CECI n'est pas EXECUTE Caterina Guenzi

Caterina Guenzi

CEIAS Co-Director
Associate Professor
Institutional affiliation(s): EHESS

Professional contact information

01 49 54 83 83




Caterina Guenzi obtained her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the University of Siena in 2004. She had previously completed her Laurea dissertation in Philosophy at the University of Siena (1997), and also become proficient in Sanskrit and Hindi, as she obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Indian Studies at the Université Paris-III in 2001. Her post-doctoral research was carried out at the University of Oxford (2005-2006), with funding from the Fyssen foundation, and at the French Institute of Pondicherry (2006-2008). She joined the EHESS as Maître de Conférences (Associate Professor) in 2008.

Her research deals with astrology and other forms of divination as a field of intersection between religious, medical and scientific traditions in South Asia. Her work combines ethnographic material collected during fieldwork in Banaras together with analysis of the Sanskrit and Hindi textual sources used by the practitioners.

Currently, she is conducting an ethnography of vāstu (or “vedic architecture”) practices in the metropolitan area of Delhi. She is investigating the uses of vāstu among the urban middle and upper classes, as well as the processes of transnationalization of divinatory knowledge and products.

Caterina Guenzi is also working on the translation of the Karmavipākasaṃhitā, a Sanskrit treatise composed in North India probably at the beginning of the 18th century. This text narrates multi-life stories on the basis of the 27 lunar mansions (nakṣatra) and prescribes ritual remedies to get rid of suffering resulting from previous karma.


Research groups


2014-2018 | Co-coordinator, with Laurent Pordié and Raphaël Voix of the research group entitled Ideologies and Practices of “Well-being”: Body, Locality and Community.


Administrative responsibilities


Directorship of the CEIAS | 2014-2018

Editor-in-chief of the journal L'Homme

Member of the editorial board of the Puruṣārtha series

Member of the PRI (Programme de recherches interdisciplinaires—Program for interdisciplinary research) entitled "Pratiquer le comparatisme: terrains, textes, artefacts"





knowledge systems








Teaching at the l'EHESS (2017-2018)


Actualité de la recherche sur l'Asie du Sud [Current Research on South Asia | CEIAS seminar]

Approches comparées du destin : le lot, la part, le lien  [Comparative Approaches to Fate: Lot, Share, Link]

Industries spirituelles indiennes : généalogies, enjeux, circulations [Indian Spiritual Industries: Genealogies, Stakes, Circulations]


Recent publications


2013 | Le discours du destin. La pratique de l'astrologie à Bénarès, CNRS Éditions, “Bibliothèque de l’anthropologie” series (headed by M. Godelier), 2013.

Edited volumes

2012 | Aux abords de la clairière. Études indiennes et comparées en l’honneur de Charles Malamoud, in collaboration with Silvia D'Intino, Turnhout: Brepols, "Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études, Sciences religieuses" series, 2012

2008 | Divins remèdes. Médecine et religion en Asie du Sud, in collaboration with I. G. Županov, Puruṣārtha series, 27, Paris, Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 2008.

Articles and book chapters

2017 | "Une atmosphère très particulière. La sensibilité au contexte selon la géomancie en Inde du Nord," Revue d’histoire des sciences humaines, 30, W. Feuerhahn, R. Mandressi and A. Romano (ed.), Contextualiser : une pratique transdisciplinaire ?, p. 93-114.

2016 | "Un air de déjà vu : du karma et de quelques pratiques de réminiscence des vies antérieures" (with S. D’Intino), Terrain, "Renaître," 66, 2016, p. 46-61.

2016 | “Mineral Healing: Gemstone Remedies in Medical and Astrological Traditions” (with A. Cerulli), in F. Ferrari and T. Dähnhardt, Soulless Matter, Seats of Energy. Metals, Gems and Minerals in South Asian Religions and Culture, Sheffield, Equinox Publishing, 2016, 73-93.

2016 | "Des astres. Animation et cosmologie" (with N. Weill-Parot) in E. Grimaud and A.-C. Taylor (ed.), Persona, étrangement humain (catalogue of the exhibit of the same name at the Quai Branly Museum), Actes Sud, p. 65-68.

2015 | "Fatto apposta per te. Sul principio di compatibilità tra persone e cose (India del Nord)," in A. Cutolo, S. Grilli e F. Viti (ed.), Tempo, persona e valore. Saggi in omaggio a Pier Giorgio Solinas, Lecce : Argo, p. 233-248

2013 | “Faculté de prévoir. L'astrologie dans les universités indiennes,” Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident, no. 35, p. 141-170

2012 | “The Allotted Share. Managing Fortune in Astrological Counselling in Banaras,” in G. Da Col & C. Humphrey (eds.), Cosmologies of Fortune: Luck, Vitality and the Contingency of Daily Life, Special Issue of Social Analysis, vol. 56, Issues no. 1&2, p. 39-55

2012 | “Manières de comparer. Regards indiens sur la compatibilité entre les savoirs,” in O. Remaud, J.-F. Schaub & I. Thiraud (ed.), Faire des sciences sociales – Comparer, Paris, Editions de l’EHESS, p. 283-305

2012 | “Introduction,” in S. D’Intino & C. Guenzi (eds.), Aux abords de la clairière. Études indiennes et comparées en l’honneur de Charles Malamoud, Turnhout: Brepols, "Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études, Sciences religieuses" series

2010 | "Santé," withI. G. Županov, in Dictionnaire des faits religieux, R. Azria and D. Hervieu-Leger (ed.), Presses Universitaires de France, p. 1127-1131

2009 | “The Smell of Soil. Geomantic Practices among Banaras Astrologers,” with S. Singh, in D. Berti & G. Tarabout (eds.), Territory, Soil and Society in South Asia, Delhi, Manohar, p. 175-202

2009 | “Astrologie/Astronomie” and “Calendriers,” Dictionnaire de l’Inde, Paris, Larousse

2008 | “Introduction,” with I. G. Županov, in Divins remèdes. Médecine et Religion en Asie du Sud, Puruṣārtha series, 27, Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, p. 11-38

2008 | “Planètes, remèdes et cosmologies. La thérapeutique astrologique à Bénarès,” in I. G. Županov & C. Guenzi, Divins remèdes. Médecine et Religion en Asie du Sud, Puruṣārtha series, 27, Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, p. 191-217












Last update: 26 September 2018


flux rss  Actualités

John MacGregor Murray (1745-1822): Persianate and Indic Cultures in British South Asia

Journée(s) d'étude - Mardi 28 mai 2019 - 10:00This workshop proposes to examine European engagement with Persian language and textual culture in South Asia. In Mughal India (1526-1857) and in the Princely States emerging with the decline of Mughal central power, Persian language established itse (...)(...)

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Bodies and Artefacts: Relics and other devotional supports in Shia societies in the Indic and Iranian worlds

Journée(s) d'étude - Lundi 27 mai 2019 - 10:00Programme (En anglais) 10:15 - Welcome Address by CEIAS Director10:20 - Opening remarks by Michel Boivin, Annabelle Collinet, Sepideh Parsapajouh  10:30 - Karen Ruffle (University of Toronto), EHESS-IISMM Invited ProfessorPresence in Absence: The For (...)(...)

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