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HIST1111 Gandhi and Gandhism

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to the life and thought of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Introduce you to selected approaches that historians have used to interpret the impact and significance of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and his politics of non-violence in Indian and global politics. • Develop your awareness of some of the approaches and source materials that can be used in the study of historical personalities. • Augment and refine the range of skills useful in life after university.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • key features of the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence
  • Gandhi’s critique of Liberalism and Capitalism
  • the impact of Gandhian political thought on Indian and global politics
  • Selected historiographical debates related to the study of anti-colonial Indian politics
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the key characteristics of Gandhian Philosophy of non-violence.
  • Explain Gandhi’s critique of liberalism and capitalism
  • Describe the impact of Gandhian thought on Indian and global politics
  • Identify and explain selected approaches and methods that historians have used to study the history of anti-colonial Indian politics
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • engage in a programme of independent reading guided by the module tutor
  • think analytically about the material you have located and read
  • share your thoughts about your reading verbally and in writing, constructing arguments based on evidence.
  • manage your own learning and your time effectively, meeting deadlines.


This module will introduce you to the life and thought of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The module content will cover a brief outline of Gandhi's biography and politics, a close reading of his most famous political tract Hind Swaraj and readings of the multiple lives of Gandhi in public and political imagination in India and abroad. In addition to scholarly texts, material covered in the course will include films, cartoons, photos and speech recordings. Particular emphasis will be placed on the public consumption and articulation of Gandhian political mores. To this end you will be encouraged to explore the representations of Gandhi in new media.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Short Lectures • Seminar Discussions Learning activities include • Independent reading using resources available in the library • Note-taking in lectures • Active participation in seminars You will use reading lists provided by the module convener to guide your reading and preparation for weekly seminars. You will be expected to make contributions to seminar discussions based on your preparatory reading.

Completion of assessment task50
Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

B R. Nanda (1985). Gandhi and his Critics. 

L. Rudolf and S.Rudolf (2006). Postmodern Gandhi and Other Essays: Gandhi in the World and at Home. 

M.K.Gandhi (1927). An Autobiography: Or the Story of My Experiments with Truth. 

David Arnold (2001). Gandhi. 

Shahid Amin (1988). Gandhi as Mahatma: Gorakhpur District, Easter UP 1921-22. Selected Subaltern Studies. .

A Raghuramaraju (2006). Debating Gandhi: A Reader. 

Kurt Schock (2005). Unarmed Insurrections: People Power movements in Non Democracies. 

Adam Roberts and Timothy G. Ash eds (2009). Civil Resistance and Power Politics: Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present. 

Lisa Trivedi (2007). Clothing Gandhi's Nation: Homespun and Modern India. 

Gerald Gold and Richard Attenborough (2009). Gandhi: A Pictorial Biography. 

Stephen Hay (1989). The Making of a Late-Victorian Hindu: M.K. Gandhi in London, 1888-1891. Victorian Studies. .

Anthony.J. Parel ed (1997). Gandhi: Hind Swaraj and Other Writings. 

Thomas Weber (2003). Nonviolence is Who?: Gene Sharp and Gandhi. Peace and Change. ,28 , pp. 240-260.


Assessment Strategy

You will receive informal feedback on • your contributions to seminars • your class presentations • short writing assignments in class, including response pieces to key primary sources


MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary exercise  (500 words) 10%
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Examination  (1 hours) 40%
Group presentation 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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