HIST270 - AGRARIAN QUEST IN ASIA: The Agrarian Question in Asia: A Chapter in the History of Economic Thought

In this course we will look at how the emerging relationship between ‘modern’ industry, agriculture, and economic change has been understood and acted upon in the context of the two major agrarian empire zones of Asia that now comprise the countries of China and India. Today, it is in connection to recent processes of economic liberalization, globalization, and the post-Cold War ‘triumph of capitalism’ that the vast changes transpiring in these areas of the world are most typically discussed. However, the anticipation of the imminent ‘great transformation’ of these parts of the world has a much longer history. As such, it has proven both constitutive of the processes of actual transformation that have been unfolding in these parts of the world since (at least) the second half of the nineteenth-century and representative of the multifarious idioms that have historically gone into the making of knowledge about the economic. To Asian subalterns and to the West’s high theoretical exponents of classical political economy, to metropolitan romantics and to incipient ‘third-world’ nationalists, to the early 20th-century’s increasingly ‘scientific’ economists and to its revolutionaries—to one and all the agrarian question in Asia was crucial. For us, it will be the entry point into thinking about the making of economics and the economy in a time before a Post-War era in which each would increasingly become the reflection of the other through a seemingly self-evident relation between object and inquiry and between diagnosing underdevelopment and desiring growth.
Day and Time: 
MW 0200PM-0330PM
Cross Listings: 
  • HIST570401
  • SAST270401
  • SAST570401