Location: Bowdoin / Rachel Sturman


Rachel L. Sturman

Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies

Contact Information


Hubbard Hall - 19

Teaching this semester

HIST 2343 / ASNS 2582. Politics and Popular Culture in Modern India

Rachel Sturman
Examines the new forms of politics and of popular culture that have shaped modernity in India. Topics include the emergence of mass politics, urbanization, modern visual culture, new media technologies, and contemporary media and democracy. Course includes a film component. This course is part of the following field(s) of study: South Asia and Colonial Worlds.

HIST 2802 / ASNS 2585. Global Cities, Global Slums of India

Rachel Sturman
Seminar. How have cities in the so-called "developing world" come to take their contemporary forms? How is life in these cities and slums lived? Explores these and other questions through a focus on modern India. Drawing on film, fiction, memoirs, urban planning, and other materials, examines the processes through which cities and slums have taken shape, ongoing efforts to transform them, as well as some of the diverse ways of representing and inhabiting modern urban life.Note: This course is part of the following field(s) of study: Colonial Worlds and South Asia.

Rachel L. Sturman: Bowdoin College: History, Asian Studies


  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis, September 2001
  • M.A., University of California, Davis, 1993
  • A.B., University of Chicago, 1991


The Government of Social Life in Colonial India: Liberalism, Religious Law and Women’s Rights, Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming April 2012.

Journal Forum

“Gender and the Human,” Gender & History 23, 2 (August 2011).


Invited contribution: “Marriage & Family in Colonial Hindu Law.” In Hinduism and Law: An Introduction. Cambridge Companion Series. Edited by Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis, Jr., & Jayanth K. Krishnan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 89-104.

“Marriage and the Morality of Exchange: Defining the Terrain of Law in Late Nineteenth Century Western India.” In Decentering Empire: Britain, India, and the Transcolonial World. Edited by Durba Ghosh and Dane Kennedy. Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2006: 51–75.

“Property and Attachments: Defining Autonomy and the Claims of Family in Nineteenth-Century Western India.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 47, 3 (July 2005): 611–637.

Book Reviews

Review of Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal, by Rochona Majumdar, Asian Studies Review, 35, 1 (March 2011).

Review of Bengal in Global Concept History: Culturalism in the Age of Capital, by Andrew Sartori, American Anthropologist, 112, 3 (September 2010): 491-2.

Review of Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire, by Durba Ghosh, Journal of Asian Studies, 68, 2 (May 2009): 650-1.

Work in Progress

“Indian Indentured Labor and the History of Citizenship and Human Rights.” [Article under revision for The American Historical Review.]

Genealogies of the Human: Indian Labor, Migration and the Idea of Emancipation
[Monograph manuscript under preparation.]