Amit Prasad

Amit Prasad
Associate Professor
332 Middlebush
(573) 882-8218
PDF Documents: 
Featured Books: 
Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India

Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India

Indian Miniature Painting

Swarup Singh offering aarti at Eklingji temple, Mewar, 1845-1860.

Vibhasa Ragini

Lovers at daybreak, Vibhasa Ragini, Murshidabad (Bengal), 1780

Provincial Mughal

A princess smokes huqqa on the banks of Yamuna, Provincial Mughal, 1770-80


Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research and Teaching: 

Amit Prasad teaches courses on sociological theories, globalization, and sociology of science, technology and medicine. His research focuses on the complex, contested, and yet, often, hidden role of transnational flows of knowledge, technological artifacts, and people in constituting subjects, in imagining geographies, and in laboratory practices. His first book, Imperial Technoscience: Entangled Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India (MIT Press, 2014), yokes together two important sociological concerns, namely empirical investigation of local cultures of sciences and unraveling of their hierarchical entanglements within national and transnational political economy and within Euro/West-centric discourses. The book, thus, excavates the mutually constitutive roles of temporally emergent and long enduring discourses and practices in science, technology and medicine. Prasad has also published on the shift in visual culture of medicine with the emergence of technologies such as MRI. Presently, drawing on an ethnographic study of a stem cell clinic, he is writing his second book that is tentatively titled Globalization in a Laboratory: Stem Cells, Scientific Uncertainty, and Journeys of Hope.

He is an editor of the journal Science, Technology and Society (Sage) and the Director of the South Asian Studies Program at MU.

He also collects late medieval and early modern Indian paintings and statues (images of three of them are on the right).

Awards and Honors: 

Jake O. & Irma B. Mathes Chair in Sociology, University of Missouri, Fall 2016.

American Institute for Indian Studies, Senior Research Fellowship funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, 2014-15.

Research Board, University of Missouri, “‘First World Healthcare at Third World Prices’: Medical Tourism in India”, 2012-13.

National Science Foundation, Scholar’s Award, Program in Science & Society, Grant # 0724474, “Scanning the Globe: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Research and Development in the UK, India, and the US”, 2007-08.

National Institutes of Health, Office of History, John Pisano Travel Grant, 2007.

Select Publications: 

Amit Prasad (2014). Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India (MIT Press). Interview with Amit Prasad [ 56:18 ]

Amit Prasad (Forthcoming 2018). "Taj Mahal, Circulations of Science, and (Post) Colonial Present," History of Technology.

Prakash Kumar, Projit Mukharji, & Amit Prasad (Forthcoming 2018). "Decolonizing Science in Asia," Verge: Studies in Global Asias.

Amit Prasad (2017). "West-Centric Divide, Global Health, and Postcolonial Intervention," Science and Technology Studies, Vol. 30, No. 4, p. 66-74.

Amit Prasad (2017). "Resituating Overseas Stem Cell Therapy," Regenerative Medicine, Vol. 12, No. 7, p. 743-748.

Amit Prasad (2017). “Biopolitical Excess: Techno-Social Assemblages of Stem Cell Research in India,” Science, Technology and Society, Vol. 22, No. 1, p. 102-123.

Amit Prasad (2017). "Introduction: Global Assemblages of Technoscience," Science, Technology and Society, Vol. 22, No. 1, p. 1-5.

Amit Prasad (2016), “Discursive Contextures of Science: Euro/West-centrism and Science and Technology Studies,” Engaging Science, Technology and Society, Vol. 2, p. 193-207.

Amit Prasad (2015)  “Ambivalent Journeys of Hope: Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy in a Clinic in India,” Health, Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 137-153.

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

Amit Prasad (2009). “Capitalizing Disease: Biopolitics of Drug Trials in India,” Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 26, No.5, 2009, p. 1-29.

Amit Prasad (2005). “Scientific Culture in the “Other” Theatre of “Modern Science”: An Analysis of the Culture of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Research in India,” Social Studies of Science, Vol. 30, No. 3, p. 463-489.

Amit Prasad (2005). “Making Images/Making Bodies: Visibilizing and Disciplining through Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” Science, Technology and Human Values, Vol. 30, No. 2, p. 291-316.