Arunabh Ghosh

Associate Professor of History


Arunabh Ghosh is a historian of modern China, with research and teaching interests in social and economic history, history of science and statecraft, transnational history, and China-India history.

Ghosh’s first book, Making it Count: Statistics and Statecraft in the early People’s Republic of China (Princeton University Press, 2020), investigates how the early PRC state built statistical capacity to know the nation through numbers. He has conducted research for the book in Beijing, Guangzhou, New Delhi, and Kolkata, and his work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Andrew F. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and Columbia University. His work has appeared in the Journal of Asian StudiesOsiris, the International Journal of Asian StudiesBJHS ThemesEASTS, and the PRC History Review.

Other research projects include a history of dam and reservoir construction in twentieth century China and a history of China-Indian networks of Science, ca. 1920-1980.

Ghosh’s graduate offerings include seminars and pro-seminars on different aspects of twentieth century Chinese history and Asian environmental history. He also offers examination fields in Modern Chinese History. At the undergraduate level, he regularly offers a survey lecture on Modern China (1894-Present) and has conference courses on large-scale technological and social engineering projects in post-imperial China  and on the economic history of modern China.

Trained at Haverford College and at Tsinghua and Columbia universities, Ghosh joined the History Department in 2015 from the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, where he was an Academy Scholar for the 2014-15 AY. 

Research interests: social, economic, and intellectual histories of twentieth century China, transnational histories of science and statecraft, and Sino-Indian history.

Selected Publications


  • Ghosh, Arunabh. Making It Count: Statistics and Statecraft in the Early People’s Republic of China. Princeton University Press, 2020.

Recent Articles and Chapters


Blog Posts