BA in History
Engaging with India’s myriad pasts to understand ourselves in relationship with the world.
The study of history teaches us that the past is always contested. In India, we encounter these myriad contested pasts in our everyday lives.
The History programme aims to inculcate historical consciousness amongst its students. It prepares students to examine the past in a clear, comprehensive, and critical manner. Our courses will familiarize students with different periods and themes within Indian history. We train students to examine historical arguments and claims independently to assess their validity. Students are exposed to a range of primary sources, such as inscriptions, texts, architecture, and the archives. We also teach students to communicate History in diverse contexts, across different platforms, and to speak to History from their own experiences.
Visit our History microsite for further details of the programme, links to digital archives and other interesting online sources of history.
WE BRING YOU INTERDISCIPLINARY OPENNESS
Our degree encourages you to explore and follow your interests. We design our courses to ensure that you can specialise in a subject of your choice while learning a variety of subjects across disciplines.
A COMMON CURRICULUM FOR ALL STUDENTS
You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of your degree to build all the tools you need for your three years of study. This includes foundational courses, an understanding of India, interdisciplinary studies, and a workshop in creative expressions.
WE OFFER ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE
We provide active academic assistance and ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of the academic programme to fulfil your aspirations.
WE ENSURE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
We ensure that no student has to drop out of university because of financial trouble or social disadvantage. We provide financial assistance to deserving students.
Image Credit: Dr Sharmadip Basu
Living on campus
We believe that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom. In living together, you can meet and encounter diverse people from different social and cultural backgrounds and experiences. Our campus has a range of activities from discussion groups to sports and clubs for our students and faculty to interact with each other and build meaningful relationships over their years of study.
Know more about the Bengaluru campus, here.
Know more about Azim Premji University at Bhopal, here.
In our classrooms, we train you to grow familiar with different kinds of archives and primary sources that make up the practice of history. We will explore different theoretical and empirical fields of enquiry within the discipline. We believe that it is important to understand the past as an active part of material and discursive lives.
We bring in opportunities for practicing history with some archaeology, oral history, heritage and folklore. Our courses have an interdisciplinary openness, bringing in sociology, economics, environmental science, political science, cultural studies and literature into our examination of history. You will learn about different historical periods across specific topics that examine society, culture, politics, religion and ecology. We will study different times and spaces and take a close look at the lives of marginalised communities. These courses will train you to think historically, working with facts to analyse and critically evaluate the past in relation to the present.
We will train you to read, write and think critically, and to examine ideas of ethical responsibility and action. Reading and writing matter not only for your study of history but for future careers, and written and oral communication across a range of platforms are an important part of this programme.
Please visit this page to learn more about our four-year undergraduate programmes.
The Common Curriculum will introduce students to the study of the themes and areas that emphasise and build critical and analytical abilities, and sensibilities for dialogue, reflection and cooperative learning. The Common Curriculum has three sub-components organised as below:
Foundations: Build capacity for critical thinking, reasoning and communication.
Understanding India: India’s history, society and possible futures
Creative Expressions: Explore music, visual art, theatre, dance, martial arts, yoga, pottery, sport, and other creative areas.
Core courses develop domain knowledge, hone methodological skills, and teach key historiographical debates, with a focus on reading, writing, and critical thinking.
An important aspect of our course is that we believe it is important not only to understand the role of history in society but to preserve and conserve historical knowledge. The role of tradition and heritage whether in museums of urban planning, or art and architecture in archives and folklore, or oral histories, are a very important part of this programme.
This is a foundational course that will teach students some of the basic learning blocks of History such as timelines and sources, Historical Methods, and Historiography.
Archaeology and History of Early South Asia
Beyond Kings, Palaces and Temples – An introduction to the history and archaeology of Early South Asia.
Millennial Transformations: State and Society in Medieval and Early Modern India, c.800-1800.
Quantitative Reasoning and Methods for History
Quantitative reasoning to bring together mathematical skills, critical thinking and real world problems in an integrated manner.
