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This course studies the life, work, and ideas of M.K. Gandhi (1869-1948), one of the most influential thinkers of the non-western world. Gandhi is well known today for his philosophy of non-violent resistance and its application in India’s freedom struggle as well as his influence on the work of leaders like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Hailed as the ‘father of the Indian nation’, however, Gandhi is not only known for his political ideas but also for his deep engagement with aspect of everyday human behavior and morality: truth, vegetarianism, sex and celibacy, to name just a few of his obsessions which contributed to making his broader philosophy. It is this commitment to a morally pure life that earned him the title of ‘Mahatma’ or Great Soul in India. This tutorial will focus on three key aspects of Gandhi: his ideas of peaceful protest as means of social and political change, his contemplations on moral philosophy, and on his legacy in modern India and the world. Students will read a combination of Gandhi’s own writings as well as journal articles, monographs and films. The course will probe questions such as: What was the context and nature of Gandhian nationalism? Did it help to integrate the Indian nation? Was Gandhi truly a Great Soul, a saint or a shrewd politician? In what ways is Gandhi received and remembered by the Indian nation today? How does understanding a figure like Gandhi facilitate our understanding of modern nationalism, citizenship and political action?
Format: tutorial; REMOTE. This tutorial will be taught remotely but will otherwise follow the usual tutorial format of weekly hour-long meetings, pairing students who will alternatively write papers and critiques each week.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
5-7-page essays or 2-page critique due each week and a final report (3-4 pages) at the end of the semester.
None, except students who have taken HIST488T will not be permitted to take this class.
Senior history majors and students who have previously taken HIST221. Students who have previously taken HIST488T will not be permitted to take this class.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
As a tutorial, this course is Writing Intensive as students not only write weekly papers but they also develop critical tools to engage in close reading of texts and interpret them and the facts therein. Each week, they will develop their writing by providing constructive criticism of their partner's paper, and in turn, learn to receive and build on critiques of their own work. Students will be given the opportunity to substantively revise their work on a regular basis.