[skip to content]

South Asia Department

Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya

Course Code:
15PSAC291
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

This course will provide students with insights that will enable them to consider more generally issues such as the relationship between ethnic, linguistic and national identities; processes of nation building; the relationship between dominant elites and marginalised minorities; the tension between tradition and modernity; the underlying causes of social and political conflict in a resource-poor environment; the factors that can lead to refugee flight; and the difference between assumed and ascribed identities.

Workload

Total of 22 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

This course is intended to provide Masters students with an opportunity (which is unique in UK Higher Education) to consider and understand current socio-cultural and political issues in the Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. It provides a basic framework for the cultural and political history of the Himalayan states, discussing specific questions of national and cultural identity, and takes the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, the flight of ethnic Nepali refugees from Bhutan, and the status of members of the Nepali diaspora in India as important case studies.

Method of assessment

Ten fortnightly reaction papers of 800-1000 words each (the five best reaction papers will account for 40% of the overall mark). Two 3500-4000 word essays to be submitted on the first day on which the course is taught in the second and third terms (30% each).  

Suggested reading

A comprehensive reading list will be made available to students at the beginning of the course.