Meet the Author

Dr. Katy P. Sian, Lecturer in Sociology, University of York.

Biography: I completed my PhD in 2009 at the University of Leeds in the School of Sociology and Social Policy where my first interest in Sikh-Muslim relations developed, focusing on the UK context. From 2010-2012 I worked on the TOLERACE project as a post-doctoral researcher in the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies (CERS) University of Leeds, exploring the semantics of tolerance and anti-racism across Europe. I then moved to the University of Manchester in 2012 where I held a lecturing position, before taking up a Hallsworth Research Fellowship in 2013, exploring Sikh and Muslim relations in the US and Canada. In 2015 I took up a lecturing post at the University of York, in the Department of Sociology where my research continues to develop.

As a Sikh woman, I have always been interested in the issues facing my community, and within the British context it soon became apparent that relations between Sikhs and Muslims have been increasingly fraught. During my academic career I have been particularly focused on unravelling the complexities around Sikh and Muslim relations, and the initial iteration of my research has been documented in my first monograph published in 2013, Unsettling Sikh and Muslim Conflict: Mistaken Identities, Forced Conversions, and Postcolonial Formations.

My book has since generated much debate with its pioneering mapping of Sikh-Muslim antagonism as it circulates throughout Britain and as I continue to develop this under-researched issue of inter-minority relations I hope to broaden understandings of conflict and its interconnections with racism, colonialism, identity, and the politics of inclusion and exclusion.

My research has aroused interest beyond the academic world and my commitment to challenging racism and Islamophobia continues to involve me within conversations across third sector and interfaith organizations. In 2014 I was one of the five winners of the ‘recognising the real heroes in the struggle against Islamophobia awards’ presented by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, London.

Many of the issues arising from this work are sensitive and challenging in nature, but through careful analysis and thoughtful critique I hope this website will inspire mutual respect and tolerance by encouraging rich understandings around shared heritage, history, religion, and culture.