Rishad Choudhury ’07

  • Assistant Professor of History


  • PhD, history, Cornell University, 2015
  • MA, history, Cornell University, 2012
  • BA, history, Oberlin College (with Highest Honors), 2007


I am a historian of South Asia, with a particular interest in the history of its Muslim societies, and their links with the wider world.

I am currently completing a book-length project, ‘‘Hajj between Empires: Indo-Muslim Pilgrimage and Political Culture, 1739–1820.’’ The study seeks to understand how Indian devotional circulations in the Indian Ocean and Ottoman worlds generated new and enduring norms of political thought and practice over a “long” 18th-century of regime change in South Asia, from the collapse of the Mughal state to the consolidation of British colonialism.

In a planned future project, tentatively titled “Disimagined Community,” I hope to enter the worlds of a powerful Shi‘ite “little kingdom” in Bengal, and explore its troubled turn to provincial Muslim nationalism under the Raj.

My work has been supported by funds and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, and the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, among other institutions.

My recent and upcoming publications include essays and entries in the Indian Economic and Social History Review, Modern Asian Studies, and the Encyclopaedia of Islam.

At Oberlin, I teach introductory survey courses on premodern and modern South Asia, a research seminar on colonial and postcolonial Muslim politics, and am slated to teach a first-year writing class on the global history of pilgrimage.

Spring 2022

Modern South Asia — HIST 163
Sacred and Secular in an Islamic Republic: Pakistan — HIST 265