Syllabus - History 136: South Asian History since 1750...

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Unformatted text preview: History 136: South Asian History since 1750 Spring 2008 T & Th 11 am - 12.15 pm Professor: Yasmin Saikia Office: 501 Hamilton Hall ext: 3961 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: T: 1-3 pm, Monday – 1-2 pm (on line) TA: [email protected] 406 Hamilton Friday’s 12-1 Course Description This course is an introduction to modern India. Traditionally, in Indian history the period between 1750 (toward the end of the Mughal rule) to 1947 (end of British colonialism) is considered modern India. This periodization is highly problematic, since it endows on the period of colonialism (the most exploitative phase of South Asian history), the label modern, which, in turn, qualifies it as advanced, progressive, developed, etc. In this course, we will move beyond and away from the colonial paradigm to investigate major political, social, economic, and cultural issues from 1750 to the present to understand modern South Asia. We will rethink if colonial India should continue to be labeled modern? We will explore if colonialism modernized the people of the subcontinent and what were the effects? What were the developments in the postcolonial period? We will focus on the processes of historical production, question power and subjectivity, and investigate political and economic shifts in the subcontinent. We begin this course with the premise that the period under investigation is not cohesive, but characterized by several disjunctures that have left lasting impacts on the peoples and cultures of South Asia. We will begin with an overview of pre-modern India, and quickly move on to the end of Mughal rule and beginning of British colonialism. Here we will investigate the working of the colonial state and the transformations affected in administrative, political, economic, and cultural spheres. We will then investigate the anti-colonial struggles leading to the creation of India and Pakistan. Thereupon, we will explore the breakdown of Pakistan in 1971, and the emergence of Bangladesh. Finally, we will focus on the challenges that these postcolonial nations face today. Even after fifty years of independence these countries continue to be very poor; adult illiteracy is astounding; social problems are many; while political corruption is rising; religious politics is creating hatred between the Hindus and the Muslims; gender violence and environmental degradation are destroying the fabric of community and culture. Is there a way out of the postcolonial mess?...
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course HIST 136 taught by Professor Saiki during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Syllabus - History 136: South Asian History since 1750...

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