Course Details

HIST 270: Nuclear Nations: India and Pakistan as Rival Siblings

At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947 India and Pakistan, two new nation states emerged from the shadow of British colonialism. This course focuses on the political trajectories of these two rival siblings and looks at the ways in which both states use the other to forge antagonistic and belligerent nations. While this is a survey course it is not a comprehensive overview of the history of the two countries. Instead it covers some of the more significant moments of rupture and violence in the political history of the two states. The first two-thirds of the course offers a top-down, macro overview of these events and processes whereas the last third examines the ways in which people experienced these developments. We use the lens of gender to see how the physical body, especially the body of the woman, is central to the process of nation building. We will consider how women’s bodies become sites of contestation and how they are disciplined and policed by the postcolonial state(s).
6 credits; HI, IS, WR2; Offered Winter 2020; A. Khalid