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The University of Southampton

HIST1076 God's Own Land: Exploring Pakistan's Origins and History

Module Overview

The module examines the debates surrounding the creation of Pakistan and its post-independence history. The reasons for Pakistan’s emergence will be investigated and an assessment will be made of the significance of the colonial inheritance for contemporary Pakistan.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the background to the creation of Pakistan and the debates surrounding this
  • the problems in consolidating democracy in Pakistan and the interpretations for this
  • the reasons for Pakistan’s troubled relationship with its Indian neighbour and the role of the Kashmir dispute in this
  • the growth of Islamic militancy in Pakistan and of trans-national Jihadist networks
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • read and critically assess secondary literature on Pakistan’s history
  • evaluate theoretical material on Islam and politics in South Asia
  • engage with arguments surrounding military intervention and democratic consolidation in South Asia
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • gather and critically analyse information
  • produce oral and written presentations
  • co-operate with others in group work
  • display effective time management skills in planning and completing assignments


Themes to be covered will include: • the conflicting understandings of the foundation vision of its creator Muhammad Ali Jinnah • an examination of the failure to achieve a consolidated democracy in the post-independence period • the role of Islam in Pakistan’s politics • the rise of Islamic militancy • the extent to which Pakistan is a ‘failed’ or ‘terrorist’ state • the conflicting understandings of the genesis of the Kashmir dispute along with its role in the troubled Indo-Pakistan relationship since 1947

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • There will be twenty four classes. • These will be divided between scene setting lectures, student led presentations and group work on primary and secondary sources Learning activities include: • Preparation for seminars and group work • Reading and interpreting conflicting historical understandings • Organising and understanding material in preparation for the formal assessments

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

M. A. Khan (1985). Islam, Politics and the State: the Pakistan Experience. 

I. Talbot (2005). A Modern History. 

K.B. Sayeed (1968). Pakistan: The Formative Phase 1857-1948. 

I. Talbot (2001). Pakistan’s Emergence. The Oxford History of The British Empire Vol. V Historiography. , pp. 253-64.

S. McDonough (1970). M.A. Jinnah: Maker of Modern Pakistan. 

M. Hasan (1994). India’s Partition: Process, Strategy and Mobilization. 

S. Bose and A. Jalal (1998). Modern South Asia: History, Culture and Political Economy. 


Assessment Strategy

Formative assessment includes: • Oral feedback in weekly seminars • Individual tutorials concerning the essay • Feedback from tutors and fellow students on presentations The lectures will both provide key evidence and introduce major concepts and theoretical debates. The seminars will further develop the themes and issues outlined in the lectures as well as provide opportunity to critically assess a range of secondary and primary source material. Group study will encourage team working. You will also be able to develop your presentational and oral skills through leading and contributing to discussion. The seminars will also allow you the opportunity to explore varieties of Islam and key Islamic concepts. The essay will test the ability to analyse and assess information as well as develop organisational skills. The examination will test writing and communication skills.


MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary exercise 20%
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Examination  (1 hours) 40%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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