Serena Bindi is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Paris Cité University (formerly Paris Descartes) and researcher at the Center for Cultural and Social Anthropology (CANTHEL) in Paris.
Her work lies at the intersection of anthropology of religion and medical anthropology. She bases her investigations on ethnographic material collected over the last 20 years in rural regions and cities of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. She is interested in the ritual and medical management of problematic events affecting individuals and communities and her work asks how such management participates in shaping social reality. She also pays particular attention to the social changes underway in the field of health. She is thus attentive to the important pluralism of representations and practices, such as it results today from the growing presence in Uttarakhand of secular therapies (notably psychological and psychiatric ones).
Several of her publication and current research programs aim to study how these techniques and ritual forms of treatment meet, overlap, compete, or conflict and how they are combined with the feelings and emotions of the actors. As part of her scientific research activities, she explores the intersection between anthropological notions of “event”, experiences of illness and diagnostic processes. On this topic she edited a special issue of the academic journal Mondes Contemporains (2012), entitled “Event and Illness”. She is currently co-editing a collection of essays under the title “Heritage Making and Reconfiguration of Therapeutic Resources”, a theme on which she has already published an article in the medical anthropological journal Anthropologie et Santé (2013). She is co-editor of the collection of essays “Cross-cutting Indian Studies: An interdisciplinary Approach to Dynamics of Power” (2016), which explores interdisciplinary methodological pathways for approaching the study of power dynamics in South Asia. She has also edited a special issue of the journal Cargo dealing with the intersections of religion and health (Medicine et Religion, 2022). Most recently she has coedited the book Violence insidieuse (2022), offering comparative analysis of the phenomena of harassment and witchcraft; and the journal special issue Exorcisms, extraction of unwanted entities and other spiritual struggles around the body: a comparative perspective (Social Compass, 2022). For a complete list of her publications, see http://canthel.shs.parisdescartes.fr/serena-bindi/
Ongoing projects and research seminars as principal investigator :
- ANR Programme “Phantoms or fantasies? Experiences of Loss in Changing Therapeutic Contexts (India and Nepal)” (2020-24) (https://phantasies.hypotheses.org/fr/a-propos).
- IDEX Programme “« Make the doctors or the dead talk? The conflicting management of trauma after the deadly floods in Uttarakhand (India) (2019-2023)
- Co-Direction (with Aidan Seale-Feldman, Notre Dame University) of the research seminar DEATH, LOSS, AND GRIEF Anthropological Perspectives, at Paris Cité University and online (Hybrid form) (2020-2024)
- 2022 «Exorcising angry deities and spirits of the dead: Spiritual and earthly battles of married women in Uttarakhand (India) ». Social Compass, 69 (4): 550–577. https://doi.org/10.1177/00377686221139214
- 2022 (with GIMENEZ BELIVEAU Verónica) (eds.), «Exorcisms, extraction of unwanted entities, and other spiritual struggles around the body: A comparative perspective», Social Compass, 69/4, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/00377686221147797
- 2022 (with MANGANELLI Marie & ALI Rizwan) « Harassment and sorcery in India through a lawyer’s lens. An annotated interview with Rizwan Ali (Uttarakhand, North India) », in BINDI S., DIANTEILL E. & LAMOTTE T. (Eds.), La violence insidieuse, Paris, Archives Karèline : 205-232.
- 2022 (with DIANTEILL Erwan and LAMOTTE Thierry) (eds.), La violence insidieuse, Paris, Archives Karèline.https://archiveskareline.fr/home.php?contexte=book_details&id=83
- 2022 (éd.) Médecine et religion : reconfigurations contemporaines, numéro thématique, cArgo, Revue Internationale d’Anthropologie Culturelle et Sociale. https://www.cargo.canthel.fr/cargo-11/