HIS-30130 - Sites of Sexual Conflict in South Asia I
Coordinator: Shalini Sharma Room: CBB1.060 Tel: +44 1782 7 33206
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
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

Most commonly South Asian women are seen as victims: of rape, honour killings and forced marriages. However India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have all been led, at some time in recent history, by women. Both readings are accurate to a degree and have deep roots in the colonial past before 1947 and in the recent history of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This module will study a series of sites where sexuality has been constructed, defined, changed and debated in the Indian sub-continent before independence. Examples of such sites include the court room, the corridors of power, the factory, the harem and the cantonment. This module will help us to understand better the ways in which female identity has been constructed and challenged since the 18th century.

- To introduce students to key themes relating to the changing position of women in South Asian society, and the different impacts of colonialism, nationalism and post-colonial developments on their status and lived experience;
- To introduce students to transgender and queer histories of South Asia;
- To develop students' analysis of the intellectual influences of postcolonial, subaltern and feminist theory on the history of sexual conflict in South Asia;
- To develop an understanding of the relationship between race, class, caste, religion and gender;
- To develop an understanding of the wider significance of gender and sexuality in South Asian history.

Intended Learning Outcomes

recognise and explain changes in sexual and gender identity in colonial India: 1,2
evaluate the relationship between race, class, caste, religion and gender: 1,2
appreciate the insights that non-Western histories offer to challenge conventional approaches to the history of sexuality and gender
: 1,2
relate case studies and examples of historical change to each other and to broader thematic issues of colonial and postcolonial South Asian society: 1,2
distinguish between and critically evaluate different academic interpretations and explanations for the events being studied, including from other disciplines other than history: 1,2
develop the capacity for independent thought and communicate such thoughts clearly and effectively through written assessment: 2
engage critically with postcolonial, subaltern and feminist histories of sexual conflict in South Asia: 1,2

Study hours

12 x 2-hour seminars = 24
12 x 1-hour writing and co-creating workshops = 12
50 hours seminar preparation
64 hours research and writing and/or creating assessment submission

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Commentary weighted 50%
Choice of 10 minute lecture/ academic poster /commentary
Students will be required to analyse a primary source or film or novel and present their findings either in a 10 minute recorded lecture or an academic poster or a 1500 word commentary.

2: Essay weighted 50%
1500 word essay
Students will be working on writing in workshops throughout the module. One of these exercises will be developed into a 1500 word essay.