Zaheer Baber

Zaheer Baber

Professor Sociology
Office Location:
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga , ON
L5L 1C6

Zaheer specializes in general critical sociology. His broad research interests include social theory, science, technology and society, comparative and historical sociology, race and racial projects, visual sociology etc. He has recently completed a SSHRC funded project on the role of botanical gardens and colonial rivalries in the emergence of Botany as a formal science. In addition to a number of books and articles, he is also a frequent contributor of review-essays in the “public sociology” mode to the Times Literary Supplement, Nature and Economic and Political Weekly.

He is affiliated with the Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology, Centre for South Asian Civilizations, The Knowledge, Media and Design Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. His previous institutional affiliations include the National University of Singapore, University of Tokyo as the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow, the University of Saskatchewan as the Canada Research Chair and the University of Victoria.



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

“Public Transportation in an Era of neo-liberal privatization – the Delhi Metro” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 2010.

“Occupy Toronto: A Photo-Essay” International Sociological Association’s E-Symposium 2012 (

“When Rabbits Mate with Hens - Silk from Spiders”, The Times Literary Supplement, 2014

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

“Wards of Awards” Economic and Political Weekly, 2014.

“The Promise of Occupy”, International Sociology, 2015

“No end in Barcelona”, Economic and Political Weekly, 2015

“The Plants of Empire: Botanic Gardens, Colonial Power and Botanical Knowledge”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 2016.

“Bernie Sanders and the afterlives of Occupy Wall Street”, Economic and Political Weekly, 2016.

“Of Research, Revenue and Whales: Science in the Tropics” Asian Journal of Social Science, 2018.

“Making a Living in Neo-Liberal India: A Photo-Essay” The Citizen, 2018 (

“Whitey on the Moon: The Politics of NASA”, The Times Literary Supplement, Cover Feature, September 1, 2017 (

“Dino Diplomacy: Humans, Science, Culture, and the Economy”, The Times Literary Supplement, July 5, 2019 (

“Climate Change and the Yellow Vest Movement” Economic and Political Weekly, 2019.

"Race might be a unicorn, but its horn could draw blood: Racialization, Class and Racism in a non-Western Context." Critical Sociology, 2021.


Social Theory; Comparative and Historical Sociology; Science, Technology and Society; Cyberculture; Race and Ethnicity; Globalization; Visual Sociology


Current Courses: 
SOC231H5, SOC354H5, SOC465H5
Ph.D. (University of Toronto)
M.A. and M.Phil (University of Delhi)