Modern South Asia: An Introduction

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 2252
Modern South Asia: An Introduction
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hours per week / semester Seminar: 2 hours per week / semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

Course Description
Modern South Asia: An Introduction, surveys the history of the Indian subcontinent from the Mughal empire to the present day. Major themes include the society and economy of pre-colonial South Asia; European incursions; the Great Resistance; the structures of British colonial rule; the emergence of anti-colonial struggles, independence movements and nationalism; colonial economies, agriculture, industry and famine; the path to independence; the impact of British imperialism; partition and independence; rural-urban dynamics; caste and belief, class, gender and social reform; regionalism and nationalism; modernity, decolonisation, socialism and neoliberalism; and the new nation states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
Course Content

1. Introduction: Geography, Culture, Ancient Civilization

2. The Mughals

3. The re-emergence of regional India and the incursion of Europe

4. British India: Company Raj, Government Raj

5. War, Nationalism(s), and Independence

6. Partition, New States and Communalism

7. Nehru’s India

8. Congress and the Gandhis

9. Regional India: Bengal, Kerala, the Punjab

10 Pakistan and Bangladesh

11 Land Frontiers and Maritime Frontiers: Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka

12. Contemporary Politics and Economics: Congress Coalition or Bharatiya Janata Party neo-

13. The Complexities of South Asian Society: Rural and Urban Life, Culture, Caste and Faith,
and Gender

14. Diaspora India and Contemporary Challenges

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:

1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history)

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme:
Class/seminar participation 15%
Book review essay 15%
Research proposal 10%
Research essay 25%
Midterm exam 15%
Final exam 20%

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically:
An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be

Bose, Sugata, and Ayesha Jalal. Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy, 3rd
ed. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Kulke, Hermann. and Dietmar Rothermund. A History of India, 5th ed. London: Routledge,

McDermott, Rachel Fell, Leonard A. Gordon, Ainslie T. Embree, Frances W. Pritchett, and
Dennis Dalton, eds. Sources of Indian Tradition. Vol. 2, Modern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan,
3rd ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

Metcalf, Barbara D., and Thomas R. Metcalf. A Concise History of Modern India, 3rd ed.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Trautmann, Thomas R. India: Brief History of a Civilization, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2016.

Wolpert, Stanley. India, 4th ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009.


One 1000-level History course or permission of instructor





Which Prerequisite