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Reading: Teaching South Asia beyond Colonial Boundaries


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Teaching Modern Asian History: Themes and Sources

Teaching South Asia beyond Colonial Boundaries


Brian Caton

Luther College, US
About Brian

Dept. of History

Associate Professor

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Because of the methodological innovations of Subaltern Studies in the 1980s and 1990s, most historians’ familiarity with South Asian history is limited to the colonial or modern period. While the subalternist view is undoubtedly useful, it does not provide much help in thinking about what came before or after the colonial period. This limited context may prove to be a problem for a non-specialist constructing a full course in South Asian history or adding South Asia content to a course that seeks to break down area studies or nation-state boundaries. This article provides a starting point for such an enterprise. It reviews the South Asian history textbooks available in the market and identifies some of the scholarship that would suit courses or units organized by theme or by a larger Asian geography. It also reviews some of the collections of primary sources that could be used in such coursework.

How to Cite: Caton, B., 2014. Teaching South Asia beyond Colonial Boundaries. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 21(2), pp.45–53. DOI:
Published on 30 Jun 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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