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Relocating Modern Science: Circulation and the Construction of Scientific Knowledge in South Asia & Europe, 1650-1900

By: Kapil Raj

285 pages, B/w figs


Hardback | Jan 2007 | #163039 | ISBN-13: 9780230507081
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NHBS Price: £77.99 $95/€88 approx

About this book

&i;Relocating Modern Science&o; challenges the belief that modern science was created uniquely in the West and that it was subsequently diffused elsewhere. Through a detailed analysis of key moments of knowledge construction in botany, cartography, terrestrial surveying, linguistics, scientific education, and colonial administration, it demonstrates the crucial roles of intercultural encounter and circulation for their emergence.

It engages with questions central to imperial, colonial, and South Asian history and presents a heuristic model for other world regions, periods, and fields of knowledge, as also for transnational and global studies.

'Relocating Modern Science is an important and thought-provoking book, which will no doubt encourage others to take a similarly un-blinkered approach to understanding scientific encounters in India. The author has done scholarship a great service by demonstrating the inappropriateness in many instances of conventional categories of analysis.' - Mark Harrison, Metascience 'Well-written, thought-provoking and likely to be of interest to those with more specialist interests in the regions in question as well as to scholars working on particular practices or personnel or on other regions.' - Charles Withers, Journal of Historical Geography 'Relocating Modern Science...makes possibly the clearest statement so far of the thesis that the history of science should be an account of how knowledge was made through interactions and not of how knowledge was transplanted...The friendly style, liberal and effective use of images, an eye for the dramatic moments in narratives, a forceful and convincing argument, and the fascinating case studies (some of which involved considerable detective work in the archives) make this book a rewarding and enjoyable read.' - Tirthankar Roy, Journal of Global History 'Relocating Modern Science is a theoretically exciting contribution that deserves to be read very widely. This book is a stimulating read..Raj is a polemicist who is confident enough to critique the work of other scholars, which means that his book is a brave one. Relocating Modern Science is certain to take an important place in the reading lists of scholars and students of science and globalization. It will also set a new and important point of reference for further debate.' - Sujit Sivasundaram, Isis 'Few volumes of collected essays are as mindfully edited or as beautifully produced as this one; few works leave one feeling as optimistic about the future of one's field, be it economic history or the history of science and technology.' - Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin


Introduction - Surgeons, Fakirs, Merchants and Craftsmen: Making L'Empereur's Jardin in Early Modern South Asia - Circulation and the Emergence of Modern Mapping: Great Britain and Early Colonial India, 1764-1820 - Refashioning Civilities, Engineering Trust: William Jones, Indian Intermediaries, and the Production of Reliable Legal Knowledge in Late Eighteenth-Century Bengal - British Orientalism in the Early Nineteenth Century, or Globalisation versus Universalism - Defusing Diffusionism: the Institutionaliztion of Modern Science Education in Early Nineteeth-Century Bengal - When Human Travellers become Instruments: the Indo-British Exploration of Central Asia in the Nineteenth Century - Conclusion - Bibliography - Index - -

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KAPIL RAJ is Ma?tre de conferences (Associate Professor) at the cole des Hautes tudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France and a member of the centre Alexandre Koyr? for the History of Science. He has published extensively on knowledge construction through processes of intercultural encounter. He is currently writing a book on early modern botanising in the Indian Ocean.

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