Prof. Dr. Raminder Kaur

Fellow (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies)

Visiting address

Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Nordhäuser Str. 63
99089 Erfurt

Mailing address

Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Prof. Dr. Raminder Kaur

Research Interests

Raminder is part of the ‘Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations’ Kollegforschungsgruppe directed by Susanne Rau and Jörg Rüpke at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies. Her research examines how, and in what ways, particular locations become magnets for mercantile exchange, financial capital as well as determined as religiously specific ‘sacred cities’. If contemporary cities are primarily defined by their economic, administrative and multi-ethnic characteristics, how might we view a city that is both a hub for trade and a site of salvation whose prime identity stands in contradistinction to the diversity of its inhabitants?  Her initial focus is on the Indian city of Amritsar, bordering Pakistan and located near the Grand Trunk Road. From the 1500s, Amritsar became the spiritual heart of the Sikh religion as well as a prominent city for trade and tourism. She examines the following questions, ranging from the historical to the more ethnographic:

  • How and in what ways do cities come to be designated as sacred, or conversely, how have consecrated locales grown to become prominent cities?
  • How has the sacredness of the urban locale in Amritsar and its importance to local, national and transnational trade co-evolved over time?
  • How were/are urban spaces imagined, demarcated and navigated in the sacred city?

Selected Publications

  • Kudankulam: The Story of an Indo-Russian Nuclear Power Plant (Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • Adventure Comics and Youth Cultures in India (co-authored with Saif Eqbal, Routledge, 2018; film trailer on research-based film: )
  • Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns (Routledge, 2013).
  • Performative Politics and the Cultures of Hinduism: Public Uses of Religion in Western India (Anthem Press, 2005).