South Asia

Organized Panel Session

97 - Heredity, Taxonomy, and Notions of "The Gene" from Ayurveda to AyurGenomics

7/7/2018
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Willow, First Floor

These papers address the theme of "genealogies" through the doubled lens of genetics and heredity. The papers range across time periods from the Sanskrit texts of classical Ayurveda to the contemporary phenomenon of AyurGenomics. The panelists will address problems of genetics and "the gene" from the disciplines of the history of medicine and science, sociology, and medical anthropology. Through her close readings of Sanskrit medical literature, Martha Ann Selby will examine diverse understandings of heredity through early Ayurvedic notions of embryology, twinning, the transmission of familial traits, and congenital "abnormalities" tied to primary sex characteristics, while Projit Bihari Mukharji will look at communal violence and issues of "congenital circumcision" in post-independence South Asia. Mukharji will examine research publications and scientific debates that incorporate explanations ranging from reincarnation to modern genetics. Subhadeepta Ray questions the troubling relationship between DNA techniques and anthropometry in the context of the Andaman Islands in attempts by scientists to establish an evolutionary history of India. Ray will show how genomic experiments on Andaman populations reiterate old anthropometric taxonomies of race and caste. Drawing on her ethnographic research in laboratories and among medical practitioners in Pune and Coimbatore, Mathangi Krishnamurthy will look at interfaces between genetic diagnostic technologies and sex assignment among cases of neo-natal CAH, exploring issues of identity and normativity at the fraught intersection of bodies and technologies. Harish Naraindas circles back to classical Ayurvedic principles, but within contemporary contexts of genomic mapping, begetting new hybrid medical forms.

Presentations:

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Send Email for Martha Selby

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Projit Bihari Mukharji

University of Pennsylvania, United States

Presentation(s):

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Subhadeepta Ray

Tezpur University, India

Presentation(s):

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Mathangi Krishnamurthy

Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India

Presentation(s):

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Harish Naraindas

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Presentation(s):

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Heredity, Taxonomy, and Notions of "The Gene" from Ayurveda to AyurGenomics



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