Summer 2018 - HIST 368W D100

Selected Topics in the History of the Wider World (4)

South Asia - Global Force

Class Number: 5949

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 9655, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Bidisha Ray
    1 778 782-9604
    Office: AQ # 6241
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history.



A writing-intensive examination of selected topics in the history of Asia, Africa and/or the Middle East. The content will vary from offering to offering. See department for further information. Students may not take selected topics within HIST 368W for further credit if duplicating content of another history course and vice versa. Writing.


Becoming a Global Force: South Asia from colonialism to liberalisation

This writing- intensive course is designed to introduce students to the changing landscape of colonial and postcolonial South Asian history, to key institutions and experiments in the 20th century history of international development as experienced in South Asia, and to introduce students to interdisciplinary critiques of non–western development through one of its most remarkable examples: India.

In the 20th century, institutions, practices and ideas associated with ‘development’ have accounted for some of the most ambitious experiments in social engineering ever witnessed. In this course we will investigate key experiments in the history of development—from attempts to transform farming and end hunger via the industrial miracle of the Green Revolution in India to attempts to transform sexual practices and stave off poverty via state-dictated population control.

The first half of the course will focus on the colonial history of development in its embodiment as colonial projects of ‘improvement’ and ‘civilisation’ during the latter decades of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. In the second half of the course, we will address how formal political independence in South Asia as well as World War II and decolonisation impacted the atmosphere on which developmental programmes could be constructed and executed.

Some of the key questions the course will address are - To what degree was development in 20th century South Asia the liberating product of a post-war and postcolonial world order, and to what degree was it merely an heir to British colonialism? What is the relationship between modernisation and colonialism? Why didn’t Five Year Plans work in India? Is it accurate to describe postcolonial Indian development as a ‘suspended revolution’?

Both academic sources and popular cultural material such as film and music will be used to explore a wide range of historical themes.


  • Class participation 20%
  • Book Review 20%
  • Source Analysis – 15% + 15% 30%
  • Historiographic essay 30%



Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, Routledge,2003.

Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi: the history of the world’s largest democracy , Pan, 2008.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.