Summer 2022 - IS 313W D100

Nationalism, Democracy and Development in Modern India (4)

Class Number: 4160

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3510, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units. Recommended: IS 210 or 220.



An examination of the differing narratives of nation and modernity in the struggle for independence from colonial rule in India, and their implications for the post-colonial state, for politics and for India's economic development. Writing.


This course is an introduction to South Asian history and politics from the time of independence from colonial rule all the way to the present day. India is presented in popular discourses as an eternal, unchanging civilization, but has experienced dynamic growth and is one of the most diverse regions of the world. Similarly, the South Asian region as a whole appears, on the surface, to have a great degree of similarity across provinces and states, yet everyday life is fraught with tensions that often erupt into violent confrontation. How do we understand these contradictions? By the end of this course, students will be able to understand and discuss the region and its complexities in far greater detail.

Thematically, the course will follow a number of themes:
(1) legacies of colonial rule
(2) nationalism and politics
(3) ideologies of economic growth and development
(4) diaspora and migrations within South Asia
(5) social and revolutionary movements
(6) gender, caste and identity

The course focuses mainly on India, but will also bring in some discussion from the contexts of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- display a rigorous understanding of nationalism in South Asia verbally through their seminar discussions and in writing.
- critique and identify the multiple narratives of nationalism and belonging across the South Asian region.
- appreciate the complexity of developing political systems in a region as socially, religiously and ethnically diverse as South Asia.
- explain ideologies of development and economic growth in post-independence Indian history.


  • Seminar participation 20%
  • Research proposal presentation 15%
  • Annotated bibliography (with a minimum of 5 sources) 15%
  • Final research essay outline 10%
  • Final research essay 40%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at:



All readings will be available electronically and hyperlinked through the course Canvas page. You will not be required to buy any textbook for this course.

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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction.  Some courses may be offered through alternative methods (remote, online, blended), and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. 

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, online, or blended courses 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 ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.