Spring 2022 - HIST 243 D100

A Brief History of Modern India - from British Colony to Independent Republic (3)

Class Number: 5637

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.



A survey of South Asian history designed to equip those students completely unfamiliar with the region, with a foundation in the political, social and cultural contours of South Asia from 1757 to 1947. Students who have previously taken HIST 243 STT may not take HIST 243 for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


This course is intended to be a basic survey of South Asian history designed to equip undergraduates with a foundation in the political, social and cultural history of South Asia from 1757 to 1947. This course is inspired by the popular Indian Administrative Services programme for Indian History (one of the most respected civil services in the world) which successfully transforms subject-area novices into well-rounded scholars through the study of a broad, generalist curriculum.  The intended educational goals of this fast-paced course are simple – we aim to provide first-time students with a basic grasp of the history of one of the most complex and exciting parts of the world. We expect to move from a position of total unfamiliarity to a level of solid scholarly appreciation of the major historical events, themes and debates in modern South Asian history in one semester.  This  course’s  survey approach and its wide range of themes will equip the dedicated student not only with academic knowledge but also writing, communication, analysis and critical skills.

Some of the main topics to be covered in this course are:

  • Establishment of British rule in India
  • Early resistance to colonial rule
  • Socio-cultural impact of colonial rule
  • Women as a focus, and as agents of social reform
  • Early Indian Nationalism, including ‘tribal’ insurrections
  • Nationalism under Gandhi's leadership
  • The path to Independence, including the Partition of India and creation of Pakistan


  • Class participation 20%
  • Reaction paper 15%
  • Academic journal 20%
  • Primary source analysis 20%
  • Final Examination (take-home) 25%



Thomas Metcalf, A Concise History of India


Bose and Jalal, Modern South Asia (free e-book)
Thomas Metcalfe, Ideologies of the Raj 

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.