19/03/08

Daniela Berti

Daniela Berti is a social anthropologist working on North India, and a researchfellow at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, Paris).Her PhD (1997) was focused on the linguistic interactions which takeplace during possession rituals and on what gives effectiveness tothis particular type of utterance. Other work has covered thedevelopment of divine iconography, local representations of the ritualefficacy, the persistence in contemporary state institutions of politico-ritual roles and practices associated in the past withkingship. In 2002-2005 she coordinated a research programmefinanced by the CNRS entitled The Cultural Entrenchment of Hindutva.Local Mediations and Forms of Resistance. She is editing (with N. Jaoul)a volume related to this project which will be published by Pearsons. She is currently working on a project focused on the ethnography oftrial proceedings in Indian District Courts. She carried out my firstpreliminary fieldwork for this project in November 2006, when she a District and Session Judge's Court in a small town inHimachal Pradesh. She is especially working on criminal cases (drugstrafficking and cultivation, dowry cases or sexual harassments), withthe intention of analysing how two opposing versions of facts arebuilt up during the trial: how the examination and cross-examinationof the witnesses are held, how statements are put into written form;how juridical proof is produced; how lawyers defend their case duringthe 'arguments'

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