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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: South Asian Intellectual History: Empire, Society and Nation, 1789-1947 (HIST10406)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course studies the canon of Indian political thought from the late Eighteenth Century to the Independence in 1947. Situating South Asian thought in local political, social, and economic contexts students will explore the often conflicting but unique ways in which Indian thinkers came to grapple with the key issues facing 'modern' societies.
Course description This course examines the diverse Indian political thought of liberal reformers like Rammohun Roy, 'extremist' theorists of the South Asian 'Self' like B. G. Tilak and critics of the 'West' like M. K. Gandhi. Students will reconstruct the Indian canon of political thought and, in so doing, examine how colonised thinkers rethought many nineteenth century concepts like citizenship, capitalism, the state, gender and nationalism or, indeed, innovated totally new ways of doing politics. Rather than engaging with canonical texts alone the course emphasises a robust engagement with the political, social and economic contexts in which ideas had meaning to Indians. The primary sources we will be using include the speeches, letters, novels, poetry, newspapers and political treatises of key thinkers and activists from all over the Subcontinent. Students will leave with an understanding of non-Western perspectives on modern political thought as well as a valuable insight into Indian modernity.

1. Is there an intellectual history for India? Meanings and Methods
2. Liberal Imperialism in India
3. The East India Company and Critiques of the New Imperial Age
4. Pioneering Liberal: Rammohan Roy's Reformism
5. Countering Custom 1: Rescuing Women and Untouchables from Tradition
6. Countering Custom 2: 'Benign Sociology' and the Rise of Indian Political Economy
7. Muslim Thought in a Liberal Age
8. Latent Liberals and Hindu Populists: Malaviya, 'Extremists', and Swami Vivekananda
9. Cultural Idealists: Aurobindo Ghose and V. D. Savarkar
10. Refashioning the Self: B. G. Tilak and Har Dayal
11. Asian Universalisms: Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admissions Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting Students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilize a variety of primary source material;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative, intellectual integrity and maturity, an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Bayly, C. A., Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World 1780-1830 (London, 1989).
Bayly, C. A., Recovering Liberties: Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire (Cambridge, 2011).
Cashman, Richard The Myth of the Lokmanya: Tilak and Mass Politics in Maharashtra (Berkley, CA, 1975).
Collins, Michael, Empire, Nationalism and the Postcolonial World: Rabindranath Tagore's Writings on History, Politics and Society (London, 2011).
Devji, Faisal, The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptation of Violence (Cambridge, MA, 2012).
Kapila, Shruti ed., An Intellectual History for India (Cambridge, 2010).
Kaviraj, Sudipta, The Imaginary Institution of India: Politics and Ideas (New York, NY, 2010).
Matena, Karuna, Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism (Princeton, NJ, 2010).
Mehta, Uday Singh, Liberalism and Empire: A Study in Nineteenth-Century British Liberal Thought (Chicago, IL, 1999).
Moyn, Samuel and Sartori, Andrew eds., Global Intellectual History (New York, 2013).
Sartori, Andrew, Bengal in Global Concept History: Culturalism in the Age of Capital (Chicago, IL 2008).
Zastoupil, Lyn, Rammohun Roy and the Making of Victorian Britain (Basingstoke, 2010).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The capacity for problem solving and critical engagement with posed questions and documents. The ability to martial evidence and arguments concisely and convincingly in both written and oral form. The ability to evaluate the work of peers.
KeywordsSouth Asian Intellectual History
Course organiserMr Vikram Visana
Tel: (0131 6)50 3585
Course secretaryMiss Stephanie Blakey
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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