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Projit Mukharji presents a meticulously researched construction of the identity of 'Daktari' physicians, or Indian practitioners of Western medicine, through the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in British Colonial Bengal. [...] A significant and definitive contribution to this field.' --Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Harvard University, in 'Social History of Medicine'
'Nationalizing the Body' revisits the history of 'western' medicine in colonial South Asia through the lives, writings and practice of the numerous Bengali 'daktars' who adopted and practiced it. Refusing to see 'western' medicine as an alienated appendage of the colonial state, this book explores how 'western' medicine was vernacularised. It argues that a burgeoning medical market and a medical publishing industry together gave 'daktari' medicine a social identity which did not solely derive from its association with the state. Accessing many of the best-known ideas and episodes of colonial South Asian medical history, it seeks to understand how 'daktari' medicine re-positioned the colonized bodies as nationalized bodies.
About the Author
Projit Bihari Mukharji is a Welcome Fellow at Oxford Brookes University.
Table of Contnes
1. Introduction: A Vernacular Modernity
2. Healers in Context: Forgotten Pioneers
3. Healing Print: Medicine and the World of Print
4. Contagious Modernity: Domesticating an Idea
5. The Plague in the Vernacular: A Hindu Nationalist Diagnosis
6. Marketing Cholera: The Texts and Contexts of Bengali Responses to Cholera
7. Dhatu Dourbolyo: Diagnosing the Rhizoid Pathologies of Racial Weakness