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

Undergraduate Course: Post-Colonial South Asia (HIST10040)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn introduction to the political, social, cultural and economic history of South Asia since 1947.
Course description The course surveys the political, social, cultural and economic history of South Asia since 1947, paying proportionate attention to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and the internal and external policies of each nation. Emphasis will be given to the conflicts between modernity and tradition, as well as the concepts of regional, religious and class identities which have formed the building blocks of modern nationalism in South Asia. Students will examine the struggle to affirm that conception of nationhood, together with the secessionist and centrifugal forces, including politico-religious and revolutionary movements, which have threatened, and even succeeded, in pulling in these nations apart. Attention will also be paid to problems of securing 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 have most recently acquired a thermo-nuclear dimension. Importantly, apart from the high politics of political conflict, the course will survey the history of the evolution of society at a local level, including the struggle for the rights and freedoms of women and the lower castes.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: topics relating to sexual, caste and religious violence. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
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.
Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1500 word historiographical essay (30%)
3500 word essay (70%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate command of the body of knowledge considered in the course; the acquisition of the relevant transferable skills. To provide a grounding for all those who seek to travel or work in Asia, or who otherwise might require a historical understanding of the contemporary Indian subcontinent, and - given Scotland's historic and trading links with Asia - to permit an insight into an important aspect of modern Scottish society and international relations.
  2. Read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. Develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
C. Bates Subalterns and Raj: South Asia since 1600 (London: Routledge, 2007)
Sunil Khilnani The Idea of India (London: Penguin, 1997)
Gyan Pandey Remembering Partition
Sumit Ganguly & Neil Devota Understanding Contemporary India (London: Lynne Rienner, 2010)
Anatol Lieven Pakistan: a hard country (New York: Public Affairs, 2011)
Christophe Jaffrelot India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes (London: Hurst, 2003)
Geraldine Forbes Women in Modern India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)
Thomas Hansen The Saffron wave: democracy and Hindu nationalism in modern India (Princeton University press, 1999)
N. Wickramasinghe Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History of Contested Identity, 2nd edn. (London: Hurst, 2014)
Willem Van Schendel A History of Bangladesh (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
Sumit Ganguly Conflict Unending: India-Pakistan Tensions since 1947 (Columbia U.P. 2001)
B.R. Tomlinson The Economy of Modern India: From 1860 to the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPostcol S Asia
Course organiserDr Talat Ahmed
Tel: (0131 6)50 3775
Course secretaryMrs Ksenia Gorlatova
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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