HIS-20090 - Company and Crown in India 1818-1928: the cultural history of the Raj
Coordinator: Shalini Sharma Room: CBB1.060 Tel: +44 1782 7 33206
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

The history of British India comprised a series of encounters between white Europeans and a diverse range of Indian people. Western ideals -- political, religious, economic and cultural -- were trialled across the Indian subcontinent. For many Britons, the 'east' became a career. Missionaries and medics, soldiers and civil servants, engineers and architects all found opportunities in India denied at home. But cultural contact was not all one-way traffic. Indian ways of life and Indian people shaped British identity and policy in the east in almost every aspect of the encounter. This module focuses on those formative moments that shaped the making and, eventually, the breaking, of the culture of the Raj.

To examine the experience of Indian and British people during the consolidation of British rule; to calibrate the responses of Indian people to British administration, justice, and military action; to characterise the range of British interventions in India, in political, social, economic and cultural terms; to evaluate the scope for meaningful contact between communities of British and Indian people.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

recognise and account for the different levels of relationships between Indians and the British in nineteenth century India
: 1,2
explain the different forms of cultural production at work in the Raj and their varied nature (on a spectrum from collaborative/affectionate to conflicting/violent): 1,2
read critically and identify key issues for seminar discussion and essay writing: 1,2
deploy effective and relevant arguments in written and oral forms: 1,2
analyze different kinds primary evidence that relate to the history of nineteenth century India: 1,2
demonstrate sound knowledge of key concepts and historical debates on colonial India beyond recorded lecture content: 1,2
apply research to write effective argument based responses to timed examination questions that are based on key historical debates of the British Raj: 2

Study hours

12 hours = lectures
24 hours = seminars/workshops
2 hours = timed, unseen exam
54 hours = seminar preparation /reading
28 hours = portfolio commentary research, writing and preparation
30 hours = examination revision

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 50%
Two 500-word commentaries, one on a primary source and one on a colonial biography.
Two 500-word commentaries. The first will be on a reading of a primary source on the imperial encounter and the second a biography of `an imperial subject', Indian or British. These portfolio commentaries, combined with the exam, will give students the opportunity to read and analyse primary, secondary and biographical literature. Students will also be given the choice of whether to submit the encounter or biography first so that they can tackle each item at their own pace.

2: Unseen Exam weighted 50%
28-hour unseen exam
A 28 hour take home examination where students are invited to tackle one essay questions from a list of eight.