PreConference on Science, Technology & Medicine (STM) in South Asia

Theme: Science, Mystery, & Miracle

Thursday, October 26th
Madison Concourse Hotel
Parlor Room 638 (6th Floor)

This year's pre-conference will address some of the most pressing questions related to scientific form and practice in South Asia, while opening up a space to consider how science might stand in a complex relationship to that which is often (but not only) understood as beyond science, that which is perhaps mysterious or miraculous. As such, we expect that our conversations will connect science to questions of law, politics and religion. The pre-conference will also provide a collective venue for sharing cutting-edge research, developing collaborative projects and publications, and extending and strengthening networks of scholars working on related questions.


7:00 - 8:30 AM             Coffee and light breakfast

8:30 - 8:45 AM             Welcome and Introductory Remarks

8:45 - 10:15 AM        SESSION 1

10:15 - 10:30 AM         Coffee break

10:30 - 12:30 PM     SESSION 2

12:30 - 1:30 PM           Lunch, on your own or conference boxed lunch (tickets available online)

1:30 - 3:30 PM         SESSION 3

3:30 - 3:45 PM            Coffee break

3:45 - 5:30 PM         SESSION 4

6:30 - 7:30 PM            All-Conference Reception

7:00 PM                       STM in South Asia Dinner at Graze, located at 1 South Pinckney St.
                                       (walking distance from Madison Concourse Hotel)


Anthony Acciavatti, Yale University
Magic Beans: Mysteries of Mouthfeel in the Age of Kwashiorkor

Dwaipayan Banerjee, MIT
Tantric Transfusions: Sacrifice, Salvation and Circulation in the Gift of Blood

Nandini Bhattacharya, University of Dundee
Of Miracle Cures, their Disparate Purveyors, and Hapless Sceptics: Medical Therapies in Colonial India

Lawrence Cohen, University of California Berkeley
What Cannot be Known: On the Mystery of the Concept in the Making and Remaking of Aadhaar

Chris Fuller, LSE
Ethnography, Anthropometry and the “Modern Science of Anthropology'”: H. H. Risley’s Inquiries in Colonial Bengal

Prakash Kumar, Pennsylvania State University
“Miracle Seeds” and Places of Contention

Projit Mukharji, University of Pennsylvania
Where have all the Neanderthals Gone?: Archaeology, Anthropology, and Cryptozoology in South Asia, c. 1914-71

Sarah Pinto, Tufts University
What is the Color of Cure? Blue, and the Miracles of Chlorodyne

Amit Prasad, University of Missouri
Making Miracle in a Laboratory

Ursula Rao, University of Leipzig
Magic in a Box: The Remaking of Identity in an Era of Digital Signatures

Harris Solomon, Duke University
The Patient in the Crowd

Bharat Venkat, University of Oregon
A Murder Mystery