Postgraduate Course: The Politics of Historiography in Post-Colonial South Asia (PGHC11330)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
||Availability||Available to all students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Home subject area||Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||'Post-colonial studies' is a burgeoning subject in departments of English literature in the U.K. and U.S.A. Often it amounts to merely a variation on the long-established study of 'Commonwealth literature', involving an awareness of migrant mentalities and racial and orientalist prejudice. Or it can be little more than an obtuse literary style and critical method, which appeals to history whilst revealing a profound ahistoricism in its approach. This course aims to fill that empirical gap, by examining the key interpretative problems facing historians who wish to engage in the advanced study of the history and society of post-colonial South Asia.
A key purpose of the course will be to interrogate the traditional division of labour in South Asian studies, whereby the historians stop at 1947 and political scientists provide predominantly structural and functional analyses of events after that date. This has led to an understanding of South Asia since independence, viewed through pre-conceived theoretical lenses, as a series of crises and paradoxes. The course will argue that a longer-term temporal analysis can instead establish that the apparent paradoxes of Indian politics and society are no more than the expression of long-standing dialectical and dialogical process of engagement by different actors. These articulate complex but integrated patterns of transaction that are by no means contradictory but have become established and clearly recognised over time.
The empirical focus of the course will be the political, social, cultural and economic History of South Asia since 1947: paying proportionate attention to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The aim will be to integrate the cultural, social and political, as well as related factors concerning the economy and environment in exploring key interpretative issues in the recent history of the subcontinent.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?||No
Course Delivery Information
|Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1)
||Learn enabled: Yes
|Course Start Date
|Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info)
|No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|The course will aim to give students from widely differing backgrounds an understanding of the social and political institutions of contemporary India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka In particular, they will:
- be able to analyse independently historical evidence concerning this topic;
- engage in theoretical arguments relating to the Historiography of South Asia since independence;
- develop an appreciation of how the study of a key topic in historiography can widen their historical horizon and research agenda;
- set their own historical research agenda in relation to the Historiography of South Asia since independence;;
- learn to prepare and present their own work for seminars and workshops;
- actively participate in group discussion;
- and be able to make efficient use of appropriate library and IT resources.
|Following School practice in the assessment of MSc courses, assessment will involve a paper of around 3000 words.|
||The focus in the course will be on the manner in which contemporary Indian history has been theorised as a series of conflicts between modernity and tradition, as well as the changing concepts of regional, religious and class identity which have formed the building blocks of modern nationalism in South Asia. The course will go on to explore the controversies arising from various attempts to define nationhood in South Asia, as well as explaining the secessionist and centrifugal forces, including politico-religious and revolutionary movements, which have threatened, and at times succeeded, in pulling these nations apart. Attention will be paid to the historiographical debates arising from attempts to secure balanced and equitable economic growth since the end of the colonial period, and the origins of the conflicts between the nations of the subcontinent, which has latterly acquired a thermo-nuclear dimension.
Importantly, apart from the high politics of political conflict, the course will examine historiographical issues arising from the evolution of Indian society at a local level, including the struggle for the rights and freedoms of Women and the lower castes, and the changing nature of what it means to be 'Indian', Hindu or Muslim, a Mohajir, Bengali or Tamil, or Untouchable etc., as revealed in works of literature (in translation), biography and films of the past half century.
Given Scotland's historic and trading links with Asia, will offer a grounding for all those who may seek employment in or relating to Asia, or who otherwise might require an understanding of the workings of the contemporary Indian subcontinent. The course will complement the M.Sc. courses in degree programmes currently taught as well as new degree programmes that are planned in CHSS in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Sociology, Social Anthropology, African Studies, and South Asian Studies. The course will specifically complement M.Sc. History courses such as 'Gender and Empire' as well as SSPS M.Sc. courses such as 'South Asian Studies: Conceptual and Theoretical Underpinnings' [P02320] and 'Contemporary South Asian Issues and Debates' [P02321. The course will further endeavour to assist students to identify research topics for future investigation within an MSc dissertation or PhD thesis.
||The course will consist of 11 two-hour meetings as follows:
2. Postcolonial Theory and the Paradoxes of South Asian History.
3. The Legacies of Partition.
4. Ethnicity and Nationhood: the case of Sri Lanka.
5. The Experience of Democracy in India.
6. Regionalism in India and Pakistan.
7. Casteism, Multiculturism and Strategic Essentialism.
8. 'Modernity' versus 'tradition': Sati and the status of women.
