Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Dr Irfan Ahmad


Previously coded PLM4470


This unit focuses on Islamic thought and social movements in South Asia, an important region where about forty percent of the world's Muslim population lives. The purpose of this unit, is to make both a regional and a conceptual shift in order to depict the multiplicity, creativity, dynamism and contesting forms of Islam outside of Islam's 'heartland'. It will focus on movements, events, ideas, rituals, institutions and practices that have impacted the social, cultural and political life of Muslims and non-Muslims in modern South Asia. Interdisciplinary in its approach, this Unit will employ a range of historical, ethnographic, sociological, political scientific and literary sources. Geographically, it will focus on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.


All students who successfully complete this unit should be able to:

  1. Critically assess the natural association of Islam with the Middle-East, and appreciate the dynamic, diverse and contesting forms of normative and lived Islam in modern South Asia;
  2. Engage in a critical appraisal of different theoretical approaches and methodological issues to the study of religious traditions in general and Islamic traditions in particular;
  3. Have achieved understanding of key elements of relevant material in a variety of social science fields such as anthropology of religion, political sociology, social movement studies, gender studies, history of ideas, Islamic Studies, and transnationalism;
  4. Understand, critique, and develop an argument, and demonstrate its effective application - oral as well as written in-class presentations, and composition of essays, and reviews.


Think piece presentation: 5%
Review essay (1000 Words): 10%
Long essay (5,000 words): 50%
Take home exam (3,000 words): 35%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Irfan Ahmad

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar