Rachel Sturman

Affiliation: History, Asian Studies
Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, Director of Asian Studies Program

Rachel Sturman received her A.B. from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She specializes in the history of modern South Asia, with a focus on colonial and postcolonial India. A historian of modern social and intellectual formations, her first book, The Government of Social Life in Colonial India: Liberalism, Religious Law, and Women’s Rights, examined the intimate and wide-ranging political effects of colonial British property law in India.  Her current book project traces the history of the construction industry in the city of Mumbai during the past century, exploring processes of building and dwelling in India’s most iconic megacity. The courses she offers examine histories of empire, human rights, the politics of development, and media, technology, and commodity cultures, as well as the histories of early modern India and modern India & Pakistan.

Rachel Sturman Headshot


  • PhD, University of California, Davis, 2001
  • MA, University of California, Davis, 1993
  • AB, University of Chicago, 1991