• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest History, Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Meera Ashar
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course surveys the history of South Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, from the earliest periods of Indian history to 1857. The purpose of this course is three-fold:

– to provide the necessary background knowledge to understand the later processes of colonisation and state formation in South Asia;

– to survey the historical foundations and development of religious traditions of South Asia in order to appreciate the place of those religions in South Asia today;

– to introduce changing conceptions of the past of South Asia and the major scholarly debates on issues in pre-colonial South Asian history today.

The course begins with the physical environment of South Asia, then goes on to examine Indus culture and developments associated with the Hindu tradition, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, the arrival of Islam, the establishment of the Mughal empire, the arrival of the European powers (Portuguese, Dutch and English) and how a trading company took control of large parts of the subcontinent. As well as tracing the major historical and political events, the course will also explore the social and cultural developments that accompanied and contributed to the development of South Asia.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course students should have the skills and knowledge to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of key actors, events and locations in South Asian history up until 1757
2. Discriminate between early and later manifestations of the religious traditions of India
3. Explain developments in South Asian society and culture up to 1757
4. Differentiate between interpretations of South Asian historical evidence
5. Select appropriate sources to address a research problem
6. Communicate research results in an essay with accepted scholarly apparatus

Indicative Assessment

Item A Weekly tutorial reading notes 10%

Item B Participate in tutorial discussion 10%

Item C Essay plan with annotated bibliography (1200 words) 15%

Item D Essay (3000 words) 35%

Item E End of semester exam 30%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The workload (per week) will be:

2 X 1 hour lectures

1 X 1 hour tutorial (except for weeks 1 and 13)

7 hours independent study

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of any courses.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2190
2005 $2190
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3240
2006 $3240
2005 $3234
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2041 24 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 06 Jun 2014 In Person N/A

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