Professor — Ph.D., History, 1981, University of Cambridge
Professor; Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professorship in History
" Whatsoever thy hand findest to do, do it with all thy might; for there is neither knowledge nor device, nor labour nor reward in the grave whither thou goest. "
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 512-475-7236
- Office: GAR 2.140
- Office Hours: Fall 2013: M 5-6 p.m.; T 10-11 a.m.
- Campus Mail Code: B7000
My education began in Italy but I completed high school in New Delhi, India. I received a BA from St. Stephen's College and an MA in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, both in Delhi. An Inlaks Scholarship enabled me to attend the University of Cambridge and I was awarded a Ph.d. in History in 1981, then returning to teach in St. Stephen's College from 1981 to 1996 (with periods of research leave at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi.)
From 1996 to 1999 I was Professor in the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and moved to the USA in 2000 as S.P. Das Distinguished Professor at Brown University. In 2004 I joined the Department of History in Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and came thence to the University of Texas at Austin in 2013.
I began my research as an economic historian with interests in demography and agriculture. These widened into the study of environmental and ethnic histories. My first book was The Agrarian Economy of the Bombay Deccan 181-1941 (1985) followed by Environment and Ethnicity in India, c. 1200-1991 (1999) and Health and Population in South Asia from earliest times to the present (2001).
My most recent book is Beyond Caste: Identity and Power in South Asia, Past and Present
HIS 364G • Business & Society South Asia
TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 1.126
(also listed as
ANS 361 )
The Indian sub-continent was long viewed as dominated by religious values that bred fatalism and ensured economic stagnation. Yet this is a region with a recorded history of four thousand years of economic and cultural exchange with other parts of the world. This course will introduce you to the long history of commerce and enterprise in the Indian sub-continent up to the present. It will also enhance your understanding of the sociology of economic activity, the role of governance and the changing representation of the entrepreneur in popular culture. The course does not require previous study of South Asia (the Indian subcontinent), though students without such exposure will need to acquire some additional background information.
Most readings will be available on Blackboard or the Library web-site.
Students must purchase Dwijendra Tripathi and Jyoti Jumani Concise Oxford History of Indian Business ISBN 019568429X (Oxford University Press, 2007) and borrow or purchase Mani Ratnam's biopic Guru (2007).
I also recommend purchase of Thomas Trautmann India: Brief History of a Civilization
Oxford University Press 2011 as a ready reference for those without a background in South Asian studies.
Your progress will be tested by mid-term and final examinations, periodic quizzes, and two 3-page review essays. Participation in class discussions is an important part of the course and will count for 20%of the overall grade. Anyone who misses a quiz or mid term for a valid, documented reason may be permitted one opportunity to make-up the work within 7 days.
HIS 382N • South Asia In Global History
M 300pm-600pm GAR 2.124
(also listed as
ANS 391 )
This course (a reading seminar) will introduce you to the long history of South Asia and its peoples’ interaction with the world. We shall look at cultures, perceptions and especially political economy. We will consider the movement of ideas and migration of practices as well as people. We shall especially focus on the political economy of labor migration and long history of a key textile fiber – cotton both as commodity and symbol.
It will require weekly responses in addition to a short intermediate and longer end-semester paper. The latter will use primary and secondary sources on the theme of the political economy of cotton. The topic will be selected in consultation with the instructor and must be decided before the eighth week of the semester. The papers will then be presented in one or two sessions held in conference format at the end of the semester.
The short intermediate paper will be an analysis in 4-5 pages of one or two primary source documents on laboring migrants and their fates.
Responses need to address all the readings assigned but need not be integrated essays. They may (for example) be a set of notes on each individual reading with page numbers for specific citations. I would encourage, but not require a supplemental comment on the readings as a whole.
Texts for acquisition (other readings will be available via Blackboard)
Manfred Steger Globalization: A very short introduction Oxford University Press 2008; ISBN 978-0-19-955226
Richard H. Davis Global India c. 100 CE: South Asia in Early World History Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies 2009
Prakash C. Jain ed. Indian Diaspora in West Asia Delhi: Manohar 2007 [recommended, not required]
Sunil Khilnani Idea of India New York: Farrar Strauss 1999 [any complete edition acceptable]
Emma Tarlo Clothing Matters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1996.
All the books above are available in inexpensive paperback editions; print copies will be held on reserve at the PCL.
Select other readings: grouped by topic will be available via Blackboard.
HIS 307C • Intro To The History Of India
MW 300pm-430pm CLA 0.112
(also listed as
ANS 307C )
This course surveys the long history of the Indian subcontinent. It has two goals. The first is to provide you with an outline of the major phases of South Asian history from the rise of its first civilization five thousand years ago, up to the development of modern self-governing states after the end of the British empire. The second is to enable you to think about how humans organize themselves to live in the mega-societies that occupy the world today. India created one of the earliest such societies on the planet.
Class discussions will especially focus on key institutions, personalities and important texts that have left historic legacies or offer insight into their times. The format will be a mix of lectures with discussion, as well as discussion meetings devoted to specific readings.
Requirements and evaluation
The course is designed to accommodate students with no previous knowledge of Asia. It does require students to attend regularly, contribute to a collective learning process, keep up with weekly readings and participate constructively in discussions. Discussions will usually focus on primary sources. A primary source is something that historians use as a valid record of the past. All good historical narrative is constructed on the basis of evidence from primary sources. Reading and discussing these will enable you reason from evidence, just as historians do.
There will be three in-class examinations through the semester (20%+20%+20%)
One book report on a play or novel (20%)
Books required for purchase:
Thomas Trautmann India: Brief History of a Civilization Oxford University Press, 2011 pback, ISBN 978-0-19-973632-4
All other readings will be available on the course website or via Blackboard.Consult the syllabus for a fuller description. Please email the Professor if you have questions!
HIS 350L • Uprising In India-1857
T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.342
This course aims to introduce students to the problems faced in historical research via the scrutiny of the sources and historical writings on one of the most contentious episodes in the history of the British in India. The year 1857 saw the most violent and widespread attempt ever made to destroy the British empire in South Asia. It was ferociously suppressed after a war of re-conquest lasting over a year. Various episodes in this struggle entered British imperial folklore and legend, while Indian nationalists gave them radically different meanings. Students will be required to critically examine texts and images (including video-film) generated by these controversies and confront them, in turn, with the primary sources. The readings/viewings are designed with this end in view. The crafting of coherent prose narratives from primary sources is a major focus of this course.
Each student will write drafts and final versions of two research papers as well as one analysis of a primary source.
There is no required textbook; all the readings and notes will be available on the course website. A full list will be found in the syllabus.
Primary source analysis: 15%
Two research paper drafts: 10+10%
Two final papers: 20+20%
Please see the syllabus for a more detailed account.