Dr. Nicola Mooney

Contact Information

Nicola Mooney, BA (Hons), MMSt, PhD (Toronto)

Anthropology Instructor 

Office: D3039 Abbotsford Campus

Email: nicola.mooney@ufv.ca

Telephone: 604 - 504 -7441, local 4175

Selected Publications

2012. “From Chandigarh to Vancouver: Jat Sikh Home and Identity in the Films of Harbhajan Mann”. In From Bombay to LA: The Travels of South Asian Cinema, eds. Anjali Gera Roy and Chua Beng Huat, Oxford University Press.

2011 Rural Nostalgias and Transnational Dreams: Identity and Modernity among Jat Sikhs. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

2010. “Lowly Shoes on Lowly Feet: Some Jat Sikh Women’s Views on Gender & Equality”. In Sikhism and Women: History, Texts and Experience, ed. Doris R. Jakobsh. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

 2008a "Of Love, Martyrdom and (in)-Subordination: Sikh Experiences of Partition in the Films Shaheed-e-Mohabbat and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha". In Partitioned Lives: Narratives of Home, Displacement, and Resettlement, eds. Anjali Gera Roy and Nandi Bhatia, pp. 26 - 49. Delhi: Pearson Longman/Dorling Kindersley India.

2008b "Aaja Nach Lai (Come Dance): Performing and Practicing Identity among Punjabis in Canada". Ethnologies. 30 (1): 103 - 124.

2006 “Aspiration, Reunification and Gender Transformation in Jat Sikh Marriages from India to Canada”. Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs. 6 (4): 389-403.

Accepted. “Remembered Rurality: The Idyllic Places and Troubled Spaces of Jat Sikh Nostalgia”. In Culture, Meaning and Space: Studies in Place and Practice, ed. Pauline McKenzie Aucoin, Berghahn Books.

Research Interests

Ethnicity and identity; transnationalism and diaspora; history and memory; gender and other forms of social difference; religiosity; urbanity and rurality; place, land, and landscape; and the experience and impacts of the nation-state, development, and modernity among Sikhs, and particularly Jat Sikhs; as well as Punjabi and South Asian popular and performance cultures and media, postcoloniality, feminist anthropology, the ethnography of everyday life, critical ethnography, ethnohistory, and ethnography as genre.

Institutional & Other Affiliations

Dr. Mooney is Chair of the Diaspora Studies Certificate Program Committee, Senior Associate of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, a member of the Diaspora Studies Consortium and a member of the Canadian Sikh Heritage Advisory Committee.

Public Events, Presentations & Writings

  • Diasporizing Punjab, Disorienting Bhangra: Academic Workshop & Public Paper Presentations
  • ‌25th Anniversary Remembrance Lecture - A Precious Find: Heirloom Sikh Texts Discovered in Abbotsford ‌
  • Heirlooms: Treasures of a Malwai Village Visit in Punjab ‌
  • Charkha Spins in Toronto: Reflections on the 2006 Spinning Wheel Film Festival ‌

Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • ANTH 102 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 130 Anthropology of World Religions
  • ANTH 203A Reading Culture
  • ANTH 210 Gender and Kinship
  • ANTH/SOC 260 Food for Thought: Food, Culture, and Society
  • ANTH 267 Religions in Diaspora
  • ANTH 303C Peoples and Cultures of India
  • ANTH/SOC 360 Eating and Thinking: Food, Identity, and Power in Global Societies
  • ANTH/ENG 367 Culture and Theory of Diaspora
  • ANTH/MACS 375 Indian Mediascapes
  • ANTH 403D Diaspora Exchange Journal
  • ANTH/SOC 470E Ethnicity Race and Nationalism
  • ARTS 100 Home and the World: An Inderdisciplinary Introduction to University Studies

Dr. Mooney has also supervised a number of ANTH 490 Directed Studies courses, particularly on South Asian topics, including nationalism, gender, and development.

Brief Biography

Nicola's book, Rural Nostalgias and Transnational Dreams: Identity and Modernity among Jat Sikhs (University of Toronto Press 2011), broadly concerns ethnicity, urbanization, and migration, and their impacts on Jat Sikh society, history, and memory; it also examines the influences of gender, class, and other forms of social difference, as well as the nation-state, postcoloniality, and modernity, on Jat Sikh identities. She also works on popular cultural performance and the production and representation of Jat Sikh and other Punjabi communities in cinema and other media.

Before arriving at UFV, Nicola taught at Mount Allison, Trent, and Wilfrid Laurier universities, as well as at the University of Toronto; at Mount Allison, she was the first McCain Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, where she remains adjunct professor. Prior to her doctorate, she earned a Master of Museum Studies degree, and an honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Religious Studies, both from the University of Toronto.

When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, browsing cookbooks, watching Punjabi and Hindi films, and drinking copious amounts of cha; on Sunday mornings, she occasionally indulges a lifelong Coronation Street habit.

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