HIST298-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Elephants and Empires: An Environmental History of Ancient to Modern India

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


This course considers the way humans have historically interacted with the land, water, plant and animal life in the Indian sub-continent and how these interactions shaped and were shaped by human kingdoms and empires from ancient to modern times.

This course offers a fascinating and challenging introduction to the study of some of the key issues in the environmental history of India. It develops skills needed for further study of the way human and environmental histories interrelate.

Learning Outcomes

The overall aim of the course it to provide students with a fascinating and challenging introduction to the study of some of the key issues in the environmental history of India and to develop skills needed for further historical study, for further inter-disciplinary research into the relationships between people and the environment and for transfer into the work environment.

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Communicate insights into the history of environmental change in Indian history
  • Discuss the contribution of human engagement with the environment to the development of political structures including empires, kingdoms and colonies in India
  • Discuss the impact of environmental and political change on peasant and tribal communities in Indian history
  • Discuss the role of human and animal relationships in the creation of elite and non-elite cultures in Indian history
  • Analyse and discuss appropriate primary and secondary sources.
  • Demonstrate historical insights into Indian environmental history in both written and oral form.

    Students will also have developed Generic/Transferable Skills including:
  • The ability to analyse complex material from a variety of sources and to communicate the results verbally and in written form.
  • The ability to both follow instruction and to work independently
  • The ability to engage appropriately with a range of people in small group discussion
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Either 15 Points in HIST with a B grade or better, or 30 Points in HIST or Ancient History (CLAS111, CLAS112) with a passing grade. Alternatively, a B average in 60 points of coursework.


Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 10:00 - 11:00 Karl Popper 413 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 13:00 - 14:00 Karl Popper 612 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 14:00 - 15:00 Psychology - Sociology 413 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator

Jane Buckingham


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Written assessment 5% 300 words
Oral presentation 5% 5 minutes
Essay 1 25% 2000 words
Essay 2 25% 2000 words
Final exam 40% Two hours


Image: Composite Elephant, Mughal Period.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All HIST298 Occurrences

  • HIST298-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018