Department of History

About the Department

Dept. data last updated on :27/11/2021

History is being taught at Aligarh Muslim University since the time of establishment of Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the University himself evinced keen interest in history and archaeology. Later in 1920 when MAO College was transformed into A.M.U., history continued to be taught by noted historians like Sardar K.M. Panickar (1921-22). The Department of History also witnessed significant changes in the perception of Indian history. Under his successor Professor Mohammad Habib (author of the seminal Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni) Aligarh built a reputation for source based objective historiography. Along with the Allahabad historians (Tara Chand, R.P. Tripathi and others) Aligarh developed nationalist historiography without allowing loss of objectivity. In 1953 Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru instituted a special grant from the Government of India for a Scheme of ‘Research and Publication in Medieval Indian History’ which resulted in the expansion of the Department. Much research was carried out under its aegis and by its publications Aligarh became the major recognized centre of medieval studies in India. In 1968, the Department was upgraded as Centre under the Centres of Advanced Studies Programme of the University Grant Commission.

Since its initiation into Centre, the works of distinguished faculty comprising Professor S. Nurul Hasan, Professor Satish Chandra (later Chairman, UGC), Professor K.A. Nizami, Professor Irfan Habib, Professor M. Athar Ali, Professor R.C. Gaur, Professor Iqtidar Alam Khan, Professor S.P. Verma, Professor A.J. Qaisar, Professor Shireen Moosvi, Professor S.P. Gupta and other equally eminent scholars increased the visibility of the Department at national and international levels. Professor Irfan Habib moulded the Centre’s profile through his own contributions as well as by encouraging his colleagues and students to follow suit. Under Professor S. Nurul Hasan, the Department developed a large Archaeology Section and a very well-equipped Cartography Lab. 

At present the Centre of Advanced, Department of History is headed by Professor Gulfishan Khan. She is on sabbatical for a year on a prestigious Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional  Excellence  Fellowship (Research), 2021-2022. In her absence Professor Ishrat Alam is the Coordinator & Acting Chairperson of the CAS, Department of History, AMU, Aligarh.

We are in the third year of our VIII Cycle of the SAP. 

The University Grants Commission has set the ‘Thrust Area Identified: Regional and Micro Level Medieval Indian History, Medieval Archaeology, Sources of Medieval Indian History, Indian Science and Technology (vide its communication File No. F.6-3/CAS-VIII/2018 (SAP-III), dated 25 July 2018 for the CAS VIII Cycle, 2018 to 2023).

The Department offers undergraduate, Postgraduate and research courses. The major areas of focus in the Department are: Socio, Economic and Cultural HistoryCentral Asian StudiesMilitary HistoryIslamic HistoryGender HistoryEnvironmental HistoryOnomasticsSouth East Asian StudiesOral HistoryFamily History and Art History.