Swati Chattopadhyay

Swati Chattopadhyay

Office Hours

Winter 2019: Wednesday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Office Location

Arts 1210


Modern architecture and urbanism; Cultural landscape of colonialism; British empire; Postcolonial and critical theory.


B.Arch. Jadavpur University
M.Arch. University of Arizona
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley


Swati Chattopadhyay is an architect and architectural historian specializing in modern architecture and urbanism, and the cultural landscape of British colonialism. She is interested in the ties between colonialism and modernism, and in the spatial aspects of race, gender, and ethnicity in modern cities that are capable of enriching post-colonial and critical theory. Her awards include a National Science Foundation Grant, two grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, a J. Paul Getty Fellowship, a Fellowship from the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from Queen Mary, University of London, and the Society of Architectural Historian's Founder's Award. She has served as a director of the Subaltern-Popular Workshop, a University of California Multi-campus Research Group, and is the current editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (JSAH). She has also co-edited a special issue of PostColonial Studies (Nov 2005) focusing on "the subaltern and the popular," and guest-edited a special section of Urban History (Feb 2012), titled, "Suburbs in India." She is the author of Representing Calcutta: Modernity, Nationalism, and the Colonial Uncanny (Routledge, 2005; paperback 2006), and Unlearning the City: Infrastructure in a New Optical Field (Minnesota, 2012). As the 2015-16 Guggenheim Fellow she is working on a book project, "Nature's Infrastructure: British Empire and the Making of the Gangetic Plains, 1760-1880.”


Swati Chattopadhyay. Representing Calcutta: Modernity, Nationalism and the Colonial Uncanny. Oxford: Routledge, 2006.Swati Chattopadhyay and Jeremy White, eds. City Halls and Civic Materialism: Towards a Global History of Urban Public Space. Oxford: Routledge, 2014.Swati Chattopadhyay. Unlearning the City: Infrastructure in a New Optical Field. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.