Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Sheetal Chhabria – The Global Housing Crisis in Colonial Bombay

Friday, April 8, 2016

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

Sheetal Chhabria is a historian of South Asia with interests in the problems of inequality in social and cultural life. Her research focuses on the intensification and alleviation of urban poverty in cities like Bombay and Karachi through the long 19th century, seeking to embed South Asia’s urban “slum” problem within the global urban housing and labor crisis at the turn of the century.

Her research and teaching grounds South Asian history in the debates on the dynamics of empire, capitalism and liberalism, challenging the implicit and explicit comparative claims that have been made about colonial cities, their legibility in the discourse on global slums, and theories of incomplete modernization or development. She is currently working on a book titled Making the Modern Slum: Housing Colonial Bombay's Laboring Poor, 1760-1930. The book is a critical history of the political economy of housing in colonial Bombay and the global representations of urbanism, sanitation, mobility and labor, which mediated the resolution of Bombay's poor housing problems.

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 History and postcolonial theory and practice. Each of her courses foregrounds issues of power in the crafting of historical narratives across time and space.

More Information

Center for Contemporary South Asia