H337 Histories of Partition: India and Pakistan 1947 (I)

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 3
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of History

Module overview

Partition and independence in 1947 are critical events underlying the modern history of India and Pakistan.

This course examines the histories of nationalist and imperial politics that are held to account for the partition of British India. It will examine the ‘experience’ of partition beyond its politics. Through it you will become familiar with the historiography of colonialism, nationalism and gain an understanding of cultural, political issues involved in the politics of governing diverse groups, the politics of identity, its various sources and dimensions the role of literature and culture, questions of memory and pain, as well as international geopolitics.

The course assumes a basic familiarity with the history of the subcontinent. It is based on primary texts of colonial reports, political party documents and declarations about partition as well as personal accounts, memories and fiction on partition. As intense passion informs much of the writing on this history, we will attempt to read different accounts of the same events to be able to account for the interests that inform the material produced. The course builds skills that will students intelligent readers about the region. This skill in analysing a text is of utmost importance in the repertoire of any historian and should provide the students with a valuable transferrable skill of lifelong importance.


  • Students  enrol via the on-line Module Sign-Up system. Students are advised of the timing of this process via email by the Faculty Office

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

LO1) Explore the complex politics that led to partition of British India into the two states of India and Pakistan.
LO2) Appraise the major historiographical approaches towards the study of partition.
LO3) Critically evaluate how different types of sources shape different interpretations of partition and its legacy.
LO4) Prepare clear oral analyses of academic readings on the history of partition..
LO5) Compose well evidenced arguments about the partition of British India and its legacies.


2 hours of seminars each week for 22 weeks.

Method of assessment

Assessment Weighting (%) Due date (By 11:59 PM) Length (words)
Written exam 50 End of year  N/A
Assignment 1 - review essay 20 Wed, 23 Nov. 2022  1500
Assignment 2 - gobbet analysis 25

Wed, 22 Feb. 2022 

Assignment 3 - essay 5

Wed, 22 Mar, 2022 



Amrita Shodhan


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules