Fall 2017

Gandhi: A Global History of Non-Violence

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-272  |  History, as HIST-272


Dwaipayan Sen (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 272 [AS] and ASLC 272 [SA])  Political and social movements in South Africa, the United States of America, Germany, Myanmar, India, and elsewhere, have drawn inspiration from the non-violent political techniques advocated by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi during his leadership of the anti-colonial struggle for Indian freedom from British colonial rule.This course charts a global history of Gandhi’s thought about non-violence and its expression in civil disobedience and resistance movements both in India and the world. Organized in three modules, the first situates Gandhi through consideration of the diverse sources of his own historical and ideological formation; the second examines the historical contexts and practices through which non-violence acquired meaning for him; the third considers the various afterlives of Gandhian politics in movements throughout the world.  We will examine autobiography and biography, Gandhi's collected works, various types of primary source, political, social, and intellectual history, and audio-visual materials. In addition to widely disseminated narratives of Gandhi as a symbol of non-violence, the course will also closely attend to the deep contradictions concerning race, caste, gender, and class that characterized his thought and action. By unsettling conventional accounts of his significance, we will grapple with the problem of how to make sense of his troubled legacy. Prior familiarity with the subject matter is not required.  Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Sen.

If Overenrolled: Preference given first to HIST/ASLC majors and then by seniority.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017