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An Introduction To

Bangladesh Culture and Heritage

• Mohammad Morad Hossain Khan

Welcome to
Culture and
• The Maurya Empire was a geographically
extensive Iron Age historical power inancient India,
ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BCE.
Originating from the kingdom of Magadha in
the Indo-Gangetic plains (modern Bihar,
easternUttar Pradesh and Bengal) in the eastern side
of the Indian subcontinent, the empire had its
capital city at Pataliputra (modern Patna). The
Empire was founded in 322 BCE by Chandragupta
Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda
Dynasty and rapidly expanded his power westwards
across central and western India taking advantage of
the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the
withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great's
Greek and Persian armies.
• Mahasthangarh is the oldest
archaeological site in
Bangladesh. It dates back to
700 BCE and was the ancient
capital of the Pundra Kingdom.
Lecture 1
• Introduction among students and teacher-why
studying history?
• An overview of the course
Lecture 2
• Land and People: Geographical features;
• early settlements and archaeological
• Origin of the term ‘Bengal’-river system-
Janapadas- Wari Bateshwar-Mahasthangarh
Lecture 3
• Ethnicity and demography:
• Bangladesh as an ethnic melting pot: diverse
ethnic groups including those from
prehistoric, ancient and medieval period-
population growth and related issues
Lecture 4
• Political History-1:
• Ancient Bengal- an overview, Sashanka-
Matsanayam-Gopala and the political
significance of Pala dynasty- Sena dynasty
Lecture 5
• Medieval Bengal- an overview:
• Iliasand Hossain Shahi Dynasty and their
Lecture 6
• Bengal under the Mughal: The Bara Bhuiyans
and the Mughalization of Subah Bangalah
Lecture 7
• Midterm 1
Lecture 8
• Colonial Bengal-1:
• Battle of Plassey 1757- Expansion of the
British Empire- 1857: First War of
Independence? Political parties and figures-
Congress- Muslim League- Subhas Bose-
Nehru- Gandhi, Jinnah- FazlulHuq and
Robert Clive
Lecture 9
• Colonial Bengal-2:
• The Permanent Settlement and its impact;
Resistance against the British Colonial rule:
Peasant Movements and Insurgencies in
Bengal; New Institutions of Rule under British
Lecture 10
• Growth of Nationalism in (India) Bengal
Lecture 11
• Art, Architecture and Culture:
• Evolution of Bangla language and literature,
Eminent literary figures and their works;
Bengal Renaissance
Lecture 12
• Material art, architecture, Music and Folk
Culture: Origin and Evolution
Lecture 13
• Religions and Society:
• Gender and Minority history, Place and role of
women in the history of Bangladesh,
Indigenous communities of Bengal
Lecture 14
• Midterm 2
Lecture 15
• Education:
• Nalanda, The Growth of Education during
Islamic and Colonial periods
Lecture 16 & 17
• Emergence and expansion of Islam:
• Theories of Islamization, Sufism; different
forms of expression of Islam over the time
Lecture 18
• Political History-2: First Partition of Bengal,
1905 and Its Consequence
Lecture 19
• Presentation of the students in group
Lecture 20 & 21
• The British Raj and the Second Partition of
Bengal in 1947:
• Impacts: Political, Economic, Cultural
Lecture 22 & 23
• Social changes in the modern times:
Emergence of the Bhadralok class; Bengali
Muslim middle class; modernization; social
Lecture 24
• Final Examination
Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Curzon Hall - House of Science Faculties
Subhas Chandra Bose
Kazi Nazrul Islam
Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
A. K. Fazlul Huq
Recommended books
• 1. Sirajul Islam (Ed.), 2012, Banglapedia: National
Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, 2nd Edition, Dhaka:
Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
• 2. Salahuddin Ahmed and Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury
(eds.), 2004, Bangladesh: National Culture and
Heritage: An Introductory Reader, Dhaka:
Independent University Bangladesh.
• 3. Sharif Uddin Ahmed, ‘Urbanization’, in Sirajul
Islam (ed.), 2010, History of Bangladesh 1704-1971,
volume 3, Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
• 4. Meghna Guhathakurta and Willem van Schendel
(eds.), 2013, The Bangladesh Reader. History,
Culture, Politics, London: Duke University Press.