Course Details (Minor in History)

Core Courses (which can also be offered to students as elective courses throughout the university)

HUM 101: World Civilisation and Culture (already existing)
This course will study the basic features of major civilizations and their achievements, including that of the Graeco-Roman, Indian, Chinese and Islamic. It will seek to understand why and how a particular civilization emerges, develops and declines. A broader objective of the course would be to understand the trans-civilizational forces and traits that shaped the pre-modern world.

HST 102: The Modern World
This course will focus on modern political and social forces that have shaped the world we live in today. It will attempt to understand the rise of the modern world through industrial development, imperial and colonial expansion and postcolonial global influences. A sequel to this would be a focus on anti-colonial resistance, decolonization, dependency and contemporary revival of erstwhile colonized countries.

HST 103: History of Bangladesh
This course will study major political events, organizations and issues that contributed to the birth of Bangladesh and post-independence developments till recent times. It will focus on how secular and religious ideals, language and culture as well as questions of territorialities were negotiated along with those of nationalism, decolonization and nation-formation.  Themes will include the first partition of Bengal in 1905 and its multiple nationalist implications; Hindu-Muslim unity and disunity; partition of India and Bengal in 1947; the 1952 Language Movement, Pakistan experiences,  as a background to  the war of 1971; War-time atrocities and independence; democracy, authoritarianism and militarism in post-independent Bangladesh.

Students in the history minor have to take at least 4 of the following courses as part of a minor in history

HST 201: Modern South Asia  
The course will combine mainstream political history with newer perspectives, including subaltern, feminist and ecological, to offer a comprehensive understanding of historical changes in South Asia in modern times. Topics include: Politics of representation and colonial response to demands for local representation (Congress, Muslim League, Awami League); Economy and wellbeing; Indian Society between modernity and tradition; Legacy of Partition; comparative post-colonial historical developments in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, the status of Nepal; people’s movements in these countries.

HST 202: Comparative Revolutions
The course will study the major revolutions in modern times, including English, American, French, Bolshevik and Chinese revolutions.  It will seek to analyze the context, causes, courses and immediate and long term implications and contemporary relevance of these revolutions from a comparative perspective.

HST 301: Studying History: Methodology, Scope and Relevance
This course introduces students to the theories, scope and methodologies of historical studies. Themes will include questions of subjectivity and objectivity; ideologies and materialism and so on. The course will entail training in identifying and using archival and audio-visual sources in reconstructing history.  The coursework will combine visits and works at the National Archives of Bangladesh and other archives and libraries across the country. Field work will also be part of the course.

One of the following courses to be taken as theory and methodology for completing a Minor in History.

HST 302: Introduction to Women’s History
The course will examine the place and participation of women in modern history, with particular focus on Bangladesh. In doing so, the course will study key ‘feminist’ texts and their contemporary and evolving social and political contexts. Through the examples of women’s resistance and activism in the colonial times, during Bangladesh War of Liberation and in post-colonial times, the course will aim to understand if women’s history is the unwritten history of women or the reinscription of women into history.

HST 303: Introduction to South Asian Subaltern History  
Based on the rich and innovative Subaltern Studies, this course will examine the dynamics of history of the powerless and the poor. It will look at how non-elites work as interesting agents of historical change as it engages the elite and fellow subalterns in their everyday struggle and their consciousness, thus creating history from below. The emphasis will be on peasant resistance, marginalized peoples, ethnic and caste issues, women and culture. Iconic historic moments, such as the 1857 movement or the partition can also be looked at in this course.

HST 304: Evolution of Global Environmental Governance
This course traces the evolution of global environmental governance since late nineteenth century. The following aspects of global institutional response to environmental challenges will be particularly focused: emergence and development of international environmental legal frameworks; causes and patterns  of differential response from national governments to international legal regime; inter-governmental organizations; international trade regime and environment; ‘sustainable development’ and ‘human wellbeing approach’; from ‘natural resources’ approach to ‘eco-system services’ approach; evolution of global civil society and environment.

HST 305: Environmental History of Bangladesh
The course examines the environmental dynamics, changes and challenges facing Bangladesh since the early colonial period. In particular, it will deal with three broad issues: the process of change in the region’s ecological regime itself; the ways in which changes affected rural economy and society; and the pattern and impact of the ways in which environmental resources were appropriated by different social forces.

HST 403: Intellectual Movements in Bengal/Bangladesh
This course will look at different phases of the intellectual history of the region, beginning with the nineteenth-century Bengal Renaissance, Faraizi Movement, Swadeshi and Khilafat ideas, Buddhir Mukti Andolon, Women’s movements, Tamaddun Majlis, Language Movement and  the emergence of civil society movements.

HST 404: Comparative Globalization:
This course will look at the ways in which issues such as travel, tourism and adventure, colonization, conquest and war, religious missionary activities and the spread of technology has impacted the world through the ages. Emphasis will be on ancient trade routes, colonial encounters, modern technology and ideas and forces that became globally dominant in different phases of world history .

HST 405: Islam in the World: State, Society and Politics   
This course will take students through the rise and spread of Islam as a global force, evaluate its contributions to new art forms, cultural synthesis, and the evolution of political and legal ideas. It will examine among others the achievements of the Mughal and Ottoman empires as well as the causes and consequences of their decline. The nature of conflict and collaboration resulting from encounters with non-Islamic cultures will be assessed in this context. In addition, the course will explore the rise of political Islam in post-colonial nation states and its implications for contemporary society.

HST 406: Modern Britain
This course will introduce students to the events and institutions that marked Britain as a socially and culturally vibrant nation-state and a powerful imperial metropolis, keeping in mind that many of the features that constitute our public sphere emerged and shaped in modern Britain. Themes will include the English revolution and enlightenment, commercial and industrial revolution, emergence of political parties, cabinet system, women’s movement, shaping of national education system, working class movement, social contexts of modern English literature and intellectual movement such as Fabian Society.

HST 407: History of Science (cross listed with HUM 111)
This course will present a general overview of the development of scientific knowledge from ancient to modern times. It will examine how our modern scientific worldview has developed over the ages in the fields of astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, geology and other sciences. Focus will be on significant discoveries, the major scientists responsible for those revolutions, and the interrelation between science and society over the centuries. The course will contain the following:

Science and philosophy, development of science in ancient times, Greek and Egyptian science, science in the Orient, medieval science, science in the Islamic world, Western renaissance and industrialization, evolutionary theory, science in the modern ages, science and religion, nature of scientific truth, validation of scientific theories.

HST 410: Special study course
This will be a special course and will involve writing an an extended essay. This will require in-depth research, and will be supervised by a senior faculty member. The examination will include an external examiner, and a presentation of the work to a panel of examiners.