Not available in 2020/21
HY329GC      Half Unit
Independent India: Myths of Freedom and Development (Spring Semester)

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Taylor C. Sherman, SAR M.10


This course is available to General Course ‘Spring Semester’ students.

Course content

Focusing on the early decades after India gained independence in 1947, students begin the lent term by interrogating India's economic development in this period, studying the strengths and weaknesses of international aid supplied to the country, as well as India’s own development programmes. Students will then explore how Indians expressed their visions of modernity in the realms of science, art & architecture and the emancipation of women. Finally, the course scrutinises the Constitution and the conduct of India’s first democratic elections. Using a variety of primary source materials, with a strong element of film and visual arts, this course asks students to see India and Indians in new ways.


Learning engagement includes seminars, recorded content, small group meetings and asynchronous Moodle posts. There will be a reading week in the Lent term.

Formative coursework

Optional 2000-word essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

  • Guha, R. (2007). India after Gandhi: the History of the World's Largest Democracy. London, Macmillan.
  • Khilnani, S. (1997). The Idea of India. London, Penguin.
  • Chatterji, J. (2007). The Spoils of Partition: Bengal and India, 1947-1967. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press).
  • Zamindar, V. F.-Y. (2007). The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories. New York, Columbia UP.
  • Gopal, J. N. (2013). Citizenship and its Discontents: An Indian History. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.
  • Sherman, T.C. (2015) Muslim Belonging in Secular India: Negotiating Citizenship in Postcolonial Hyderabad. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Kavuri-Bauer, S. (2011) Monumental Matters: The Power, Subjectivity and Space of India’s Mughal Architecture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Granville, Austin (1999) Working a Democratic Constitution. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Chatterjee, P. (1993). The Nation and its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • Chatterjee, P. (ed). (1998). Wages of Freedom: Fifty Years of the Indian Nation-State. Delhi, OUP.
  • Gould, W. (2011). Bureaucracy, Community and Influence in India: Society and the State, 1930s - 1960s Abingdon, Routledge.
  • Abraham, I. (2014). How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Geopolitics. Palo Alto, Stanford UP.
  • Bhagavan, M. (2012). The Peacemakers: India and the Quest for One World. New Delhi, Harper Collins Publishers India.
  • McGarr, P. (2013). The Cold War in South Asia: Britain, the United States and the Indian Subcontinent 1945-65. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Phalkey, J (2013). Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India. Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan.
  • Tyabji, N. (2015). Forging Capitalism in Nehru's India: Neocolonialism and the State, c.1940-1970. New Delhi, OUP.
  • Chibber, V. (2003) Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Kale, S. S. (2014). Electrifying India: Regional Political Economies of Development. Palo Alto, Stanford UP.


Essay (55%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Document analysis (35%) and class participation (10%) in the LT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills