Student Profile

Swati Chawla

PhD Candidate, History


Swati Chawla is a historian of modern South Asia. She will soon finish her Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia, with a dissertation focused on policies governing migration and citizenship claims in the Himalayan regions of postcolonial South Asia. She was recently appointed as assistant professor at the Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities in O.P. Jindal Global University (India), where she will be teaching courses on Tibetans in India, South Asian Buddhism, and digital humanities.

She holds a B.A., M.A., and M.Phil. degrees in English from the University of Delhi, where she also taught as an assistant professor of English before starting her doctoral work. Swati has held fellowships with the USAID, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Taraknath Das Foundation at Columbia University, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Institute for the Humanities and Global Cultures, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Koch Foundation, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

She is currently working on her first book project arising from her dissertation. It studies nationalisms and citizenship claims directed against the Indian state from the Tibetan cultural region from the transition from colonial rule in the 1940s to the recent standoff at Doklam in 2017. Swati’s M.Phil. and Ph.D. work has appeared as chapters in edited volumes, and she has also co-authored an inter-disciplinary working paper under the USAID and IIE’s Research and Innovation Series titled “Increasing the Civic and Political Participation of Women in the Global South: Understanding the Risk of Strong Resistance.”  Her op-eds and features regularly appear in FirstpostThe Wire, and The Quint.

She tweets @ChawlaSwati.