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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

South Asian Toxicologies

South Asian Toxicologies (SAT) draws together an international network of scholars with active research interests in poisons and pollutants in the region. SAT takes a polyvalent view of poison and pollution, and does not draw a hard distinction between biological and social toxins. Building from this perspective, SAT’s goal is to develop novel approaches to toxicity and pollution research in South Asia – where recurring industrial accidents, epidemics of pesticide suicides, mass markets for western and Ayurvedic pharmaceuticals and remedies, and public scares around food, water, and air contamination, mobilise professional and everyday encounters with indigenous and allopathic toxicologies across local settings. With strong roots within and focus on medical social sciences and humanities, SAT also benefits from the involvement of clinical toxicologists and public and global health researchers who are interested in poison cultures and traditions. SAT thus integrates critical-theoretical and therapeutic-applied perspectives, to encourage broad-based discussions about natural and synthetic toxins and their health, environmental, and social consequences, from contemporary and historical angles. SAT will offer a learning and development space for scholars at all career stages who wish to broaden their understanding of South Asian toxicologies, support and develop publications and grant proposals, and facilitate networking among members.

SAT is affliated with and supported by the British Association of South Asian Studies (BASAS).

The group is led by Dr Tom Widger.