Sheetal Chhabria

Sheetal Chhabria

Associate Professor of History

Joined Connecticut College: 2012

Ph.D., Columbia University


South Asian history




Global history

History of Poverty

Sheetal Chhabria (Ph.D. Columbia University) is a historian of South Asia with interests in the global histories of capitalism, urban studies, and the production of poverty and inequality. Her research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and the American Historical Association.

Broadly, her research and teaching challenge the comparative claims that have been made about colonial spaces and their legibility in discourses of modernization or development. Each of her courses foregrounds issues of power in crafting historical narratives across time and space.

Her first book, Making the Modern Slum: the Power of Capital in Colonial Bombay (University of Washington Press 2019, Global South Asia Series), shows how the wellbeing of the city–rather than of its people–became an increasingly urgent goal of government, positioning agrarian distress, famished migrants, and the laboring poor as threats to be contained or excluded. Other publications have analyzed the politics of indigeneity, colonial knowledge, and the production of the economy as social scientific fact.

Her current research entails analyzing the imbrications of caste and capital in the subcontinent’s long history and the failures of decolonization.

Prior to joining Connecticut College’s history department, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Historical Analysis at Rutgers University.

Samples of courses taught:
Contesting India’s Past
Globalization of Urban Poverty
Crafting Global Narratives
Racial Capitalism: A Global History


Visit the history department website.

Majoring in History. 

Contact Sheetal Chhabria

Mailing Address

Sheetal Chhabria
Connecticut College
Box # HISTORY/Winthrop Hall
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


312 Winthrop Hall

Office Hours

Fall 2014: Wed. & Fri., 12-1 p.m. and by appointment.