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Modern India, 1757-1947: Gender and Women’s History - 20 credits (HST631)

As studied in ‘Modern India, 1757-1947: Political and Social History, Part One’, India experienced major transformations during the period of colonial rule in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Changes in the political, economic, social and cultural life of India were to impact significantly on gender relations and also in transforming the lives of women. Part Two of the course titled ‘Modern India, 1757-1947: Gender and Women’s History’ attends to these topics. Current research into these areas have highlighted the changing positions of men and women through several thematic concerns including: the marginalisation of women in the economy; popular culture; the impact of colonial law and administrative policies on the status of women; the erosion of matriarchal forms of society in southern India; the re-constitution of Indian patriarchies via the recasting of the concept of ‘womanhood’ and more recently the historical visibility of women. This course explores these themes while focusing on the question of women’s agency and women’s divergent and complex interactions with the forces of colonialism and Indian patriarchy.