This book moves away from originary myths of region and identity that have dominated academic and mediatized representations of Punjab, a land-locked region divided between India and Pakistan after the Partition of 1947, and instead focuses on the role of the imagination in producing Punjab. It deconstructs Punjab as an ethno-spatial, ethno-linguistic and ethno-cultural construct produced by the communities who dwell there, those who have left it and those formed by new narratives of the region.By isolating imaginings of Punjab that are not centred on exclusivist regional, linguistic, sectarian or caste perspectives, contributions to this book propose the concept of free-flowing cartographies in relation to Punjab, which facilitate its imaginings as a geographical region, a social construct and a state of consciousness. The region is simultaneously imagined as a small place, a neighbourhood, a city, and a village, but also as a performative practice and a certain ways of doing things.
Through focusing on a number of Punjabi spaces and communities and engaging with Punjab as a geographical region, social construct and state of consciousness, the papers in the book hope to contribute to broader debates on transnationalism, postnationalism, micronationalism, and new identity narratives emerging in the twenty first century. This book was originally published as a special issue of South Asian Diaspora.