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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Purnima Dhavan
HSTAS 402
Seattle Campus

History of Medieval and Mughal India

Medieval India; emphasis on forms of political organizations and economic life, social organizations, and cultural developments.

Class description

The period between 1200-1750 CE in South Asia was dominated by the creation and unraveling of two major political formations: the early Sultanates and the Mughal Empire. This class will explore how the political and cultural foundations of these systems were established, the collaboration and resistance with which they were met by their subjects, and their eventual demise. In doing so we will explore not only the elite realm of Imperial politics and Hindu and Muslim religious scholars, but also the daily life of peasants, soldiers, women, ascetics, poets, and wanderers in Early Modern South Asia. We will probe how these intersecting lives and communities created the vibrant trading networks, religious communities, rebellions, and vernacular cultures of the early modern period.

Student learning goals

become familiar with major debates about south asian history

practice close reading of texts--primary and secondary

sharpen ability to create historical arguments and weigh historical evidence

General method of instruction

A mixture of lecture and discussion. Student participation in discusssion is emphasized.

Recommended preparation

No prior knowledge of South Asian history is required, though it is helpful. Enthusiasm for learning a must.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments are designed to help the students process and analyze historical arguments. Students seeking a "w" will chose the research paper option and are encouraged to prepare at least one rough draft in consultation with the prof.

2 short analytical papers (20% each) midterm 25%, final 25%, Class participation 10%; research paper option available in place of two shorter papers for those interested in "w" credit. Graduate Students may only select the research paper option.


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: 10/25/2010