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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: South Asia since 1947: History and the Politics of Historiography (ODL) (PGHC11451)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course addresses the political, social, cultural and economic History of South Asia since 1947 and the competing methodologies used to interpret this history.
Course description This contemporary history course will explore the concepts of regional, religious, and class identities that have formed the building blocks of the modern nations of South Asia and the very different interpretation of these identities that is allowed by a 'postcolonial' historical perspective. You will interrogate the paradoxes of democracy within these emerging nations together with the secessionist and centrifugal forces, including politico-religious and revolutionary movements, that have constantly threatened and even succeeded in pulling them apart. The problems of securing balanced and equitable economic growth since the end of the colonial period, the impact of liberalisation and globalisation, and the evolution of the conflicts between the nations of the subcontinent, which have most recently acquired a thermo-nuclear dimension, will also be considered. Additionally the course will examine the evolution of society at a local level, such as the struggle for the rights and freedoms of women and the lower castes, and the changing nature of what it means to be Indian, Pakistani, Hindu or Muslim, a Mohajir, Bengali or Tamil, adivasi or dalit in contemporary South Asia.

Seminar Outline:

1. Introduction
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. Democracy and its Discontents in India
6. Regionalism in India and Pakistan
7. Casteism, Multiculturalism and Strategic Essentialism
8. 'Modernity' versus 'Tradition': Sati and the Status of Women
9. New India and Hindu Nationalism
10. Liberalisation, Globalisation and Diaspora
11. Human versus International Security and the Fractured State of Pakistan
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show command of a substantial body of historical knowledge.
  2. Develop and sustain historical arguments in a variety of literary forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence.
  3. Show an understanding of the varieties of approaches to understanding, constructing, and interpreting the past; and where relevant, knowledge of concepts and theories derived from the humanities and the social sciences.
  4. Address historical problems in depth, involving the use of contemporary sources and advanced secondary literature.
  5. Show clarity, fluency, and coherence in written and oral expression.
Reading List
T. C. Sherman, W. Gould, and S. Ansari (eds) From Subjects to Citizens: Society and the Everyday State in India and Pakistan, 1947-1970 (2014 ebook)

C. Bates, Subalterns and the Raj: South Asia Since 1600 (2007 ebook)**

R. Guha, India after Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy (2007)**

T. Blom Hansen, The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India (1999 ebook)

G. Forbes, Women in Modern India (1998)

C. Jaffrelot, India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India (2003)

S. Kaviraj, The Imaginary Institution of India (2010 ebook)

A. Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country (2011)

G. Pandey, Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India (2001 ebook)

J. Spence, Sri Lanka: History and the Roots of Conflict (1990 ebook)

B. R. Tomlinson, The Economy of Modern India (2008 ebook)

R. J. C. Young, Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (2001)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills An understanding of the methods and skills involved in historical study
ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
ability to extract key elements from complex information
readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding
recognition of the importance of reflecting on one's learning experiences and being aware of one's own particular learning style
openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought.
ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
intellectual curiosity
ability to make effective use of oral, written and visual means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them.
ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
ability to collaborate and to relate to others
readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
ability to articulate one's skills as identified through self-reflection
a command of bibliographical and library research skills, as well as a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
close reading of textual sources
an ability to produce coherent and well presented text, sometimes of considerable length
an ability to produce text to meet standard presentational specifications as laid out in a style sheet
KeywordsSouth Asia since 1947
Course organiserMr Vikram Visana
Tel: (0131 6)50 3585
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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