Spring 2020 - HIST 244 D100

Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia (3)

Class Number: 7120

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 9, 2020: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.



South Asian history since the eighteenth century, including the crumbling of the Mughal empire, European trade and colonialism, Indian nationalisms, the emergence of the independent states of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and transformations in caste, gender, and sexuality. Breadth-Humanities.


This course is an introduction to South Asian history from the 18th century onward. We will trace the exploits of a whole host of fascinating characters such as the villainous Mir Jafar who supported the British against his own leader in the Battle of Plassey, tragic heroes like Tipu Sultan of Mysore and the barbaric General O’ Dwyer who ordered a peaceful crowd to be shot at in Jallianwala Bagh and later made Indians crawl through a street in Amritsar to know their place -- there is no shortage of the dramatic in this region.   We will view such local personal stories through the lens of the larger level changes that unfolded in the region. The 18th century onward was a time of great upheaval when the powerful Mughal empire was in decline and European traders were competing for control of the trading networks that connected India to the rest of the world. Colonial rule would be the end product of this fierce competition that was fought against the background of waning Mughal power. From the late 19th century onward we will trace the emergence of the Indian National Congress, the increasing demands for autonomous Indian rule and the eventual emergence of the separate nations of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  Throughout attention will also be drawn to the sources used to write the history that we will be reading and the political choices that countries in South Asia make when choosing one version of history over another in order to write their own nationalist narratives.   This is an introductory survey course on Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asian history and so no prior knowledge of the region is expected.  


  • Class Participation 15%
  • Quizzes 20%
  • Reading review presentation 15%
  • Review essay 30%
  • Take home final exam 20%



Catherine B. Asher and Cynthia Talbot., India Before Europe. 2006.  

Barbara D. Metcalf and Thomas R. Metcalf., A Concise History of India. 2006. 

Both of these are available online via your library and so you do not need to buy any textbooks for this course. All additional readings will be circulated via canvas. 

Registrar Notes:

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