Social and Cultural Marginality

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSLS2HS3058

Semester and Year Offered: Winter Semester

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Dharitri Narzary

Email of course coordinator: dharitri[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in


Aim: Through this seminar paper students are encouraged to explore the history of marginality in India and focus on methodological approach. Marginality, which is a series of situation often understood in terms of religion, community, culture, gender, caste and region are the areas of research under this theme. The idea is to allow and engage the students to critically read historical texts to build arguments on the concept of marginality and challenge the accepted notion that ‘marginality’ is a post colonial ideology which emerged in the context of colonial oppression and subjugation.

The course is to train students to write a historical research paper on a specific topic/theme, to identify and locate primary and secondary source materials, develop skill to conduct independent research using appropriate methodology, improve analytical skill and other necessary trainings required for conducting social science research.

Course Outcomes: At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate questions and arguments relevant for the historical inquiry
  2. Differentiate between primary and secondary sources
  3. Know how to use archival sources and materials
  4. Review textual and non-textual sources
  5. Understand the significance of doing research through interdisciplinary methodology
  6. Relate the topics of research with broader historical contexts

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

The students pick any one topic that they think are under the purview of the broader theme. The idea of offering seminar paper on this particular theme is to encourage students to explore and understand the historicity of marginality as seen in contemporary societies and cultures. They will frame their own historical questions based on readings of primary and secondary sources and problematize the topic.

Assessment Details with weights:

Students will submit a seminar paper of 5000-7000 words and will make a presentation before the faculty and other students. The written paper and presentation are of 75% and 25 % weightage respectively.

Reading List:

Readings are suggested on the basis of their selection of a particular topic under the theme.


Apart from secondary literature, they are expected to engage in collecting primary data based on field research, interview, oral history/tradition, visit archives, etc.