cover of book
 

Brown Skins, White Coats: Race Science in India, 1920–66
by Projit Bihari Mukharji
University of Chicago Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-0-226-82300-3 | Cloth: 978-0-226-82299-0 | Paper: 978-0-226-82301-0
Library of Congress Classification DS430.M79 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.800954

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
A unique narrative structure brings the history of race science in mid-twentieth-century India to vivid life.

There has been a recent explosion in studies of race science in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but most have focused either on Europe or on North America and Australia. In this stirring history, Projit Bihari Mukharji illustrates how India appropriated and repurposed race science to its own ends and argues that these appropriations need to be understood within the national and regional contexts of postcolonial nation-making—not merely as footnotes to a Western history of “normal science.”
 
The book comprises seven factual chapters operating at distinct levels—conceptual, practical, and cosmological—and eight fictive interchapters, a series of epistolary exchanges between the Bengali author Hemendrakumar Ray (1888–1963) and the protagonist of his dystopian science fiction novel about race, race science, racial improvement, and dehumanization. In this way, Mukharji fills out the historical moment in which the factual narrative unfolded, vividly revealing its moral, affective, political, and intellectual fissures.

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