Zaheer Baber


Phone: 416-946-5882

Office: 725 Spadina; Rm. 246

UTM Office: DV3242


Zaheer Baber



Zaheer is a general sociologist whose broad research interests include social theory, science, technology and society, comparative and historical sociology, race and racial projects, visual sociology etc. He is currently engaged in a SSHRC funded project on the role of botanical gardens and colonial rivalries in the emergence of Botany as a science. His books include The Science of Empire (1996), Secularism, Communalism and the Intellectuals (2006), CyberAsia (editor, 2005), Society, History, and the Global Human Condition (co-editor with Joseph M. Bryant, 2010) and he is a frequent contributor of review-essays to the Times Literary Supplement and Nature.

In addition to Sociology, he is affiliated with the Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology, Centre for South Asian Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Knowledge, Media and Design Institute. His previous institutional affiliations include University of Victoria, National University of Singapore, University of Tokyo as the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow, and the University of Saskatchewan as the Canada Research Chair.

Recent Publications


The Science of Empire:  (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996; Oxford University Press, 1998)

Reviewed in over 20 journals including Nature, The Times Literary Supplement, American Journal of Sociology, Canadian Journal of Sociology, American Historical Review, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Sociology, Journal of Contemporary Asia, The English Historical Review etc.

(Editor) CyberAsia: The Internet and Society in Asia. (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005)

Secularism, Communalism and the Intellectuals. (New Delhi: Three Essays, 2006)

(Co-Editor with Joseph M. Bryant) Society, History and the Global Human Condition: Essays in Honor of Irving M. Zeitlin. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2010)

Selected Articles and Essays

“Beyond the Structure/Agency Dualism”, Sociological Inquiry, 1991

“Sociology of Scientific Knowledge: Lost in the Reflexive Funhouse?”, Theory and Society, 1992

“Colonizing Nature”, British Journal of Sociology, 2000

“Modernization Theory and the Cold War”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 2001

“Orientalism, Occidentalism, Nativism”, The European Legacy, 2002

(co-author) “Sites of Resistance”, British Journal of Sociology, 2002

“Provincial Universalism”, Current Sociology, 2003

“Weed and Seed”, The Times Literary Supplement, 2004

“Race, Religion and Riots”, Sociology, 2004

“A Name for a Stray Dog: Global Civil Society”, International Sociology, 2008

“The Science Communicator”, Nature, 2008

“Racism without Races”, Sociology Compass, 2009

“The Rise of the Technium”, Nature, 2010

“Silk from Spiders”, The Times Literary Supplement, 2014

“Said, Mills and Jargon”, Economic and Political Weekly, 2014

“The Promise of Occupy”, International Sociology, 2015

“The Plants of Empire”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 2016.