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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Purnima Dhavan
HSTAS 502
Seattle Campus

Seminar: History of India

Seminar on selected topics and problems in the history of medieval and modern India. Prerequisite: HSTAS 501 and permission of instructor.

Class description

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

Recommended preparation

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%


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: 04/14/2008