Coming of Age in Macholand: Exploring the Intersections of Media, Masculinity and Transnational Migration in Punjab

This event is in collaboration with the Department of Asian Studies. 


What does it mean to be a successful man in Punjab today? Through on-going ethnographic research and filmmaker, Dr. Harjant Gill explores the various nuances of contemporary Punjabi masculinity. In a state increasingly transformed by globalization, becoming a transnational migrant is synonymous with becoming successful. Through interviews, documentary film, film and media analysis and written scholarship, Dr. Gill explores the transformations in gender relations, development of masculinities, and the role caste, class and transnational mobility plays in shaping everyday life in Punjab.


Harjant Gill is an associate professor of anthropology at Towson University. He received his PhD fromAmerican University. His research examines the intersections of masculinity, modernity, transnational migration and popular culture in India. Gill is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made several ethnographic films that have screened at film festivals, academic conferences, and on television networks worldwide including BBC, Doordarshan (Indian National TV) and PBS. His films include: Roots of Love which looks at the changing significance of hair and turban among Sikh men in India; Mardistan
(Macholand) which explores Indian manhood focusing on issues of sexual violence, son preference and homophobia; andSent Away Boys which examines on how provincial communities across northern India are transformed by the exodus of young men giving up farming to seek a better life abroad. Gill is a fellow alumnus of the Point Foundation. He co-directed the SVA Film & Media Festival (2012-2014), and currently co-edits the Multimodal Anthropologies section of the journal American Anthropologist. Funded by the Performing Arts Fellowship by American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) and the Fulbright-Nehru Research Award, Gill is currently living in New Delhi while developing an eight-part immersive virtual reality web-series on Indian masculinities titled “Tales from Macholand.” His website is