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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Fall 2007

ANS 384 • Communalism in Colonial India

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31710 W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
UTC 4.120

Course Description

The partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 along religious lines has resulted in a reading back into history of this politicaldivision. Hindsight, however, is not an accurate guide to historical uderstanding, for it distorts our view of the past by emphasizing seemingly inevitable outcomes and obscuring other forces that may have been equally salient in historical context. To understand the emergence of communalism, or religious nationalism, in 19th and early 20th century India, it is necessary to examine the mentalities of the time, the competing forces and identities of which religion was only one of the many forms of self-definition.

The readings for this course will emphasize indigenous formulations of identity, as well as the categories and constructions placed upon them by the colonial power. They will take into consideration movements for religious and social reform, literary expressions of identity, and popular mobilization. While not denying that the colonial encounter was crucial to the emergence of communalism, we will seek to understand the complex interaction Indian and western mentalities in that context.


G. Pandy, The Construction on Communalism in Colonial North India K. Jones, ed., Religious Controversy in British India Sudhir Chandra, The Oppresive Present S. Freitag, Collective Action and Community P. Van der Veer, Religious Nationalism P. Robb, ed., Society and Ideology D. Levyveld, Aligarh's First Generation Mushirul Hansan, ed., Indias Partition: Process, Strategy, and Mobilization


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