Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

HIST3132 Conflict, Transformation and Resurgence in Asia: 1800 to the Present

Module Overview

This module aims to uncover the roots of the increasing economic and political power of India and China in the contemporary world. A crucial theme is the interaction between indigenous beliefs, social systems and institutions and the economic, political and ideological impact of the West during the past two centuries.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The unit focuses on India and China from the period of nineteenth century European imperialism until the contemporary era of globalization. It focuses on the themes of imperialism, nationalism, decolonization, war, revolution and migration. It addresses these themes within a broad comparative analysis and also sets them in historiographical debates. The module will introduce themes on the differing Asian approaches to the western intrusion in the late nineteenth century followed by an assessment of the construction of modern national, communal and ethnic sources of identity. The impact of global events and processes like the world wars and globalisation will also be explored through a focus on themes which could include war and famine in the 1930s and 40s or efforts at population control in India and China in the 1980s through the one child policy and forced sterilisation. By the end of the unit, students should have a good awareness of the historical roots and routes of South and East Asia’s current economic resurgence, along with some of the dilemmas surrounding the economic and political sustainability of the contemporary rapid rates of development.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The impact of western influence in India and China in the 19th and 20th century
  • History of Indian and Chinese culture and politics in the 19th and 20th century
  • The rise of nationalism and communism in India and China
  • Post 1945 developments in Indian and Chinese society and cultures
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • The method of comparative history
  • Limits of comparative history as a method of reviewing the past
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Presenting historical material to an audience
  • Analytical reading of textual material
  • Writing clear account of a complex phenomena based on research of primary and secondary material


An indicative list of the topics covered in the module includes: The module will explore themes of tradition, modernity, empire, war and globalisation through a focus on specific moments of comparison in the history of India and China.Some examples of possible themes are given below 1. Gender and tradition in India and China- through comparison of the politics of Sati and foot binding. 2. Revolutions - through a comparison of the Indian Mutiny and the Boxer Rebellion 3. Literature, nationalism and modernity- through a comparison of Indian and Chinese literary texts from the early twentieth century. 4.War and Famine in the 1930s and 1940s India and China 5. Asian Coolies- Migration in nineteenth and twentieth India and China

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be taught by means of seminars. Topics at the beginning of the seminar will be introduced by the tutors, but the learning will be student centred. The seminars will be divided into more formal student presentations around designated issues for discussion, followed by group work involving assessment of primary and secondary documentary material. Seminar participants will be provided with key documentary material in the form of handouts.

Total study time36



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4400 words) 60%
Group presentation  (20 minutes) 20%
Source commentaries  (1100 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.