Skip to content | Change text size

HYM4140 - The Raj Imagined

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Ian Copland


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


India has always loomed large in British consciousness, just as Britain - bilaiti - figured largely in educated Indians' imaginings of the world during the era of the British Raj. Stories by British authors set in India constitute valuable evidence for the ways English people "constructed" India for imperial purposes, while stories by Indian writers of that imperium provide a window into their ambiguous attitudes to empire. This unit compares several English literary and filmic representations of the Raj with some landmark "political" novels and films by Indian writers and directors, and testing them against the "historical record" as presented in secondary accounts of the period.


On successful completion of HYM4140, students will:

  1. Have a broad understanding of the relations between the British and their Indian subjects during the last eighty years of the Raj.
  2. Be familiar with a number of important novels and stories by English and Indian writers set in the India of the Raj.
  3. Be conversant with the problems of using fictional sources as historical texts.
  4. Be capable of researching and writing an extended original academic essay in the discipline of history.


Class participation: 10%
Research essay (7000 words): 60%
Examination (2 hours): 30%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week


HSY4140, HYM5140