Zaheer Baber

Zaheer Baber


Zaheer specializes in general critical sociology. His broad, general research interests include but are not limited to 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 SupplementNature, and Economic and Political Weekly.

He is affiliated with the Institute of Communication, Culture and Information TechnologyCentre 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 (1994-2001) University of Tokyo as the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow (1996) the University of Victoria (1993) and the University of Saskatchewan as the Canada Research Chair (2001-2005).

Ph.D. (University of Toronto)
M.A. and M.Phil. (Delhi School of Economics. University of Delhi)



Baber, Zaheer and Joseph M. Bryant, eds. 2010. Society, History, and the Global Human Condition: Essays in Honor of Irving M. Zeitlin. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Baber, Zaheer. 2006. Secularism, Communalism and the Intellectuals. New Delhi, IN: Three Essays Collective.

Baber, Zaheer, eds. 2005. CyberAsia: The Internet and Society in Asia. Boston, MA: Brill.

Baber, Zaheer. 1996. The Science of Empire: Scientific Knowledge, Civilization, and Colonial Rule in India. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. (Also published in 1998. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.)

Selected Articles and Essays

Baber, Zaheer. 2023. "‘Class and “Race”. . . The Two Antinomic Poles of a Permanent Dialectic’: Racialization, Racism and Resistance in Japan." Current Sociology.

Baber, Zaheer. 2022.“‘The Catastrophic World’: Capitalism, Climate Crisis, Covid-19, and C. Wright Mills.” Critical Sociology.

Baber, Zaheer, 2021. “Race Might be a Unicorn, but its Horn Could Draw Blood: Racialization, Class and Racism in a Non-Western Context.” Critical Sociology

Baber, Zaheer, 2019. “Climate Change and the Yellow Vest Movement.” Economic and Political Weekly 54(34).

Baber, Zaheer. 2018. “Of Research, Revenue and ‘Whales’: Science in the Tropics.” Asian Journal of Social Science 46(4-5):549-564.

Baber, Zaheer. 2016. “The Plants of Empire: Botanic Gardens, Colonial Power and Botanical Knowledge.” Journal of Contemporary Asia 46(4):659-679.

Baber, Zaheer. 2015. “The Promise of Occupy.” International Sociology 30(2):134-140.

Baber, Zaheer, 2010. “Public Transportation in an Era of Neo-Liberal Privatization: The Delhi Metro.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 11(3):478-480.

Baber, Zaheer, 2009. “Racism without Races: Reflections on Racialization and Racial Projects.” Sociology Compass

Baber, Zaheer, 2008. “A Name for a Stray Dog: Global Civil Society.” International Sociology 23(2):237-245.

Baber, Zaheer. 2004. “‘Race’, Religion and Riots: The ‘Racialization’ of Communal Identity and Conflict in India.” Sociology 38(4):701-718.

Baber, Zaheer. 2003. “Provincial Universalism: The Landscape of Knowledge Production in an Era of Globalization.” Current Sociology 51(6):615-623.

Baber, Zaheer. 2002. “Orientalism, Occidentalism, Nativism.” The European Legacy 7(6):747-758.

Ho, K.C., Zaheer Baber, and Habibul Khondker. 2002. “‘Sites’ of Resistance: Alternative Websites and State-Society Relations.” The British Journal of Sociology 53(1):127-148.

Baber, Zaheer. 2001. “Modernization Theory and the Cold War.” Journal of Contemporary Asia 31(1):71-85.

Baber, Zaheer. 2001. “Colonizing Nature: Scientific Knowledge, Colonial Power and the Incorporation of India into the Modern World-System.” British Journal of Sociology 52(1);37-58.

Baber, Zaheer. 1992. “Sociology of Scientific Knowledge: Lost in the Reflexive Funhouse?” Theory and Society 21:105-119.

Baber, Zaheer. 1991. “Beyond the Structure/Agency Dualism.” Sociological Inquiry 61(2):219-230.

Public Sociology

Baber, Zaheer. 2019. “Dino Diplomacy: Humans, Science, Culture, and the Economy.” The Times Literary Supplement 6066.

Baber, Zaheer. 2017. “Whitey on the Moon: The Politics of NASA.” Cover Feature, The Times Literary Supplement 5970.

Baber, Zaheer. 2016. “Bernie Sanders and the Afterlives of Occupy Wall Street.” Economic and Political Weekly 51(52).

Baber, Zaheer. 2015. “No End in Barcelona.” Economic and Political Weekly 50(26-27).

Baber, Zaheer. 2014. “Said, Mills and Jargon.” Economic and Political Weekly 49(8).

Baber, Zaheer. 2014. “Wards of Awards.” Economic and Political Weekly 49(8).

Baber, Zaheer, 2014. “When Rabbits Mate with Hens: Silk from Spiders.” The Times Literary Supplement.

Baber, Zaheer. 2014. “From Tenderloin to Tandoorloin: San Francisco.” Economic and Political Weekly.

Baber, Zaheer. 2010. “The Rise of the Technium.” Nature.

Baber, Zaheer. 2008. “The Science Communicator”, Nature.

Baber, Zaheer. 2004. “Weed and Seed.” The Times Literary Supplement.

Baber, Zaheer. 2002. “Views of a Scientific American.” Nature.

Visual Sociology/Photo-Essays

Baber, Zaheer. 2022. “Making a Living in Urban India: A Photo Essay.The India Forum.

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

Baber, Zaheer, 2012. “Occupy Toronto: A Photo-Essay.” International Sociological Association’s E-Symposium

Baber, Zaheer. 2017. “Animals and Storefronts." Peel Urbanscapes.

Baber, Zaheer. 2017. “Kensington Market.Peel Urbanscapes.


Social Theory; Comparative and Historical Sociology; Science, Technology and Society; Environmental Sociology; Climate Change; Global Capitalism; Cyberculture; Race and Ethnicity; Globalization; Visual Sociology


Current Courses
SOC231H5, SOC354H5, SOC465H5, SOC6001