Postdoctoral Fellow Mishal Khan publishes chapter in new book on the histories of racial capitalism

Rapoport Center Postdoctoral Fellow Mishal Khan has published a chapter in a new book on the relationship between social relations of exploitation and the racial terms through which they were organized, justified, and contested. Khan’s chapter is called “The Indebted Among the “Free”: Producing Indian Labor through the Layers of Racial Capitalism.” Read more about the book, Histories of Racial Capitalism (Columbia University Press: 2021), which brings together for the first time distinguished and rising scholars to consider the utility of the concept across historical settings.

Khan is a sociologist focusing on histories of labor regulation after the abolition of slavery in South Asia and the British Empire. She joined the Rapoport Center as a postdoctoral fellow after completing her doctorate at the University of Chicago, and is originally from both Pakistan and Australia. Khan’s work on the Center’s project on inequality, human rights, and the future of work complements and extends her engagement with contemporary and historic human rights issues. Prior to her graduate studies, she spent time interning and working with a series of think tanks such as the Brookings Institution and the Jinnah Institute, in addition to social policy and human rights organizations in Pakistan and the United States. Her work covered issues from immigration law in the United States to processes of marginalization in rural areas in Pakistan, to issues around regional security in South Asia. In line with her dissertation and graduate research, Khan has shifted her engagement to focusing specifically on labor, connecting modern slavery issues with early twentieth century imperial policies, and norms enshrined in international institutions such as the League of Nations and the International Labor Organization. She came to this position after gaining experience interning with Verité, researching challenges around labor in global supply chains, and after engaging with policy debates around modern slavery issues. Her work has appeared in Open Democracy’s Beyond Slavery blog, and the American Journal of Sociology. Khan has received funding for her research from the American Institute for Pakistan Studies (AIPS), the Pozen Center for Human Rights, and the Center for International Social Science Research. She has held visiting affiliate positions at Habib University in Karachi, and at the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney.