Projit Bihari Mukharji
Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Science
University of Chicago Press 2016
New Books in HistoryNew Books in MedicineNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in ScienceNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books in South Asian StudiesNew Books Network January 16, 2017 Carla Nappi
Projit Bihari Mukharji’s new book explores the power of small, non-spectacular, and everyday technologies as motors or catalysts of change in the history of science and medicine. Focusing on practices of Ayurveda in British Bengal between about 1870-1930, Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Science (University of Chicago Press, 2016) is structured around five case studies that each describe the incorporation of a particular technology into Ayurvedic practice, resulting in a braiding together of strands of sciences and the production of a new body image. Mukharji develops and engages a number of key concepts in the work, significantly introducing a notion of physiograms (materialized physiologies or materialized body metaphors, a development of John Tresch’s notion of cosmograms) and a way of thinking about the braiding of strands of science and medicine. It’s a beautifully written and compellingly argued work that will be of interest to a wide range of readers of the history of science and medicine!