Zaheer Baber

Professor, Department of Sociology
Center for South Asian Studies


(905) 569-4348


3359 Mississauga Road North South Building, Room 2077A


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 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 Centre for South Asian Studies at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. His previous institutional affiliations include the National University of SingaporeUniversity 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.


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


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

awards and distinctions

Canada Research Chair, University of Saskatchewan 2001-05
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow, December 1997

selected publications


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, ed. 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.)

*The Science of Empire was 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.

Selected Articles and Essays

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

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

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

Baber, Zaheer. 2017. “Kensington Market”

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

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

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

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

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

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. 2010. “The Rise of the ‘Technium’.” Nature 468:372-373.

Baber, Zaheer, 2010. “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, 2008. “The Science Communicator.” Nature 456:875.

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

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

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 Culturalist Quest for Indigenous Science and Knowledge.” 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.


SOC231H5 Classical Sociological Theory
SOC354H5 Global Sociology
SOC465H5 Climate Change and Society
SOC6001 Classical Sociological Theory


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