University of Missouri


Amit Prasad received his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004. Before he joined this department he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Wisconsin-Madison and on a National Science Foundation project at University of New Mexico-Albuquerque. His research focuses on transnational, global, and postcolonial transformations. His areas of specialization are sociology of science, technology, and medicine, globalization and transnational studies, and social theory.

Amit Prasad

Amit Prasad

Associate Professor

332 Middlebush Hall
(573) 882-8218

Ph.D., Illinois

Research Interests

I am pursuing three lines of research.

(i) That the international geography of science and technology has changed dramatically in recent times is hardly disputable. Nevertheless, even while transnational ‘flattening’ of technoscience is being celebrated, colonial and Euro/West-centric imaginaries and practices have not disappeared. I am engaged in investigation of technoscientific and biopolitical implications of such folding of apparently contradictory and ambivalent imaginaries and practices. I utilize deconstructive-empirical method to unravel and critically analyze hierarchically entangled transnational histories of cutting-edge technologies such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

(ii) Medical imaging technologies such as MRI and PET have radically transformed the medical gaze. The impact of these technologies on visuality, however, extends far wider than the confines of the clinic. Technologies such as MRI and PET are not only being used for ‘objective self-fashioning,’ but also to fashion the ‘objective.’ An important concern for me is exploration of the role of these ever-transforming technologies of visualization in constituting ‘facts’ about the body and in defining/imagining individual and social selves.

(iii) Stem cell research and therapy, in particular those pertaining to embryonic stem cells, were born, and continue to operate, within a complex web of actual and speculative medical, ethical, and business interests. For the last two years I am conducting an ethnographic study of an embryonic stem cell therapy clinic in Delhi, India. I explore patients’ journeys for therapy in this clinic through a variety of sources – interviews, observations, blogs, videos, forums, etc. In particular, I analyze how patients navigate politico-economic, cultural, ethical, and biomedical concerns and in the process disturb accepted ‘regimes of truth’.


Select Publications


Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India (2014, MIT Press).
New Books in Sociology: Interview with Amit Prasad [ 37:23 ]


Amit Prasad (Forthcoming), “Ambivalent Journeys of Hope: Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy in a Clinic in India”, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine.

Amit Prasad (2014), “Entangled Histories and Imaginative Geographies of Technoscientific Innovations”, Science as Culture, Vol. 23, No. 3, p. 432-439.

"Imaginative Geography, Neoliberal Governmentality, and Colonial Distinctions: Docile and Dangerous Bodies in Medical Transcription Outsourcing" (with Srirupa Prasad), Cultural Geographies, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2012, p. 348-363.

"Capitalizing Disease: Biopolitics of Drug Trials in India," Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 26, No.5, 2009, p. 1-29.

"Science in Motion: What Postcolonial Science Studies Can Offer" Electronic Journal of Communication Information & Innovation in Health (RECIIS) Vol. 2, No. 2, July-December 2008, p. 35-47.

"The (Amorphous) Anatomy of an Invention: The Case of Magnetic Resonance Imaging" Social Studies of Science, Vol. 43, No. 4, August 2007, p. 533-60.

"'Social' Adoption of a Technology: Magnetic Resonance Imaging in India" International Journal of Contemporary Sociology Vol. 43, No. 2, October 2006, p. 327-355.

"Beyond Modern versus Alternative Science Debate: Analysis of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research", The Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 41, No. 3, January 2006 p. 219-227.

"Facts, Fetishes, and the Parliament of Things: Is there any Space for Critique" (with Srikanth Mallavarapu), Social Epistemology Vol. 20, No. 2, April-June 2006, p. 185-199.

"Scientific Culture in the 'Other' Theatre of 'Modern Science': An Analysis of the Culture of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research in India" Social Studies of Science, Vol. 3, No. 3, June 2005, p. 463-489.

"Making Images/Making Bodies: Visibilizing and Disciplining through Magnetic Resonance Imaging" Science, Technology and Human Values, Vol. 30, No. 2, April 2005, p. 291-316.