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HIST3108 The 1947 Partition of India and its Aftermath Part 2

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Examine the human costs of the 1947 partition of India - Consider the legacies of the partition for the Indian subcontinent’s political, social and constitutional development - Critically examine the gendered, community and regional differential impacts of the partition

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The impact of partition-related violence and mass migration
  • The popular and scholarly controversies surrounding those legacies
  • The types of sources available to historians studying the legacies of partition and the way they can be interpreted
  • The responses of the Indian and Pakistan States to the ‘refugee problem’
  • The legacy of partition for both domestic politics and Indo-Pakistan relations
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gather and select information and synthesize it into clear and coherent arguments, both on paper and in informal oral exercises
  • Communicate effectively in group discussions
  • Work effectively with others in identifying and solving problems
  • Display effective time management and good organizational skills
  • Work independently in preparing for class work and written assignments
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Search for and locate historical sources to support your essay work
  • Assess the value of non-traditional historical sources such as fiction, oral testimonies and pictorial representations
  • Display an awareness of the legacies of partition for the contemporary subcontinent
  • Understand the division of the subcontinent as a process rather than an event confined to August 1947
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the differential impact of Partition
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Display critical judgement in the interpretation of specific texts
  • Synthesize a large body of primary and secondary material
  • Display critical judgement in the understanding of polemical and frequently conflicting material
  • Formulate opinions and debate these in informal discussion
  • Engage responsively to questions raised during presentations


This module builds upon the knowledge and understanding of the processes and causes of partition developed in part 1 to examine its effects both within India and Pakistan and on the course of their bi-lateral relations. It will begin with an examination of the human costs of partition arising from its associated violence and consequent mass migration; it will then move on to consider the legacies not only for individuals and communities, but also for nation building and statecraft in the subcontinent. Finally the module assesses the legacy of partition for Indo-Pakistan relations. These themes will be addressed by means of a variety of secondary and primary source materials. In addition to the use of official records, party documents and press coverage, non-traditional sources will be critically examined, such as novels and short stories, oral testimonies and pictorial representation.

Special Features

The introductory sessions will enable students to place complex historiographical debates concerning the 1947 partition and its legacies within a wider context. The understanding of these debates will be demonstrated both in essay assignments and in the unseen examination. Seminar group work with specific primary sources will enable students to examine and discuss original material whether this is of a traditional (documentary) or non-traditional type.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - Short introductions to major historiographical debates - Discussion of set secondary readings and primary documents - Tutor-led sessions designed to develop skills of source analysis Learning activities include: - Guided reading in preparation for Student led discussion - Source analysis exercises - Individual and group presentations

Independent Study260
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

G. Pandey (2001). Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India. 

Ian Talbot (2006). Divided Cities: partition and Its Aftermath in Lahore and Amritsar 1947-1957. 

M. Hasan (ed) (2000). Inventing Boundaries: Gender, Politics and the Partition of India. 

S. Kamra (2002). Bearing Witness: Partition, Independence, End of Raj. 

Urvashi Butalia (1998). The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Exam  (3 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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