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An Empire of Knowledge: Science, Colonialism and Nationalism in British India


Module description

The age of imperialism was marked by rapid changes in European science, medicine and technology.  Focusing on British India, this module will explore how and to what extent these developments were 'exported' to the colonies, what role they played in the establishment of British hegemony, how Western ideas and practices changed in a colonial climate and how the specific requirements of imperial rule stimulated new kinds of research that were subsequently found valuable in the West. We shall also explore the place of science and technology in nationalistic discourse and postcolonial debates on modernity. The module will not be confined to the natural sciences or technology; medicine, forensic science and demography will also be examined.