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New Directions in STS and Postcolonial Studies in India

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Abstract:

This paper explores the relationship between postcolonial studies and STS. Recently, postcolonial scholars of Indian history and society have inaugurated a post-Orientalist study of India. Such work asks, how can questions of caste, tribe, and politics be re-visited in light of critiques of colonial science and colonial governmentality? This paper will review existing literature that revisits in a critical fashion colonial concepts and categories, especially as present in contemporary anthropology. This literature—which engages with the study of village life, caste politics, and the colonial archive—asks, what kind of new knowledge can be produced that moves debate beyond the critique of colonial optics? The paper then reviews work in STS as emerging around the Indian IT sector and biotechnologies. This work, which embeds the history of Indian IT and biotech in longer histories of modern science in India on the one hand and in the production of global capitalism on the other, often uses novel methodologies that stress enactments of technology and the performativity of material life. Finally, this paper will read these two literatures together to consider how concepts borrowed from STS might inform a post-Orientalist human science of India and vice versa. What questions are raised by a consideration of power and knowledge in post-colonial India that might expand the scope of STS approaches? How might the methods to bear in STS studies be used to develop a sophisticated understanding of the lived experience of social-scientific categories?
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Name: 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p518199_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Amrute, Sareeta. "New Directions in STS and Postcolonial Studies in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Center Hotel, Cleveland, OH, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p518199_index.html>

APA Citation:

Amrute, S. "New Directions in STS and Postcolonial Studies in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Center Hotel, Cleveland, OH <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p518199_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between postcolonial studies and STS. Recently, postcolonial scholars of Indian history and society have inaugurated a post-Orientalist study of India. Such work asks, how can questions of caste, tribe, and politics be re-visited in light of critiques of colonial science and colonial governmentality? This paper will review existing literature that revisits in a critical fashion colonial concepts and categories, especially as present in contemporary anthropology. This literature—which engages with the study of village life, caste politics, and the colonial archive—asks, what kind of new knowledge can be produced that moves debate beyond the critique of colonial optics? The paper then reviews work in STS as emerging around the Indian IT sector and biotechnologies. This work, which embeds the history of Indian IT and biotech in longer histories of modern science in India on the one hand and in the production of global capitalism on the other, often uses novel methodologies that stress enactments of technology and the performativity of material life. Finally, this paper will read these two literatures together to consider how concepts borrowed from STS might inform a post-Orientalist human science of India and vice versa. What questions are raised by a consideration of power and knowledge in post-colonial India that might expand the scope of STS approaches? How might the methods to bear in STS studies be used to develop a sophisticated understanding of the lived experience of social-scientific categories?


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