This course on South Asia history and society introduces the subcontinent in all its rich historical and cultural diversity, focusing in particular on the Mughal empire, the rise of British colonialism, the Indian nationalist movement, and the events of 1947, the year of the partition of British India and the independence of India and Pakistan. We will explore aspects of political, social, and economic history through original documents and the latest in South Asian scholarship. We will examine the perspectives of Mughal emperors, European imperialists, and Indian intellectuals, including ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi and several of his contemporaries. We will supplement these perceptions with analyses of novels, women’s writings, and films. One aim of the course is to understand the extent to which the South Asia of the late twentieth century is a product of both its traditional past and of modern global processes of colonialism, capitalism, and nationalism.
Requirements: Attendance and participation (20% of final grade), three short (5 page) essays (each 20% of final grade), final exam (essay format, 20% of final grade).