HIST298-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

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

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


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


Any 15 points at 100 level in HIST or CLAS120, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


Course Coordinator

Jane Buckingham

Textbooks / Resources

Image: Composite Elephant, Mughal Period.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All HIST298 Occurrences

  • HIST298-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021