HY4A7      Half Unit
Islam, Power and Culture in Mughal India

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Zahra Shah


This course is available on the MA in Asian and International History (LSE and NUS), MA in Modern History, MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International and Asian History, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

From 1526 to 1857, the Mughal empire was a powerful political and cultural presence in India, whose image has been shaped and deployed in diverse ways by colonial and nationalist projects in modern times. Through a focus on themes of sovereignty and space, and the cultural and political brokerage of power, this course situates understandings of Islam in South Asia in historical context. Each week, students will choose a primary source to interpret alongside secondary literature, in order to better understand the complexity of the South Asian experience of Mughal rule.


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the Michaelmas Term.

The School aims to run in-person seminars, subject to circumstances, with some online provision as and where necessary.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

  1. Kumar, Sunil. 2007. The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate, 1192 - 1286. Ranikhet: Permanent Black.
  2. Orsini, Francesca, and Samira Sheikh, eds. 2014. After Timur Left: Culture and Circulation in Fifteenth-Century North India. First edition. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press.
  3. Eaton, Richard Maxwell. 2019. India in the Persianate Age, 1000-1765.
  4. Faruqui, Munis D. 2015. The Princes of the Mughal Empire, 1504-1719. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Hasan, Farhat. 2004. State and Locality in Mughal India: Power Relations in Western India, C. 1572-1730. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
  6. Richards, John F. 2007. The Mughal Empire. Cambridge: Univ. Pr.
  7. Green, Nile. 2012. Making Space: Sufis and Settlers in Early Modern India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  8. Ernst, Carl W. 2016. Refractions of Islam in India: Situating Sufism and Yoga. Los Angeles: Sage, YodaPress.
  9. Moin, A. Azfar. 2014. The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam.
  10. Alam, Muzaffar. 2004. The Languages of Political Islam: India, 1200-1800. London.
  11. Busch, Allison. 2011. Poetry of Kings: The Classical Hindi Literature of Mughal India. New York.


Essay (70%, 5000 words) in January.
Presentation (15%) and class participation (15%) in the MT.

The summative essay will be submitted in week 0 of the Lent Term.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: 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