Revolutionary Pasts : Mangal Pandey to Chandrashekhar Azad

An Online Weekend Course


Aparna Vaidik

Course Dates

19 and 20 March, 2022


INR 4,000


5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Course Faculty

Aparna Vaidik

Aparna Vaidik is a historian of South Asia and Associate Professor of History at Ashoka University, India. She has previously taught at Georgetown University, Washington DC and University of Delhi. She is a recipient of research grants from the British Academy (UK), Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (USA), the Charles Wallace Trust (UK) and Indian Council for Historical Research. Her publications include Waiting for Swaraj: Inner Lives of Indian Revolutionaries (Cambridge University Press, 2021), My Son’s Inheritance: A Secret History of Lynching and Blood Justice in India (Aleph 2020), Imperial Andamans: Colonial Encounter and Island History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and her Revolutionaries on Trial: Sedition, Betrayal and Martyrdom (Aleph, 2022) is forthcoming.

About The Course

How does a nation remember its past? The nation’s impulse to celebrate, represent and preserve its past is reflected in the many state celebrations, national holidays, museums, monuments, arts, popular cinema and in its textbooks. This course raises some fundamental questions about India’s commemorative history. It examines the memorialisation of Mangal Pandey and Chandrashekhar Azad and the manner in which their lives have been documented and popularized. It addresses questions such as: How and what do we know about them? What elements of their lives are figments of nationalist and popular imagination and why? Using historical and contemporary sources, the course will bring alive the interplay between History and Memory – the way a nation constructs, remembers and, at times, forgets and silences the past. The course is an introduction to the art of historical thinking and it does so by challenging the notion that history is simply a collection of dates and facts about events or boring stories of kings and queens. The practice of history actually fuels and glues our connection to the past in a way that makes us question our own frameworks and singular conceptions of the world.

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    Course Objectives

    Experience New Learning & Mental Models on Important Topics

    Gain Exposure to Diverse Readings, Research and Resources

    Learn to Engage in Critical Debate & Discussion

    Expand your Perspective across Disciplinary Boundaries

    Develop Analytical & Critical Thinking Faculties

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.