Colonial India: Polity, Economy and Culture
How was the course of Indian history shaped by colonial governance? How did the East India Company slowly become the colonial state?
Indian Ocean Worlds
Ideas, culture and trade across continents.
Empires, Imperialisms and Colonialisms: c.1500 – 1950
What were the historical processes leading to the formation of colonies in the Americas, Africa and the Middle East?
History of the Present
Key ideas that have shaped Independent India.
These elective courses are for you to pursue a particular interest in a set of themes or methods to deepen your knowledge of history as a discipline. We have thematically oriented courses across historical periods.
You can choose two elective courses each semester that are on offer. You are required to take a mix of writing courses, or a field and practice based course.
Economy, Labour, and Environmental Histories
Using well-established historiographic approaches and subfields in the discipline of history, this set of courses explore key social, economic and political processes that have had impacted labouring peoples and historically marginalised social groups across time.
Themes in Labour History
A history of labour in India across different contexts and different times.
Histories of Capitalism
The transformation of human life with the rise of industrial capitalism.
Rethinking the Border: Understanding the Western Himalayas
The long history of frontiers and borderlands of the Western Himalayas.
Intellectual and Cultural Histories
This is a set of courses that look at the meta questions of history and the everyday and material aspects of social life across different time periods. These courses explore intellectual and conceptual history, the history of ideas, the philosophy of history and historiography. These courses are concerned with theoretical movements in the humanities and social sciences, especially anthropology which looks at culture.
The Intellectual and Cultural Aspects of Modernity
How did modernity come to be in India and what shaped it as it is?
South Asian Feminisms in Historical Perspective
Looking at feminisms across South Asia, and the discrete historical experiences of caste patriarchy, religious nationalism, and social reform.
History from the Margins
Looking at the margins of historical writing, to find marginalised and subaltern pasts.
History and the Idea of India
Does history matter? A look at this question through histories of India.
In these courses, you will explore the interface between disciplinary aspects of history and the popular dissemination through media. You will also explore contemporary practices of historical preservation, from documents to monuments.
We hope these courses will help you communicate history for popular audiences. You will explore a wide range of practices in history, from ‘guide’ narratives, folklore and oral history to institutional practices.
Professional Histories, Popular Histories, Ourselves
How do disciplinary practices of doing history relate to the way in which history is accessed by the people?
Introduction to Material Culture: How to Think about Things
A focus on material culture - texts, artifacts, and how they shape human society.
Global and Connected Histories
Courses in this cluster of electives will expose students to history in an interconnected and global perspective. They break away from a nationalist mooring of the discipline of history (and its implicit Eurocentrism) to ask questions about shifting territorial and fluvial frontiers, oceanic worlds, diasporas and migrations, and the travel of people, cultures, and ideas across the globe.
Islam in a Global Perspective
Understanding Islam as religious thought, practice and a global phenomena.
Colonialism and Religion
How did European colonialism engage, interrogate, administer, and transform religious traditions across the colonised world?
Theories and Histories of Nonviolence
How can nonviolent thoughts and actions survive in times of violence?
Science, Technology, and Society: Past and Present
Debates on science and technology in the contemporary world.
Students must be prepared for the world of work at the end of the programme should they choose to enter it. We aim to provide the required skills and competencies for this through a Minor featuring courses in an Occupational or Interdisciplinary theme. These sets of courses are aimed to provide both conceptual understanding and skills and tools that will allow students to contribute through work and further study.
Students can opt for a minor in any one of the indicative areas listed below:
- Media and Journalism
- Data and Democracy
- Sports and Fitness
- Climate Studies
The selection of these indicative areas is based on the availability of courses and our evaluation of the student’s interests and academic needs. For each cohort, a final list of available courses will be announced at the end of their second semester.
Students can craft their own educational experience by selecting courses in the following ways:
- Students will have the option to take additional courses in their Disciplinary major
- Interdisciplinary minor that will enable them for their further higher studies or career pathways.
These courses could also be selected to enhance and broaden their
- Language skills and Quantitative reasoning capacities/programming skills
- Understanding of themes outside their Major subject
Total 24 credits