Review Comment

[HSME 2811] South Asia II: Empire & Aftermath

May 02, 2019

Rao, Anupama Silver_nugget
[HSME 2811] South Asia II: Empire & Aftermath

If you're thinking about taking this class, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you enjoy reading a ton of very dense readings about very niche topics? We had ~100 pages/week on the low end, 300 on the high end. The readings are full of jargon and big words and aren't that informative -- rather they just go insanely in depth on specific topics like the census, Mughal taxation systems, fingerprinting, etc.
- Do you prefer political theory or history? I'd argue that this class is misclassified, and should be in the Poli Sci or Philosophy dept. We barely saw any timelines, names, or dates. I couldn't tell you much about concrete events/history/people like the Partition, Nehru, or the Kashmir conflict but can go very in depth about the intellectual gatherings of landowing Muslims in the early 20th century. Rao is so smart that most of what she said went over my head, and I was grasping for straws as she was delving into the ideas and philosophies across time.

If you're a high-level thinker with a strong foundation/knowledge in concrete events in Indian history and an insanely good vocabulary then this is a great class.

If you're a regular plebian like me studying STEM, you might find yourself way out of your league and bored to death every class, since you don't understand much of anything, and since she is a PURE lecturer and rarely shows pics or videos -- she mostly just animatedly reads off of a word document.

That said I did have a reasonable prior knowledge of India so I got an A. But I recommend Intro to Indian Civ instead of this.


2 5pg essays (hard)
1 MT, Final (EZ)
Section weekly where you discuss readings (hard)

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