Wednesday, January 20, 2010

History of British India - Vinay Lal at UCLA

A lot of action has been going on around the history of India on this blog. The few podcasts on the subject are lecture series by Vinay Lal at UCLA: History of India (feed) and History of British India (feed). The main criticisms on Lal's work are that his lectures are not well organized, his knowledge seems limited and his interpretations are heavily politicized.

This has been voiced in comments and in blogs that refer to the course on the whole history of India. Lal is supposed to be a specialist on British India and hence the new course (History of British India (feed)) is having me listen in closely.

So far the outcome is slightly disappointing. We have had five lectures, the last of which was not podcast (only 1 minute came through) and what Lal has been teaching is almost completely identical to what he has also said during the previous course (History of India (feed)). Also, since he seems to be giving the narrative in a chronological way, but in effect goes on thematic tangents. So we are still presented with material that is not immediately well ordered. As to the politics and the quality of the knowledge, I am looking forward to find what other listeners will write - either in the comments below, or in their blogs.

More Vinay Lal's:
History of India - the search goes on,
8 podcasts I listened to,
History of India or Europe?
History of India.
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