On Tuesday, November 19th Dr Anirban Das is welcomed by the Department of Language, Literature and Communication and the Institute for Cultural Inquiry to give a public lecture on medical perspectives on the body. This lecture is part of his Visiting Fellowship to the Centre for the Humanities.
Medical Imaginaries of the Body
Lecture: Knowledge and (Colonial) Difference
Medicine, as a science, has claims to universal knowledge of the body. Yet, in the domain of medical knowledge itself, the knowledge of the body is not a unity. The many sub-disciplines of medicine each have their own focus within the imaginations of the body. This lecture asks how the notion of the anatomic body – occupying a given threedimensional extended space – affects the notions of the body in a different system of medical knowledge viz., Ayurveda, prevalent in the colonial Indian subcontinent. It also looks at how a different space, the tropics, and a different system, the Ayurveda, might affect the epistemology of modern medicine at a particular geo-historical juncture. This speculative exercise in epistemic encounters may finally be linked to repetitions of certain structures of hegemony. Dr Birgit M. Kaiser (Languages, Literature and Communication) takes care of the introduction and Dr Anna Poletti (English Language and Culture) and Dr Sandra K. Manickam (Erasmus School of History) will respond to the lecture.
Anirban Das is Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC) in Kolkata, India. He graduated in Medicine (MBBS) and shifted to a broad interdisciplinary field across the Sciences, the Humanities and the Social Sciences. His areas of interest include feminist theory, science studies, the literary and the vernacular, postcolonial theory, body studies and ‘theory’ in a broad sense.