‘Go-Betweens in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Science Studies’ by Kapil Raj

Kapil Raj (Research Professor of History of science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and currently visiting professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Shiv Nadar University) will present his research entitled ‘Go-Betweens in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Science Studies’ at the Sociological Research Colloquium.

When: Friday, 29th March 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Seminar Room (First Floor), Department of Sociology, University of Delhi 

Convenor: Shashi Bhushan Singh


This talk traces the variety of approaches on the subject adopted by cultural and social historians, and anthropologists, drawn from the theoretical reflections of classical sociologists, especially Georg Simmel. It then tackles the subject of go-betweens in the world of knowledge and science through the way they have been problematized in recent work in the history of science and the resulting change in the narrative from one of an agonistic “clash of cultures” to that of actively constructed connections. It concludes with the presentation of a concrete historical example from the late seventeenth century to show the decisive role of intermediation in the construction of knowledge in intercultural contexts, leading to some reflections on the continuing importance of go-betweens in understanding constructive intercultural and interdisciplinary encounters in our present-day world.

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