staging science

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The identification of colonial power in the functioning of museums and exhibitions should cause no surprise; the staging of Western science in the interests of Western dominance, after all, is a recognisably familiar story. This chapter traces the enactment of other performances in such dramaturgy, and identifies colonial power’s dislocations at the point of its deployment. The Madras Central Museum was equally successful, prompting Edgar Thurston to favourably compare the number of visitors to the Madras Museum to that of the British Museum. These numbers indicate the measure of success that colonial science had achieved in its pedagogical project. The liminality enacted in the performance of the colonial discourse can be seen in ‘the science of man’ that occupied the attention of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. In the destabilising momentum of rumours, the intractable subaltern became a threat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationno touching, no spitting, no praying
Subtitle of host publicationthe museum in south asia
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781351556248
ISBN (Print)9781138796010
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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