Introductory Seminar in South Asia



Fall 2013

HISA 1501 (1)

Introductory Seminar in South Asia

"Afpak: Insurgency and Civil Society"

Richard Barnett

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 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 an 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 America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan  (New York: Viking, 2012)
  •  Pamela Constable, Playing with Fire: Pakistan at War with Itself (New York: Random House, 2011)
  •  Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Clifford D. May, eds., The Afghanistan-Pakistan Theater: Militant Islam, Security, and Stability (Washington: Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, 2010

       Ahmad Rashid, Taliban.  Buy this on line for c. $2.00--copies are plentiful.

       Brillig Books, 7 Elliewood Ave., have photocopied articles, listed below ias (PHOCO).

Readings must be completed before class (see dated headings, below) to  maintain an intelligent, active level of discussion and participation. 

 Requirements:    No exams.  Evaluation will rest on class discussion (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 or Times font, double-spaced, succinct title, pp. numbers (pages 2 and up) in upper-right corners.  AND proper footnotes!! This course meets the second writing requirement.  History footnote style templates coming soon.



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



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