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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3230 Gandhi and Gandhism in India and the wider world, 1915 - 1948

40 creditsClass Size: 14

Module manager: Dr WR Gould

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Select, analyse and assess primary sources and develop an understanding of their provenance
2. Find the inter-relationship between different kinds of historical source and secondary literature
3. Develop a more profound understanding of political ideologies and processes, social organisation and religious ideas in Asian contexts.
4. Build a broad knowledge and interest in India and the rest of the subcontinent in the era of decolonisation.
5. Find inter-connections between nationalisms and processes of decolonisation in India and other non-European contexts.
6. Understand the broader implications of Gandhism for other resistance movements, for Indian political culture and decolonising states.

Skills outcomes
Further enhances Common Skills listed below:

High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.
Skills in interpretation and analysis of complex documentary-based material.


Churchill described him as a 'half-naked fakir', William Durant as 'the astonishing phenomenon' of a saintly revolutionary and Martin Luther King as a man that we may ignore 'at our own risk'. Using private correspondence, government records, diaries, memoirs and film, this course investigates Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a political agitator, social reformer and religious leader. How far was Gandhi's politics a product of the British imperial predicament between 1919 and 1947? Was Gandhi simply a mendicant, bourgeois revolutionary or were his methods truly radical? The course will look at what we can discover about late colonial India and the global impact of Gandhi by researching the mahatma's social and religious ideas: Why did Gandhi sleep with his female devotees? What were his ideas about religious conflict and caste? Why did Gandhi think that western civilisation 'would be a good idea'? How influential were his ideas on diet, physical fitness and the political or domestic role of women? The course will also examine the phenomenon of Gandhism, in its impact on Indian political culture and on movements of political resistance in other contexts.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours356.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Exam preparation; researching, preparing, and writing assignments; undertaking set reading; and self-directed reading around the topic. 356 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, two assessed exercises, an exercise or exercises worth 10% of module marks.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationFormat to be determined by tutor. Can be resat with 'an equivalent written exercise'10.00
Essay1 x 3,000 word written exercise or equivalent to be submitted by 12noon on Friday of the second week of the January examination period.20.00
Essay1 x 3,000 word written exercise or equivalent to be submitted by 12noon on Monday of the May revision week.20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

10% oral presentations are redone with 'an equivalent written exercise'

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 03/04/2009


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