Decolonising Feminist Theory: An Introduction to Punjabi Poetics

In this live session we will discuss selections of Punjabi poetry from the oral tradition, to sketch an outline of a ‘People’s Poetics’ rooted in the folk imagination and regional histories of resistance. The Punjabi literary tradition stretches back to the thirteenth century couplets of Baba Farid, and includes the verses of the celebrated rebel ‘Sufi,’ Bulleh Shah, and the spiritual head of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev. Social critique emerges as a key concern for all poets, with a particular emphasis on the oppressions of gender, caste and exploited labour. The session will focus on these themes, reading the poetry of Bulleh Shah, Shah Hussain and the lesser-known female poet, Peero Preman to explore indigenous intellectual tools for challenging patriarchy and class society today.
The lecture will be broadcasted live on our facebook page.
Link to the facebook event
Sara Kazmi is currently pursuing a PhD in Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Cambridge. Her research looks at Marxist and Feminist Punjabi poetry from India and Pakistan. She has a passion for progressive street theatre, and likes to sing protest music, blending folk tunes and classical raags in her performance.

Bulleh Shah, “Mein Kusumbara Chun Chun Haari,” “Bhena mein katdi katdi hutti”
Shah Hussain, “Aashiq hovain taa ishq kamaavain,” “Mere sahiba, mein teri ho mukki haan”
Both texts are available in this document:

Further readings:
Anshu Malhotra, “Telling her tale? Unravelling a life in conflict in Peero’s Ik sau sath kafian”

Sara Kazmi, “Radical re-tellings of Hir: Gender and the Politics of Voice in Postcolonial Punjabi Poetry”