Faculty Experts - Elizabeth Kolsky, PhD

Elizabeth Kolsky, PhD

Elizabeth Kolsky, PhD
Associate Professor, Director of Asian Studies
Department of History
Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Area of Expertise: 

  • Modern South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)
  • British Empire
  • Global Women


One of the British Empire’s most closely guarded secrets is the history of racial violence in Colonial India. Dr. Kolsky has worked to shed light on the injustices committed by white Europeans during that period and she can speak to how Colonial laws allowed Europeans to commit crime in India without repercussion. Dr. Kolsky can apply her historical knowledge to draw parallels to international events and violence in present day South Asia.


  • Ph.D., History, Columbia University
  • B.A., Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University

Selected Publications

  • Colonial Justice in British India: White Violence and the Rule of Law, Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society No. 17 (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Fringes of Empire: People, Places and Spaces in Colonial India, co-edited with Sameetah Agha (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • Book review of Mithi Mukherjee, India in the Shadows of Empire: A Legal and Political History, 1757-1950, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 12, 3 (Winter 2011).
  • “The Rule of Colonial Indifference: Rape on Trial in Early Colonial India, 1805-1857,” The Journal of Asian Studies, 69, 4 (November 2010): 1093-1117.
  • “‘The Body Evidencing the Crime’: Rape on Trial in Colonial India, 1860-1947,” Gender & History, 22, 1 (April 2010): 109-130.
  • “Tea, Labor, and Empire in India,” Steeped in History: The Art of Tea, Beatrice Hohenegger (ed.) (University of California Press, 2009), pp. 204-215.

Selected Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor of History, Villanova University
  • Assistant Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies, Pratt Institute

Selected Research

  • History Department Summer Research Grant, Villanova University, 2013
  • Villanova University Institute for Teaching and Learning Grant, 2012
  • Villanova University Faculty Development Grant, 2012
  • History Department Summer Research Grant, Villanova University, 2012
  • Palestinian American Research Center Faculty Development Grant, 2011
  • Villanova University Research Support Grant and Summer Research Fellowship, 2011
  • Villanova University Faculty Development Grant, 2010National Science Foundation Law and Social Science Program Research Grant, 2008-2010