Islam is usually associated with the Middle East, where the religion was born. The world's largest regional concentration of Muslims, however, is in the Indian subcontinent. This Muslim community, today spread across India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, numbers approximately 440 million.
This is an introductory level course on the history of Muslim communities and institutions in South Asia. Its aim is to introduce students to the broad historical currents of the expansion of Islam in the Indian subcontinent, the nature of Muslim political authority, the interaction between religious communities, Islamic aesthetics and contributions to material culture, the varied engagements and reactions of Muslims to colonial rule, the partition of British India and the creation of Pakistan, and the contemporary concerns of South Asia’s Muslims. The course will begin with an introduction to the Islamic religious tradition. The main emphasis of the course will be on the social, political, and cultural history of Islam in South Asia.
Jamal Elias, Islam (Prentice Hall, 1999).
Jamal Elias, Death Before Dying (University of California Press, 1998).
Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2010).
Rokeya Hossain, Sultana’s Dream (Feminist Press, 1989).
Evaluation in this course will be based on participation, three one-page response papers, a 4-5 page essay, and two in-class exams.
This course will be of interest to those interested in the history of India and/or Pakistan and/or Islam.
This course does not assume any prior knowledge of South Asian or Islamic history and has no prerequisites.
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