STS Distinguished Speaker. Making Postcolonial Bodies: Tales from An"Other" Enlightenment
Banu Subramaniam, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
This talk explores how science and religion come together in in contemporary Hindu nationalism to create a very particular and powerful biopolitical imaginary. Religious nationalists have selectively, and strategically, used rhetoric from both science and Hinduism, modernity and orthodoxy, western and eastern thought to build a powerful but potentially dangerous vision of a Hindu nation. With aspirations for a global and modern Hinduism, scientific and religious practices in contemporary India are inextricably interconnected and result in fluid processes and practices of both institutions. The case of India reminds us about both the transnational stakes of science as well as the local instantiations that challenge enlightenment narratives of reason and unreason. Ultimately to understand contemporary technoscience in India, we need new epistemological and methodological tools, and story-making practices to make visible the many phantasmogoric natural and cultural worlds within.
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