Spring 2022

South Asia in the World until 1800 CE

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-173  |  History, as HIST-173

Moodle site: Course


Mekhola S. Gomes (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 173 [AS/TC/TE/TR/TS/P/C] and ASLC 173 [SA])

This course introduces students to the histories and cultures of South Asia until 1800 CE as part of critical world history. There is increasing awareness amongst scholars that in order to understand the languages, histories, religions, and cultures of one of the most diverse regions of the world comprising the modern nation-states of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, we need to understand South Asia in the world. This course challenges the notion of a static and singular South Asia to explore how understandings of this region are transformed when studied as part of the world connected through travel, exchange, trade, and movement. We will study the history of South Asia from the earliest times until the arrival of Portuguese traders and travellers to the region and analyze a range of sources including documentaries, paintings, seals, inscriptions, sculptural reliefs, and travelogues. We will place these sources alongside the writings of scholars who have used different approaches to understand the history of South Asia. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to the specific history of South Asia understood through the movement of pilgrims, traders, rulers, and scholars that bound diverse worlds together. Ultimately, we will see how placing the history of South Asia in conversation with histories of different places in the world deepens and widens our understanding of the world at large until 1800 CE.

Two meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Gomes.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022