Sustaining Agriculture, Expanding Diaspora: Migration as a Significant Factor of Economic Formation’- The Discussion was followed by the screening of a documentary ‘Parvaz: The Flight’ on the condition of migrant labour in Amritsar directed by MCVP-DAV Amritsar- 14 July 2010

d)    ‘Farmer Suicides in Punjab and Structure of Agriculture in Punjab’- The discussion was followed by the screening of a film ‘Harvest of Grief’ directed by Anwar Jamal- 15 July 2010


11. Delivered a talk on ‘Invasions, Martyrdom and Partition: Rethinking Historiography of Medieval and Modern Punjab’ at Department of History, Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur on 31 January 2008.


12. Interacted with the students of NSS unit of DAV College, Amritsar on Bhagat Singh on 28 September 2007.

Professionl Activities/Awards


1. Awarded a Fellowship for working on a project ‘Popular Sufi Shrines in Contemporary Punjab: Marginality, Identities and Dissent’ at Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla vide IIAS communication dated 28 January 2011 (not availed).

2. Awarded a Fellowship for working on a short-term project (September 2010- February 2011) on ‘Replicating Memory, Creating Images: Pirs and Dargahs in Popular Art and           Media of Contemporary East Punjab.’ The Fellowship has been awarded by the Cluster of Excellence – Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural             Flows (at Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany), on the theme "Circulation of Popular Images and Media in Muslim Religious Spheres".

3. Awarded an Associateship at the Inter-University Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla. Availed the first spell of Associateship from 01-06-2010 to 30-06-2010.

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