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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Purnima Dhavan
HSTAS 290
Seattle Campus

Topics in Asian History

Examines special topics in Asian history.

Class description

Please note the title of this class will change to HSTAS 202:Introduction to South Asian History soon. This class will trace the history of South Asia from the late Mughal period to the current time. We will begin by examining how ideas of political power, social networks, and cultural identity changed as indigenous states were replaced by colonial rule, study the effects of colonial rule in the nineteenth century on South Asian communities, and then focus on the major social, economic, and cultural developments in the period after India and Pakistan became independent. Throughout the quarter we will focus on how changes in economic and political policies impacted the lives of every-day people in South Asia during this period. We will also explore the ways in which concepts of religion, gender, nationhood, and identity evolved and changed.

Student learning goals

grasp the basic political and social changes in the early modern and modern period in South Asia

understand the historical context of these changes

differentiate between popular and academic concepts of history

differentiate between primary and secondary sources and understand how they are used in historical arguments

General method of instruction

two weekly lectures and weekly class discussion

Recommended preparation

No prior knowledge of South Asian history required

Class assignments and grading

2 short analytical papers (40%), Midterm, (25%), Final Exam (25%), Discussion (10%)

For Papers: Clarity of thesis, ability to sustain argument through good use of evidence, clear writing reasonably free of errors, use of correct citation methods

Exams: Mixture of paragraph IDS and one analytical essay question. Graded on the basis of the ability to present a clear argument that reflects skillful use of evidence discussed in class.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Purnima Dhavan
Date: 02/06/2007