Course Description

This course examines the social, economic, political, and intellectual history of India during the 19th and 20th centuries through the lens of literature, film and women’s movements Specifically, we will watch eight Hindi films (subtitled) and read three novels (in English) by Indian women authors. Students will be asked to engage in online discussions, take short quizzes and write a final paper. No prior knowledge India is required.

Required movies:

    • Mangala Pandey: The Rising, 2005 (set in 1857)
    • Water, 2005 (set in 1938)
    • Pinjar, 2003 (set in 1947)
    • Bandit queen, 1994 (set in 1968-) (*see warning on D2L)
    • Silent Waters, 2003 (set in 1979)
    • The Dirty Picture, 2011 (set in 1980’s)
    • Kya Kehna, 2000
    • Dangal, 2016
    • Make-up/ replacement movie options: Lajja,2001; English Vinglish,2012

Required texts:

  • Modern India: A Very Short Introduction (Craig Jeffrey), 2017
  • Nectar in a Sieve (Kamala Markandaya). Signet Classics, 2002.
  • Cracking India: A Novel  (Bapsi Sidhwa). Milkweed, 2006.
  • Babyji (Abha Dawesar). Anchor, 2005.

Meeting Place and Times



Holly Grether, Ph.D.

Holly Grether earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies (South Asia emphasis) in 2010 from University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been teaching courses at MSU in Religious Studies, History and CLS First Year Seminar since 2007. Dr. Grether has studied both Sanskrit and Hindi and her academic specializations include Asian Religions, Women in India, Ritual Studies, and History of Religions.


HSTR 102, HSTR 140, HSTR 160, or permission of instructor.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table.

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

For more course information, please contact the instructor, Holly Grether.

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.