Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Geschichte Südasiens
Vorlesungen und Seminare im WS 14/15
Virtuelle Fachbibliothek
Modulhandbuch, Musterstudienverläufe & POs zusammengefasst

Student advisors
Manju Ludwig
Montag: 9:30 - 11:30 Uhr, 204
Vorlesungsfreie Zeit: Nach Vereinbarung


Degree Bachelor of Arts (since winter semester 2007/08). For information, please contact the Student's Secretariat and the departmental student advisors.
Application: Not necessary
Beginning of the programme: Winter Semester
Standard period of study: 6 semesters (B.A)
Language proficiency: English and advanced knowledge of a South Asian language (knowledge is to be acquired during the course of studies)
Teaching language: German/English

Course Contents

As one of few German universities, Heidelberg offers an independent programme in South Asian History. The Department's main focus is on the modern period from 1500 to the present. Efforts are being made to supplement the curriculum with regular courses on Ancient and Medieval as well as Art History.


Main areas/topics: Location and evaluation of indigenous South Asian historical sources (archival work, edition and historiographical criticism); special attention is paid to the Mughal epoch and regional state formation in the pre-colonial period; the British conquest of South Asia in its global context; economic, social, agrarian, labour and environmental history; urbanisation; women's history; socio-religious and political reform and protest movements; post-colonial state formation; South Asian historiography; South Asia and the maritime world of the Indian Ocean, from the Red Sea to the South China Sea (1400-1947); intercultural contact and transfer between South Asia and Europe from 1500 to the present.

Academic Programme:

The curriculum provides a B.A. Programme with a secondary subject (50 % History of South Asia). In addition, “History of South Asia” forms an integral part of the B.A. and the M.A. Programme in “South Asian Studies”. One can focus on History in these broader programmes. The teaching modules offer lecture courses (Vorlesungen), undergraduate and graduate seminars (Pro- und Hauptseminaren), intermediary classes (Übungen), intensive reading classes (Lektürekurse), and research colloquia (Forschungskolloquien) covering the entire spectrum of South Asian History. Special attention is given to the following subjects: the Mughal Empire and the regional formation of polities in the pre-colonial era; the British conquest of South Asia and the global consequences thereof; economic, agricultural, labour, and environmental histories of South Asia; urbanization, women’s history, socio-religious and socio-political reform and protest movements; the development of post-colonial nation-states; historiography of the Asian subcontinent; South Asia and the maritime world of the Indian Ocean, from the Red Sea to the South China Sea (1400-1800); cultural contact and transfer between South Asia and Europe from 1500 until the present. The B.A. Programme is offered as a subsidiary course of study (25%) to students of other disciplines who wish to focus on South Asia (incl. B.A. South Asian Studies) and supplement their studies with an understanding of historical analysis and research methods. Similarly, the programme also caters to students of general history courses, economics, and ethnology interested in familiarizing themselves with the specificities of South Asian History. Students opting for the BA programme (25%) should select modules that correspond to their language and/or methodological skills.

Aufbau des Studiums - Programme structure

The “Bachelor in South Asian History” consists of two basic modules from one of the following epochs: Contemporary History (Neueste Geschichte) – Modern period 1 (Neuzeit 1) and Modern period 2 (Neuzeit 2) as well as Pre-modern History (one module from the “Modern period” is compulsory). This is followed by modules that focus on subject-specific methodologies, historical criticism and transcultural competence, as well as two more advanced area study courses. The programme concludes with a Bachelor’s thesis. Depending upon the student’s research focus, it may be advisable for a student of the BA South Asian History to pursue supplementary courses in related subject areas such as Medieval and Modern History, Indology, Politics of South Asia, Islamic Studies, Geography, or Ethnology. A substantial portion of the programme is devoted to acquiring language competence in one of the South Asian languages offered at the institute (24 credit hours). The programme is conducted in both German and English medium. For students with BA South Asian History as a subsidiary course of study (25%), there is no language requirement besides English.


There is currently no restriction on admission. The enrolment takes place online. There are special rules for foreign students. For information, please contact the International Office of the University of Heidelberg (Akademischen Auslandsamt, Seminarstraße 2)

PhD Program

Requirements for PhD-applications in South Asian History

1. Should you be interested to pursue a PhD in South Asian History please send a detailed project proposal (ca. 8-10 pages, containing an analytically formulated conceptual research outline, discussing the state of the art, sources to be consulted, road map of research to be conducted, time-schedule, chapter outline of the envisaged dissertation, and short bibliography) and a tabular CV to Prof. Dr. Gita Dharampal-Frick (

2. If the Department Head agrees to act as your PhD supervisor, you will have to apply to the Philosophy Faculty of the Heidelberg University as well.

Please send in the following documents:
a) A verification of prerequisites for admission to examination as stated under §4: diploma (MPhil for South Asian applicants)
b) The title and project proposal of the dissertation
c) A written consent of a professor, stating that she/he will supervise your envisaged dissertation project
d) A tabular CV
e) A declaration about previous or current dissertation projects

For more information:

3. As soon as you have obtained the signature of the Philosophy Faculty's Dean, confirming your acceptance as a PhD student, you can register as a regular PhD student at the main University. Please note, that there are deadlines for this.

For more information:

Please note: Neither the University of Heidelberg nor the Department of South Asian History can provide any financial assistance or scholarship for your PhD-project. Please arrange for alternative funding from other sources, such as the DAAD or other foundations.

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