You are on page 1of 3

Advanced Studies in South Asian History, Culture and Society Anthropology G 8014 History G 9800 Autumn Semester, 2006.

Monday 2-4, 1124 International Affairs Building, Institute for Southern Asian Studies Seminar Room. Sudipta Kaviraj E-mail sk2828@columbia.edu 610 Kent Hall Office Hours Tuesdays 2.00 4.00 PM This graduate seminar has been designed for offer on a yearly basis as a continuing resource for graduate students interested in pursuing research concerning some aspect of early modern and modern South Asian history, culture, and society. The course is designed to introduce students to major debates, beginning with the question of the eighteenth century and pre colonial India. The course will use some standard works as well as a variety of recently published works of scholarship designed to introduce students to new as well as continuing questions in the historiographical and anthropological literature. For the most part, the course will not repeat materials used for previous seminars, at least over a continuous period of three years. The course assumes prior reading and coursework on modern South Asia; it also assumes a serious interest in conducting graduate level research. Students with insufficient background will be encouraged to take other courses first. Students will be asked to lead weekly discussions and to prepare a short paper based on the classroom presentation. Students will also be asked to prepare either a research paper or a literature review related to research questions. The final paper will be due on the last day of class; and it must be based on a three to five page prcis to be prepared no later than November . Each week we shall take up one or two related texts to understand their argument, subject them to close critical reading and examination, and go on to broader examination of the relevant theoretical questions. For each text, I would like to emphasise that we try to examine 1. their structure of arguments, 2. their methods, 3. their theoretical premises and choices, 4. their structure of justifications, 5. consider counter-arguments, 6. consider alternative theories and methods, 7. evaluate their distinctive contribution to the literature, 8. examine further questions that arise for these works.

18 September Week 1 Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (Eds.) The Mughal State Muzaffar Alam, Languages of Political Islam
What were the principles of political rule under the Mughals? How can the reemergence of high Sanskrit culture be explained?

25 September Week 2 Sheldon Pollock, Ends of Man and the End of Pre-modernity Sheldon Pollock, The Language of Gods in the World of Men
Was there an indigenous modernity before the arrival of colonialism? How should we apply a concept like modernity to Indian history? Is the modern always similar to the European-modern?

2 October Week 3

C.A. Bayly, Empire and Information


What was the nature of the structure of knowledge system built up by British colonialism in India? What was the nature of the collaboration between the British and the Indians? Was Saids account of colonial knowledge false?

9 October Week 4

Ranajit Guha, Domination Without Hegemony and Its Historiography


Can the concept of hegemony be applied to a colonial context? How should Indian collaboration with colonial rule be characterised? What was the relation between liberalism and imperialism?

16 October Week 6

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe


What is meant by provincialzing Europe, or less rhetorically, getting out the hegemony of Western theory? How can the problem of Eurocentrism in social science be tackled? Can historians report that God started the Santhal rebellion?

23 October Week 7

Francesca Orsini, The Hindi Public Sphere


What is the public sphere in the Indian context? Is it different from the Habermasian conception?

30 October Week 8

Chitralekha Zutshi, Languages of Belonging: Islam, regional identity and the making of Kashmir
What is identity? How does identity get transformed through history? What is the relation between identities based on religion and region?

6 November Week 9

Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Monuments, Objects, Histories: institutions of art in colonial and post-colonial India
What is the relation between history and memory? Do different cultures arrange this relation in divergent ways? How does modern historical consciousness affect traditional conceptions of the past?

13 November Week 10 Christopher Pinney, Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India
What are the methods of understanding the visual field of politics? How do we understand the workings of visual representations?

20 November Week 11 Partha Chatterjee, Politics of the Governed


What are our conceptual resources for understanding the politics of subaltern groups?

27 November Week 12 Nivedita Menon, Recovering Subversion: feminist politics beyond the law
Are feminist concerns and arguments in India different from Western feminism?

4 December Week 13

Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian/Identity and Violence


What is identity? Does modernity alter identities of individuals? Is adoption of an exclusivist identity a cognitive or a moral error? How can the arguments about clash of civilisation be opposed?

11 December Week 14 Gyanendra Pandey, Remembering Partition


Should events like the Partition of India be remembered? What are the issues in the ethics of memory? How many partitions are there in historiography? What should be done about historical suffering and historical wrongs?

Week 15

Stephen P Cohen, Idea of Pakistan What was the idea of Pakistan? What has happened to that idea historically and why?