Science and Society Since 1800


Modern science is a global phenomenon, and yet scientific knowledge, as the product of human activity, is deeply embedded in the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts in which it is produced, mobilized, and used. Exploring the dynamic relationship between science and society in modern South Asia, this course takes a global approach to science, medicine, and technology, which means we will consider different modes of knowledge as it traveled through global networks. Taking scientific practices as not the exclusive domain of the British colonial state, its European personnel or even South Asian scientists, this course explores the production of knowledge among a range of actors in South Asian societies. We will pursue two questions throughout: How and where did South Asians learn, receive, interpret, practice, and produce scientific knowledge? How did they mobilize this knowledge in their own political and social agendas? Students will also get a sense of the wide range of historical, sociological, and anthropological materials that help trace the everyday workings of different scientific disciplines within a "living laboratory," which are a series of spaces and sites of knowledge production that we conventionally not think of as scientific spaces. Through a chronological approach we will trace science's relationship with South Asia's society during the precolonial, colonial and postcolonial era. Themes that we explore include modern science's dynamic relationship with imperialism, decolonization, indigenous or local knowledge traditions, and scientific internationalism.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM

Section 01

Science and Society Since 1800
INSTRUCTOR: Wardaki, Marjan
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