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 whose research and teaching focus on 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.

Her first book, Making the Modern Slum: the Power of Capital in Colonial Bombay (University of Washington, 2019), won the American Historical Association’s 2020 John F. Richards Prize for South Asian History. The book 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 colonial knowledge and the production of the economy as social scientific fact.

Her current research is focused on the imbrications of caste and capital in the subcontinent’s long history and the failures of decolonization. As well as academic articles sampled below, she has written for The Nation, Jacobin, and The India Forum amongst others.

Each of her courses focuses on issues of power in the crafting of narratives, debates on the means and ends of justice, and the dangers of complicity in the structures of power that reproduce inequality.

Samples of courses taught:
Contesting India’s Past
Globalization of Urban Poverty (cross listed with Economics)
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.