A Meeting of the Minds: European and Tamil Encounters in Modern Sciences, 1507-1857 uncovers new aspects of the contributions of the Portuguese, Dutch, Dane, English and French East India Company officials and European missionaries to intellectual history in the fields of botany, chemistry, medicine, earth and space science within the specific geographical-historical locality of the Tamil coast in the early Modern Age. It discusses the relationships forged to underpin the progress in scientific knowledge and scholarship besides examining the varied manifestations of ideas, practices and forms of intellectual life developed and shared through association with the learned elite. The author argues that knowledge making processes then were not simple binaries such as dialogue or exchange, native or Western, collaboration or resistance, as found in the existing historiography, but were much more complex epistemological processes involving a deep understanding of construction and reconstruction at multiple nodes for production of knowledge, movement and reception.
Students of Modern Indian History, History of Science, Medicinal History, and Mercantile Colonialism and Imperialism will find this meticulously sourced book of lasting interest. Departments of History, Political Science, and Cultural Studies in India and abroad will also find this book pertinent for their pedagogical and scholarly activities.