Course Description

South Asian History

HISA 1501

Introductory Seminar in South Asia

AFPAK: Civl Soc & Insurgency
Fall 2017

Subject and focus:  Two modern nation-states under enormous stress.  Assessing society and politics in Afghanistan and Pakistan will sharpen our historical awareness, help us understand the world's most lasting, urgent, and frustrating confrontation, and polish our writing and debating skills.  No acquaintance with South Asia, or even with history, is assumed.  Readings must be completed before class (see dated headings, below) to maintain and intelligent, active level of discussion and participation.  

Texts:  The following are available at U.Va. Bookstore:

David Pinault, Notes from the Fortune-telling Parrot:  Islam and the Struggle for Religious Pluralism in Pakistan (London:  Equinox, 2008)

Thomas Barfield, Afghanistan:  A Cultural and Political History (Princeton University Press, 2010)

Ahmad Rashid, Pakistan on the Brink:  the Future of American, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (New York: Viking 2012)

Anatol Lieven, Pakistan, a Hard Country (New York:  Perseus, 2011)

Farrah Ahmedi, The other Side of the Sky (New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2005)

Ahmad Rishad, Taliban.  Buy this online for c. $2.00-copies are plentiful.

N.K. Print and Design (formerly Brillig Books), 7 Elliewood Ave., have photocopied articles, listed below as PHOCO.

Requirements:  No exams.  Evaluation will rest on class discussions (40%), plus three closely-edited and polished essays of two, three, and six typed pages, at intervals (60%).  No late or handwritten papers will be accepted without a truly superb excuse, such as a life-changing emergency.  I will edit and comment intensely, and you will resubmit revised versions of papers two and three.  Standard for all papers: one-inch margins, 12-pt. Geneva, Century Gothic (the most ink-stingy), or Times font, double-spaced, succinct title., pp. numbers (pages 2 and up) in upper-right corners.  AND proper footnotes!  History footnote style templates (not social science or MLA) will soon be handed out.  This course meets the second writing requirement

Course Type:
Maximum Enrollment:

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts