15 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: This module uses autobiographical writing to chart wider cultural transitions experienced by Muslims in South Asia in the modern era. Of particular interest is the way in which South Asian Muslims adapted the long tradition of recording life stories in Islam under the influence of colonialism and reformism. To what degree do life writings reflect changing notions of self and identity among Muslims? Students will be introduced to autobiography, Islam and the self as theoretical concepts before turning to different lives told - by princes, scholars, saints, reformers, educationalists, politicians, feminists, writers, actors and/or immigrants.

Restrictions on availability: Departmental approval required

Teaching Methods: The module will be taught in five, two-hour seminars. The first will introduce you to central themes, concepts and approaches relating to autobiography, identity and the self in Muslim South Asia (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2). The next four will then focus on specific case studies of autobiographical writings reflecting different social groupings and historical contexts (LOs 1, 2 & 3). Preparation for class will involve a wide reading of relevant secondary and primary materials. Seminars will then provide a forum for students to present their research and ideas, share knowledge and debate controversial issues (LO 4). Students will, in addition have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to discuss their written work for this module (LO 5).
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (History):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK