Sheetal Chhabria

Sheetal Chhabria

Associate Professor of History

Joined Connecticut College: 2012

Ph.D., Columbia University


South Asian history




Global history

Postcolonial studies

Sheetal Chhabria (Ph.D. Columbia University) is a historian of South Asia with interests in the global histories of capitalism, urban studies, governmentality, and postcolonial theory.

Her research and teaching situate South Asian history within the debates on capitalism and liberalism as contested global formations, challenging the implicit and explicit comparative claims that have been made about colonial spaces and their legibility in discourses of modernization or development. Her current research focuses on the intensification, alleviation, management, and surveillance of crises in colonial Bombay. Her book on this subject entitled, Making the Modern Slum: the Power of Capital in Colonial Bombay, is forthcoming with the University of Washington Press in October, 2019. Other research interests include the politics of indigeneity, colonial knowledge, and the production of the economy as social scientific fact. Her research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and the American Historical Association.

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

At Connecticut College she teaches courses on South Asian and Global History and postcolonial theory and practice. Each of her courses foregrounds issues of power and the limitations in crafting historical narratives across time and space.

Samples of courses taught:
Contesting India’s Past
Globalization of Urban Poverty
Crafting Global Narratives
South Asia in the Postcolonial World.


  • "The Aboriginal Alibi: Governing Dispossession in Colonial Bombay," Comparative Studies in Society and History, October 2018.
  • Making the Modern Slum: The Power of Capital in Colonial Bombay (forthcoming 2019, University of Washington Press, Global South Asia Series)
  • Citing the City’s Poor: Commercial Sovereignty & Capitalist Integration in Colonial Karachi,” Journal of Urban History, 2018. 
  • “Capitalism in Muddy Waters: The Indian Ocean Economy in the 19th century” forthcoming, Journal of World History, 29, 3 & 4, October 2018.
  • “Inequality in an Era of Convergence,” World History Connected, June 2016. (
  • “Narendra Modi, Gender, and Governance,” in The Gendered Executive, Mary Anne Borelli & Janet Martin eds., Temple University Press, 2016.
  • Review of Mumbai Fables: A History of an Enchanted City by Gyan Prakash, Journal of World History, December 2012.
  • “Gujarat: Indian Imperialism on the Coast,” in The First Global Age, (1450 – 1770), World History Encyclopedia, by ABC – CLIO, February 2011.

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.