India before the British - The Mughal Empire and its Rivals, 1526-1857 (HIH1407)
|Staff||Dr Nandini Chatterjee - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
Various types of textual and visual evidence, in several languages (translated to English as required) will be used in order to evaluate the nature of the Mughal state and polity, early modern South Asian economy and society, and the reasons for transition to British rule in the 18th century.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Assess the nature of the Mughal state and Indian society under Mughal rule.
- 2. Explain to the waxing and waning of Mughal imperial power and its eventual substitution by British rule.
- 3. Appreciate and engage with relevant historiographical debates based on the analysis of sources from Mughal India.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Critically assess, evaluate and utilise a range of documentary and visual sources produced in a pre-modern non-European context and from a variety of standpoints.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely, making appropriate use of historical evidence.
- 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Form informed, critical and balanced opinions about culturally unfamiliar contexts.
- 8. Undertake self-directed investigative learning.
- 9. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 10. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
This module will examine a variety of textual and visual sources in order to assess their validity and varying uses for the study state-formation and decline, politics, social structures, and cultural patterns in early modern South Asia under Mughal rule. The following is a tentative list of themes to be discussed within the module:
1. Gunpowder empires of Central Asia
2. Political alliances and the shaping of a multi-ethnic aristocracy
3. The structure of the Mughal state
4. Trade and fiscal policy
5. Indian religions, religious specialists and Mughal religious policies
6. Music, literature, art, and royal patronage
7. Households, gender and sexuality
8. Europeans in Mughal India
9. The rebel states – case-study: Marathas
10. The breakaway provinces – case-study: Bengal
11. 1857: The last gasp
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 Seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.|
|Guided independent study||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Marks and written comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary) (15% per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
|1500 word essay||1500 word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Afzar Moin, A. The millennial sovereign: sacred kingship and sainthood in Islam (New York, 2012).
Alam, M. and S. Subrahmanyam, The Mughal state: 1526-1750 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996).
Alam, M. The crisis of empire in Mughal north India: Awadh and Punjab, 1707-48 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997).
Bayly, C. A. Rulers, townsmen and bazaars: north Indian society in the age of British expansion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).
Dalrymple, William. The last Mughal: the fall of a dynasty, Delhi, 1857 (London: Bloomsbury, 2006).
Faruqui, Munis D. The princes of the Mughal empire, 1504-1719 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Gordon, Stewart. Marathas, marauders and state-formation in eighteenth-century India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Habib, Irfan. The agrarian system of the Mughal empire, 1556-1707 (London: Asia Publishing House, 1963).
Lal, Ruby. Domesticity and power in the early Mughal world (Cambridge, 2005).
Marshall, Peter. Bengal: the British bridgehead (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
Moura Carvalho, Pedro. Mirat al-quds: a life of Christ for emperor Akbar (Leiden: Brill, 2012).
Richards, J. F., ed. The imperial monetary system of Mughal India (Delhi, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
Richards, J. F. The Mughal empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
Schimmel, Annemarie. The empire of the Great Mughals: history, art and culture (London, 2006).
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Babur nama (Memoirs of Babar) translated A. S. Beveridge
Gulbadan Banu Begam, Humayun nama, translated A. S. Beveridge (1909)
Abul Fazl Allami, Ain-i Akbari translated Henry Blochmann and H.S. Jarrett (1873)
The history of India as told by its own historians translated and ed. H. M. Elliot and John Dawson (8 vols, 1867-77)
Fracois Bernier, Travels in the Mughal empire, 1656-1668 (English translation, 1916)
Ghulam Hussain Tabatabai, Seir Mutaqherin, or, review of modern times translated Nota Manus (3 vols., Calcutta, 1902)
Indicative learning resources - Other resources
The Baburnama: memoirs of Babur, prince and emperor, translated and ed. W.M. Thackston(New York, 2002)
Michael Fischer, Visions of Mughal India: an anthology of European travel writing (London, 2007)
Saqi Mustad Khan, Maasir-i Alamgiri (translated and ed.) Jadunath Sarkar (Calcutta: Asiatic Society, 1947)
Khvand Mir, Qanun-i Humayuni (translated and ed.) M. Hidayat Hosain (Calcutta: Asiatic Society, 1940)
Online visual sources:
Illustrations from the Padshahnama (The Royal Collection, for images) http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/eGallery/object.asp?object=1005025&row=0&detail=scrapbook
Leaf from the Razmnama in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
‘Worlds within worlds’ at the Freer/Sackler Gallery http://asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/worlds-within-worlds.asp
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
India, Mughal Empire, British Empire, Islam, Early Modern