Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSLS2HS1034

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon Semester 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Yogesh Snehi

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

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: This course intersects with some important debates on the historiography of Punjab and gives an overview of significant historical processes that are crucial to understand the region’s contemporality. Although seemingly specific to a region in contemporary India, this paper tries to comprehend the medieval and modern state formations of the ‘greater Punjab’ which constituted a significant region of the historical South Asia, until its Partition in 1947. Each module of the course explores a theme that is centered on some important historiographical tools; regions, state formations, economic formations, social and cultural histories, modernity, identities, orality and memory, frontier histories, historical anthropology and ritual studies. Students interact with this course along with other courses like ‘State in Indian History’, ‘Problems of Historical Knowledge’, etc. With special emphasis on the longue durée of the making of Punjab the course transcends the limits posed by modern discourses of territoriality.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Debate regions through the longue durée of historical change.
  2. Contrast the making of regions in South Asia- how Punjab figures in the home region, Delhi and its global diaspora.
  3. Interpret crucial debates on identity and religion in the late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century and how they have a significant bearing on contemporary debates on religion and politics.
  4. Analyse significant debates on Punjab Studies globally.
  5. Demonstrate some recent tools of historical method through the lens of a region.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  • Why Understand Region? Readings on Historiography
  • Center and Periphery: Empire, State and Region
  • Pastoralism, Migration, Green Revolution
  • Official and the Lived: Situating Martyrologies
  • Text and Practice: Social Space of Historical Narratives
  • Panth te Kaum: Making of Modern Identities
  • Engaging with Shrines and Sacred Geography
  • Contextualising ‘Movements’ in Punjab
  • Many moments of Modernity

Assessment Details with weights:

Assessment for this course consists of a book-review or a historiographical review of secondary literature (due by the end of first month of the course), a mid-term assignment and an end semester examination, carrying a weightage of 20, 30 and 40 per cent of overall assessment respectively. An additional 10 percent of assessment will be reserved for class participation which involves student writing thought pieces on lectures.

Reading List:

  • Alalm, Muzaffar, 2001, The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India: Awadh and the Punjab 1707-1748, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Ali, Imran, 1989, The Punjab Under Imperialism, 1885-1947, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Ballantyne, Tony (ed), 2007, Textures of the Sikh Past: New Historical Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Banga, Indu (ed), 2000, Five Punjabi Centuries: Polity, Economy, Society, and Culture, c. 1500-1990, New Delhi: Manohar.
  • Bhattacharya, Neeladri, 2018, The Great Agrarian Conquest: The Colonial Reshaping of a Rural World, New Delhi: Permanent Black.
  • Dhesi, Autar S. and Gurmail Singh (eds.), 2008, Rural Development in Punjab: A Success Story Going Astray, New Delhi: Routledge.
  • Eaton, Richard M., 2002, Essays on Islam and Indian History, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Fenech, Louis E., 2005, Martyrdom in the Sikh Tradition: Playing the ‘Game of Love’, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Gilmartin, David, 1988, Empire and Islam: Punjab and the Making of Pakistan, University of California Press.
  • Jakobsh, Doris R. (ed), 2010, Sikhism and Women: History, Texts and Experiences, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Juergensmeyer, Mark, 1988, Religion as Social Vision: The Movement Against Untouchability in 20th Century Punjab, Delhi: Ajanta Publications.
  • Malhotra, Anshu, 2004, Gender, Caste and Religious Identities: Reconstructing Class in Punjab, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Mir, Farina, 2010, The Social Space of Language: Vernacular Literature in British Colonial Punjab, Ranikhet: Permanent Black.
  • Puri, H.K. and Paramjit Judge (eds.), 2000, Social and Political Movements: Readings on Punjab, Jaipur: Rawat.
  • Singh, Chetan, 1991, Region and Empire: Punjab in the Seventeenth Century, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Singh, Surinder and Ishwar Dayal Gaur (eds.), 2009, Sufism in Punjab: Mystics, Literature and Shrines, New Delhi: Aakar.
  • Snehi, Yogesh and Lallan S. Baghel, 2018, Modernity and Changing Social Fabric of Punjab and Haryana, New Delhi: Primus Books.
  • Snehi, Yogesh, 2019, Spatializing Popular Sufi Shrines in Punjab: Dreams, Memories, Territoriality, London: Routledge.
  • Syan, Hardip Singh, 2014, Sikh Militancy in the Seventeenth Century: Religious Violence in Mughal and Early Modern India, London: I.B. Tauris.
  • Talbot, Ian and Gurharpal Singh, 2009, The Partition of India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Yong, Tan Tai, 2005, The Garrison State: Military, Government and Society in Colonial Punjab, 1849-1947, New Delhi: Sage.


  • Ahmed, Ishtiaq, 2013, The Punjab Blooded Partitioned and Cleansed, Delhi: Rupa.
  • Bigelow, Anna, 2009, Sharing the Sacred: Practicing Pluralism in Muslim North India, New York: OUP.
  • Chopra, Radhika, 2010, Militant and Migrant: Contemporary Politics and Social History of Punjab, New Delhi: Routledge.
  • Chowdhry, Prem, 1994, The Veiled Women: Shifting Gender Equations in Rural Haryana, 1880-1990, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Datta, Nonica, 1999, Forming an identity: Social History of Jats, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Dhavan, Purnima, 2011, When Sparrows Became Hawks: The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition, 1699–1799. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Grewal, J.S., 1998, Contesting Interpretations of the Sikh Tradition, New Delhi: Manohar.
  • Malhotra, Anshu, 2017, Piro and the Gulabdasis: Gender, Sect, and Society in Punjab, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • McLeod, W. H., 1996, Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Mukherjee, Mridula, 2005, Colonizing Agriculture: The Myth of Punjab Exceptionalism, New Delhi: Sage.