A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance... At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her successes and failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself once again.
óJawaharlal Nehru (1947)

THIS COURSE surveys the fascinating history of the Indian subcontinent from the end of the eighteenth century to the present day. We will begin by briefly examining Indian society in the twilight of the Mughal Empire and the early years of European colonial expansion. Our study will then span the social, cultural, political, economic, military, and technological development of India during the heyday of the East India Company and, later, the British Raj. We will next trace the rise of competing visions of Indian nationalism and the struggle for independence. Lastly we will look at the political, social, and economic developments in the nations of present-day South Asia and their impact on the world.

The study of the modern South Asia is an ambitious undertaking. It is a vast and complex subject and requires from the student of history a good measure of intellectual curiosity, open-mindedness, and willingness to venture into unfamiliar territory and encounter new historical narratives and controversies. It is not the goal of this course to offer a comprehensive treatment of all aspects of modern South Asia's rich and complex history. We will, however, be introduced to the most important themes and debates in South Asian historical scholarship from a wide range of perspectives.

Readings for this course will combine historical scholarship with literature and primary source documents from different periods. Students are encouraged to view all of these sources as historical texts and to consider broader questions about the nature of South Asian and non-South Asian societies and their interaction with each other. In doing so we are forced to reconsider the significance of terms such as tradition, modernity, imperialism, religion, migration, culture, gender, "East" and "West." Through the critical study of history, we encounter ourselves, and the world in which we live, in new and interesting ways.

This is an introductory course for which there are no prerequisites; students from other disciplines are welcome. This course counts as an elective in the international affairs major.

David Campion
Pamplin Associate Professor of History
Miller 409 | MSC 41

Lewis & Clark College
0615 SW Palatine Hill Road
Portland, Oregon 97219 USA

Tel: 503.768.7435
Fax: 503.768.7418
Email: campion@lclark.edu

Class Hours:
MWF 9:10-10:10
Miller 104

Office Hours:
W 11:00-1:00
Th 3:00-5:00
(or by appointment)
Miller 409

Course Requirements

Schedule of Classes

Assignment Guidelines

Map Exercise

South Asia in Film

South Asia Online

Prof. Campion's Other Courses

Top (left to right):
Rickshaw driver on Sun Yat Sen Street, Calcutta © Ruth Fremson, New York Times
Mohandas Gandhi, 1946 © Margaret Bourke-White, Time-Life
Wedding henna © asiaworksphotos.com
Jawaharlal Nehru, 1947 © Margaret Bourke-White
Cavalry of the Indian Army at Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly the Viceroy's House)

Bottom (left to right):
Indira Gandhi addresses a crowd in Delhi, 1971 © Bettmann/Corbis
Robert Home, Lord Cornwallis receives sons of Tipu Sultan as hostages, c.1793 © National Army Museum, London
First postage stamp for international letter mail, Dominion of India, issued 15 December 1947
Daily commuters in Mumbai

Created by campion@lclark.edu | Updated January 2018