Shiju Sam Varughese

Visiting Scholar (Fulbright Fellow)


Shiju Sam Varughese is a visiting scholar under the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence (F-NAPE) Fellowship at Cornell’s Department of Science & Technology Studies. He is an assistant professor at the Centre for Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (CSSTIP) in the School of Social Sciences of Central University of Gujarat (CUG), Gandhinagar, India. He works on issues related to science and democracy. His research interests include public engagement with science and technology, risk governance, new social movements, social history of knowledge, science and technology in popular culture, and regional modernities. He is a bilingual scholar who writes in English and Malayalam, his first language.

His book, Contested Knowledge: Science, Media, and Democracy in Kerala (Oxford University Press, 2017), explores the sociology of science-media-public interactions in the context of public controversies over science in India. Kerala Modernity: Ideas, Spaces and Practices in Transition (Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2015), the volume he co-edited, develops ‘region’ as a methodological category to explore regional modernities beyond Eurocentric and nation-centric frames of analysis. During his Fulbright-Nehru Research fellowship, he will theorize how the post-disaster communities develop new practices of care to reconstruct their lives. Based on a case study of the pesticide disaster caused by aerial spraying of Endosulfan in the cashew plantations in Kerala, India, he will argue that the practices of the community in the post-disaster reconstructive phase will be helpful in developing a new participatory model of risk governance to survive recurrent disasters.



Edited Volume

  • Kerala Modernity: Ideas, Spaces and Practices in Transition (edited by Satheese Chandra Bose and Shiju Sam Varughese). Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2015 (paperback edition: 2017).

Select Articles/Chapters

  • “Technology, Caste-bodies and Labor: Thinking with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Leisure”, in Jione Havea (ed.). 2022.  Spaces and Positions: Troubling Public Theologies. Theology in the Age of Empire Series. Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield). Forthcoming in 2022.
  • “Transitions in the Organization of Knowledge: Notes on the Politics of Interdisciplinarity”, in Babu P. Ramesh and Ratheesh Kumar (eds.). 2022. Practicing Interdisciplinarity: Convergences and Contestations. London and New York: Routledge. Forthcoming in 2022.
  • “Cultural Politics of Engagement: Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad and the Shaping of a Scientific-Citizen Public in Kerala”, pp. 79–95 in Suvobrata Sarkar (ed). 2022. History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine in India. London and New York: Routledge (South Asia Edition: 2022, Routledge India).
  • “Print Media and Contestations over Knowledge”. South Asia Chronicle 11: 167–177, 2021.
  • “Expertise at the ‘Deliberative Turn’: Multiple Publics and the Social Distribution of Technoscientific Expertise”, Dialogue: Science, Scientists, and Society 2, 06 February, 2020.
  • “From ‘Women in Science’ to ‘Gendering of Knowledge’: A Review Essay on Feminist Studies of Science in India”, Social Change 49(4): 713–719, 2019. 
  • “Cities of Neoliberal Future: Urban Utopia in Indian Science Fiction Cinema”, pp. 97–115 in Tereza Kuldova and Mathew Akkanad Varghese (eds.). 2017. Urban Utopias: Excess and Expulsion in Neoliberal South Asia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • “The State-Technoscience Duo in India: A Brief History of a Politico-Epistemological Contract”, pp. 137–156 in Axel Jansen, Andreas Franzmann and Peter Münte (eds.). 2015. Legitimizing Science: National and Global Publics (1800–2010). Frankfurt & New York: Campus Verlag.
  • “Where are the Missing Masses? The Quasi-publics and Non-publics of Technoscience”, Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy 50(2): 239–254, 2012.
  • “Media and Science in Disaster Contexts: Deliberations on Earthquakes in the Regional Press in Kerala, India”, Spontaneous Generations: A Journal of History and Philosophy of Science 5(1): 36–43, 2011.