Location: Bowdoin / Rachel Sturman


Rachel L. Sturman

Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies

Contact Information


Hubbard Hall - 19

Teaching this semester

HIST 1038 / ASNS 1035. Globalizing India

Rachel Sturman
Explores the lived experience of globalization on the ground in India, looking at the everyday lives and livelihoods, landscapes, and imaginations that have been transformed in recent decades. Key themes include urbanization, rising wealth and inequality, and changes in social and political visions. This course is part of the following field(s) of study: South Asian and Colonial Worlds.

HIST 1440 / ASNS 1560. Merchants, Mughals, Mendicants: India and the Early Modern World

Rachel Sturman
Introductory exploration of the history of the Indian subcontinent and its connections to the broader world in an era shaped by the vibrant movement of people, goods, and ideas across the Indian Ocean, Europe, and Central Asia. Note: This course is part of the following field(s) of study: South Asia. It also fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

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.]