9. The Roots of Late 20th century Religious Revivalism.
10. Liberalisation, Globalisation and Diaspora.
11. Human versus International Security and the Fractured State of Pakistan.
C. Bates, Subalterns and Raj: South Asia since 1600 (London: Routledge, 2007)
S. Wolpert, A New History of India (7th edn., Oxford, 2004)
A. Jalal and S. Bose, Modern South Asia (2nd edition; London: Routledge 2003)
Sunil Khilnani , The Idea of India (London: Penguin, 1997)
Ian Talbot, Pakistan: a Modern History (London: Hurst & Co.1998)
Sankaran Krishna, Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka and the Question of Nationhood (Minnesota Univ., 1999)
F. Robinson (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of India (Cambridge, 1989)
A. Jalal, Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia (Cambridge, 1995)
Sumit Ganguly & Neil Devota, Understanding Contemporary India (London: Lynne Rienner, 2003)
Ania Loomba, Colonialism/ Postcolonialism (London 1998)
Christophe Jaffrelot, India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes (London: Hurst 2003)
M. Kishwar (ed), In Search of Answers: Indian women's voices (London, 1984)
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Childen (London 1981)
D. Ludden, Contesting the Nation: religion, community, and the politics of democracy in India (Philadelphia, 1996)
P. Brass, The Politics of India Since Independence (New Cambridge History of India) (Cambridge, 1990)
R.L. Hardgrave & S. Kochanek, India: Government and Politics in a Developing Nation (New York 1986)
A. Vanaik, The Painful Transition: bourgeois democracy in India (London, 1990)
L.I. & S.H. Rudolph, In Pursuit of Lakshmi (Chicago, 1987)
W.H. Morris-Jones, The Government and Politics of India (revised edition) (London, 1987)
P. Brass, Language, Religion, and Politics in Northern India (London, 1974)
F. Frankel , India's Political Economy 1947-1977: the gradual revolution (Princeton, 1978)
R. Kothari (ed.), Caste in Indian Politics (New Delhi, 1986, 1st pub. 1970)
M.Shepperdson & C. Simmons, The Indian National Congress and the Political Economy of India, 1885-1985, (Aldershot, 1988)
T.V. Sathyamurthy, Social change and political discourse in India: structures of power, movements of resistance. Vol. 4, Class formation and political transformation in post-colonial India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996)
Subrata Mitra, Power, protest and participation: local elites and the politics of development in India (London: Routledge, 1992)
Francine Frankel, et al, Transforming India: social and political dynamics of democracy (New Delhi: OUP 2002)
A. Jalal & S. Bose, Nationalism, Democracy and Development: state and politics in India (New Delhi: OUP 1997)
Atul Kohli (ed.), The Success of India's Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2001)
S. Corbridge & J. Harriss, Reinventing India: Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism and Popular Democracy (London: Polity Press, 2000)
K. Basu & S. Subrahmanyam, Unravelling the Nation: sectarian conflict and India's secular identity (New Delhi: Penguin, 1996)
Evelin Hust, A Million Indiras Now? Political Presence and Women's Empowerment in Rural Local Government in India (New Delhi: Manohar 2004)
G. Forbes, Women in Modern India [New Cambridge History of India vol. IV.2] (Cambridge, 1996)
Radha Kumar, The History of Doing: movements for women's rights and feminism in India 1800-1990 (New Delhi, 1993)
Sudhir Kakar, The Colors of Violence: Cultural Identities, Religion and Conflict (University of Chicago, 1996)
Thomas Hansen, The Saffron wave: democracy and Hindu nationalism in modern India (Princeton University press, 1999)
T.R. Madan, Locked Minds; Secularism and Fundamentalism in India (Delhi, OUP, 1998)
Emma Tarlo, Unsettling memories: Narratives of India's 'Emergency' (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003)
Katherine Frank, Indira (London: Harper Collins 2002)
Itty Abraham, The Making of the Indian Atomic Bomb: science, secrecy and the postcolonial state (London: Zed, 1998)
Akhil Gupta, Postcolonial Developments: agriculture in the making of modern India (Durham, N.C.: Duke University, 1998)
Sanjay Srivastava, Constructing Post-Colonial India: national character and the Doon School (Routledge 1998)
Jyotsina G. Singh, Colonial Narratives, Cultural Dialogues: "Discoveries" of India in the Language of Colonialism (London: 1996)
Partha Chatterjee, A possible India: essays in political criticism (New Delhi: OUP 1997)
Dipankar Gupta, Mistaken Modernity: India between two worlds New Delhi: Harper Collins 2000)
Jawaharlal Nehru, Selected Works (multiple volumes), (New Delhi: Oxford University Press)
K.M. De Silva, Reaping the Whirlwind: ethnic conflict, ethnic politics in Sri Lanka (New Delhi: Penguin 1998)
S. J. Tambiah, Buddhism Betrayed? Religion, politics and violence in rural Sri Lanka (Chicago, 1992)
C. Bates and S. Basu (eds.). Rethinking Indian Political Institutions (London: Anthem Press, 2005)
|Keywords||Politics Historiography Post-Colonial South Asia
|Course organiser||Prof Crispin Bates
Tel: (0131 6)50 3765
|Course secretary||Mrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 10 October 2013 5:05 am