In this talk, I explore debates around cancer care and smoking in Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, the politics of regulating internal and external spaces, and will analyze the limits and challenges posed to the intertwined promise of political, medical, and technological modernities in late colonial-post-colonial India.
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan is Associate Professor, Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, and an Affiliated Faculty with the History Department. She earned a BA at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, and a BA at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and her PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University. She was David Bell Research Fellow at the Center for Population Studies and Development Studies at Harvard University and was awarded the Balzan Fellowship for her work on social inequalities and health by University College London.
Prof. Sivaramakrishnan is a public health historian of South Asia with a focus on the politics of health, medicine and science in the global South. Her early research focused on the politics of ‘indigenous’ Ayurvedic medicine and its reconfiguring in a late colonial context in North India through claims and representations based on language and religion, published as Old Potions, New Bottles: Recasting Indigenous Medicine in Colonial Punjab“(2006). She has worked on social histories of epidemics and the role played by experts and scientific evidence, including the plague and its national and regional politics in South Asia. Her most recent research is on the global politics of aging, which culminated in her recent publication, As the World Ages: Rethinking a Demographic Crisis (2018). Her current book project focuses on the history of consumption and disease risks in South Asia, tracing the transformation of bodies, metabolisms and minds in South Asia over the past century that have redrawn the map of South Asia’s epidemiological and social history. She is collaborating with David Jones (Harvard University) and writing a monograph on heart disease in India and the making of new networks of medical expertise; and works with Jennifer Manly on a research project on cultures of aging and cognitive decline in India and South Africa.