Charu Singh

Lecturer
Lecturer in Department of History

I am a historian of modern South Asia, specializing in the history of science and the intellectual and cultural history of nineteenth and twentieth century India. In Spring 2022, I will offer an undergraduate colloquium on ‘Science and Society in Modern South Asia.’

My current book project examines the uptake of the modern sciences amongst privileged caste, Hindu, Hindi-reading subjects in early twentieth century north India. Through close attention to discursive experiments by voluntary associations and collectives, I analyse the commitments and compulsions of a range of language activists, literati, and science enthusiasts who translated scientific knowledge for lay publics in Hindi. My book offers a history of science in translation, of sensibilities in motion, and of science’s vernacular publics in multilingual South Asia.

I currently serve as co-chair of the Forum for the History of Science in Asia, a special interest group of the History of Science Society. I also co-convene Science Across Regions in Asia (2019–), an online working group hosted by the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Philadelphia.

I received my PhD in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and was an exchange student at Yale University as a Fox International Fellow. I have previously taught modern South Asian history at Shiv Nadar University and held the Adrian Research Fellowship in the History of Science at Darwin College, Cambridge.

Publications:

The shastri and the air-pump: Experimental fictions and fictions of experiment for Hindi readers in colonial north India,” History of Science (open access, early view). Part of a special issue edited by Bettina Dietz and Jenny Beckman on “Cultures of Scientific Publishing.”

“Science in the vernacular? Translation, terminology, and lexicography in the Hindi Scientific Glossary (1906),” South Asian History and Culture (open access, early view). Part of a special issue edited by Minakshi Menon on “Indigenous Knowledges and Colonial Sciences in South Asia.”

“Science and its publics in British India,” in The Routledge Handbook of Science and Empire (2021) ed. Andrew Goss.

Reviews:

Disciplines, Men, Colonial Episteme,” contribution to online roundtable on Durba Mitra’s Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought, Chapati Mystery, May 5, 2020.

Review of Growing the Tree of Science: Homi Bhabha and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research by Indira Chowdhury, South Asian History and Culture 9, no. 2 (2017): 229–231.

 

Contact

Subfield
Science and Technology