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Global Forensic Cultures: Making Fact and Justice in the Modern Era

by Ian Burney and Christopher Hamlin Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
05/2019
ISBN:
9781421427492
Format:
Hbk 356 pages
Price:
AU$129.00 NZ$133.91
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Contemporary forensic science has achieved unprecedented visibility as a compelling example of applied expertise. But the common public view'that we are living in an era of forensic deliverance, one exemplified by DNA typing'has masked the reality: that forensic science has always been unique, problematic, and contested. Global Forensic Cultures aims to rectify this problem by recognizing the universality of forensic questions and the variety of practices and institutions constructed to answer them.

Groundbreaking essays written by leaders in the field address the complex and contentious histories of forensic techniques. Contributors also examine the co-evolution of these techniques with the professions creating and using them, with the systems of governance and jurisprudence in which they are used, and with the socioeconomic, political, racial, and gendered settings of that use. Exploring the profound effect of "location" (temporal and spatial) on the production and enactment of forms of forensic knowledge during the century before CSI became a household acronym, the book explores numerous related topics, including the notion of burden of proof, changing roles of experts and witnesses, the development and dissemination of forensic techniques and skills, the financial and practical constraints facing investigators, and cultures of forensics and of criminality within and against which forensic practitioners operate.

Covering sites of modern and historic forensic innovation in the United States, Europe, and farther-flung imperial and global settings, these essays tell stories of blood, poison, corpses; tracking persons and attesting documents; truth-making, egregious racism, and sinister surveillance. Each chapter is a finely grained case study. Collectively, Global Forensic Cultures supplies a historical foundation for the critical appraisal of contemporary forensic institutions which has begun in the wake of DNA-based exonerations.

Contributors: Bruno Bertherat, Jos+¬ Ram+¦n Bertomeu S+ínchez, Binyamin Blum, Ian Burney, Marcus B. Carrier, Simon A. Cole, Christopher Hamlin, Jeffrey Jentzen, Projit Bihari Mukharji, Quentin (Trais) Pearson, Mitra Sharafi, Gagan Preet Singh, Heather Wolffram

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Forensic Facts, the Guts of Rights
Christopher Hamlin
Part I. Evidence and Epistemology
Chapter 1. The Value(s) of Methods: Method Selection in German Forensic Toxicology in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century
Marcus B. Carrier
Chapter 2. The Imperial Serologist and Punitive Self-Harm: Bloodstains and Legal Pluralism in British India
Mitra Sharafi
Chapter 3. Handwriting Analysis as a Dynamic Artisanal Science: The Hardless Detective Dynasty and the Forensic Cultures of the British Raj
Projit Bihari Mukharji
Chapter 4. Spatters and Lies: Contrasting Forensic Cultures in the Trials of Sam Sheppard, 1954-66
Ian Burney
Part II. Practices of Power and Policing
Chapter 5. Death and Empire: Medicolegal Investigations and Practice across the British Empire
Jeffrey Jentzen
Chapter 6. Fingerprints and the Politics of Scientific Policing in Early Twentieth-Century Spain
José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez
Chapter 7. From Bedouin Trackers to Doberman Pinschers: The Rise of Dog Tracking as Forensic Evidence in Palestine
Binyamin Blum
Chapter 8. "DNA Evidence Cannot Lie": Forensic Science, Truth Regimes, and Civic Epistemology in Thai History
Quentin (Trais) Pearson
Part III. Training and Transmitting
Chapter 9. Cleaning Out the Mortuary and the Medicolegal Text: Ambriose Tardieu's Modernizing Enterprise
Bruno Bertherat
Chapter 10. The Strange Science: Tracking and Detection in the Late Nineteenth-Century Punjab
Gagan Preet Singh
Chapter 11. Forensic Knowledge and Forensic Networks in Britain's Empire: The Case of Sydney Smith
Heather Wolffram
Afterword: A Tale of Two Cities? Locating the History of Forensic Science and Medicine in Contemporary Forensic Reform Discourse
Simon A. Cole
List of Contributors
Index

Ian A. Burney is a Wellcome Research Lecturer at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester. Christopher Hamlin is a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick: Britain, 1800GÇô1854, and Cholera: The Biography.