Northwestern Events Calendar


"Decolonial Science in a Postcolonial State: Parapsychology in India, c.1952-1977"

When: Monday, October 14, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Central

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum - 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: FREE

Contact: Janet Hundrieser   (847) 491-3525

Group: Science in Human Culture Program - Klopsteg Lecture Series

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Speaker - Projit Mukharji, University of Pennsylvania, History and Sociology of Science,

Abstract - India emerged as an independent nation-state in 1947. The new postcolonial state maintained much of the legal, administrative and infrastructural apparatus it had inherited from its colonial predecessor. One might say that whilst colonialism had ended, coloniality persisted in the postcolony. Yet, some of its politicians were also keen to imagine, support and implement a new science that broke with the colonial inheritance, viz. inaugurate a decolonial science. It was in this context that parapsychology, a marginal science in the West, became a site for experimenting with new ideas of what science should be and how it could be used in statecraft. In this talk,  Professor Mukharji examines some of these efforts to construct a decolonial science and interrogate the novel ways in which it was yoked to the mundane business of running a new state.


PhD, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London
MPhil, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
MA, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
BA, Presidency College, Calcutta

Professor Mukharji's training was firmly within the Subaltern Studies tradition and he continues to work within that tradition of scholarship. He is therefore interested in issues of marginality and marginalization both within and through science. People and knowledges who are disempowered are the main subject of his studies. His twin ambition is to write histories of science that are anti-colonial without being nationalist or identitarian. 

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