Seminar on selected topics and problems in the history of medieval and modern India. Prerequisite: HSTAS 501 and permission of instructor.
SISSA 510/HIST 502 is organized around key themes and debates about the development of pre-modern South Asian cultural and political formations. In attempting to understand the pre-modern period through an inter-disciplinary lens, we also take note of the ways in which the power relationships of the modern era shaped perceptions of the past. Our class will scrutinize how different scholarly disciplines, particularly those in the humanities, have approached and analyzed the past in South Asia. The purpose of this class is to familiarize the student with the availability and limitations of different types of sources, as well as the range of disciplinary approaches such as literary studies, religious studies, and history through which the past is and has been examined.
Student learning goals
have a solid grasp on the basic cultural and political transitions in South Asian history
• be aware of availability and limitations of sources (archeology, epigraphy, religious texts, literary texts, chronicles, administrative documents, (auto)biographies, travel reports
• distinguish between different disciplinary approaches to understanding South Asian history and culture, and be aware of their interdependence
know how to analyze and produce scholarly arguments in student papers by using skills honed in class discussions
General method of instruction
brief lectures followed by longer class discussion of readings
Engaged reading of texts, preperation of questions for readings
Class assignments and grading
2 short analytical paper on readings, 1 larger research paper
written assignment 70% student-led discussion 10% participation 20%