Global South Asia ESH4087

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines global and local entanglements- economic, social, and political- in the subcontinent of South Asia since the 19th century to the present. Its analytical approach is historical, and it is methodologically qualitative. How did colonialism and decolonization influence South Asia, and how did colonial and decolonized South Asia influence the world? How can we develop conceptual architectures to understand postcolonial societies such as those in South Asia? How can we better understand contemporary categories like statelessness, separatism, communal violence, and riots from studying the recent past of South Asia? These are some of the questions that this course will examine. No prior background in South Asia is required for taking this course.


Lecture: one hour per week for ten weeks

Seminar: one hour per week for ten weeks

Requirements of Entry

Enrolment in an MA (SocSci) or MA (Arts) Honours Programme


75% - Historiographical Essay divided into two parts (20% + 55%) as explained below:

■ 20% - Annotated Bibliography for Historiographical Essay, 1,000 words +/- 10%

■ 55% - Historiographical Essay, 2,800 words +/- 10%

25% - Historical Op-Ed, 1,200 words +/- 10%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

■ To foster greater familiarity with the history of South Asia, especially the fraught geographies that emerged through colonialism and persisted despite formal decolonization.

■ To encourage critical analysis of topics relating to citizenship, belonging, territoriality,

and partitions, among others, by analysing primary sources and writing historiographical essays.

■ To develop skills of written communication and making evidence-driven arguments in a lucid manner through writing historical op-eds.

■ To apply the concepts and ideas from the course in wider academic, intellectual, and social realms. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Demonstrate detailed knowledge of economic, social, and political lives in 19th, 20th and 21st century South Asia, and the region's connections and entanglements with the wider world.

■ Critically analyse historical texts.

■ Produce critically' aware written work such as historiographical analysis and historical op-eds.*

■ Critically assess local and global forces of economic and social change in a large part of the Global South.

* An "op-ed" literally means material published "opposite to the editorial" page in a newspaper or magazine. It is an opinion piece published on an issue of contemporary relevance for an informed but non-expert audience.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.