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Durham University

The Anthro-Zoonoses Network

Christos Lynteris

Christos Lynteris is a medical anthropologist. His research focuses on the anthropological and historical examination of infectious disease epidemics, animal to human infection (zoonosis), medical visual culture, colonial medicine, and epidemics as events posing an existential risk to humanity.

His current 5-year research project, Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic (2013-2018) (@visualplague) funded by the European Research Council with a Starting Grant (under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme/ERC grant agreement no 336564) has been collecting and analysing photographs and other visual documents of the third plague pandemic (1855-1959). The project’s hypothesis is that the emergence of epidemic photography has played a pivotal role in the formation of scientific understandings and public perceptions of infectious disease epidemics in the modern world. Dr Lynteris currently investigates aspects of “visual plague” in China, with a particular focus on Hong Kong and Manchuria. On a global scale, his research engages in comparative analysis, focusing on regimes and practices of epidemic visibility and invisibility.

Dr Lynteris has convened numerous international workshops and conferences including: Assembling Epidemics: Disease, Ecology and the (Un)natural (Cambridge, 2017); Diagrammatic: Beyond Inscription? (Cambridge, 2016); Techniques, Technologies and Materialities of Epidemic Control (Cambridge, 2016); Fear of the Foreign: Pandemics and Xenophobia (Bellagio Rockefeller Centre, 2015); Anthropology and Zoonoses (College de France, 2015); Plague and the City (Cambridge, 2014); Ethics and Aesthetics of Epidemiological Photography (Cambridge, 2013); Epidemic Crisis: The Dialectics of Event and Process (Cambridge, 2013).

Previously, Dr Lynteris’s research examined: epidemic crises in modern China and their impact on society and governance; SARS and the “floating population” in the PRC; the formation of socialist medicine in China and its synergy and antagonism with Confucian ethics; the social ecology of plague on the Chinese-Russian frontier; marmot-hunting practices amongst Mongols and Buryats and their impact on the zoonotic transmission of plague; the role of ethnography in the formation of scientific knowledge about plague.

Before joining St Andrews, Dr Lynteris was Andrew Mellon and Isaac Newton Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2013) and Senior Research Associate/ERC PI (2013-2107) at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) of the University of Cambridge, Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College (Cambridge, 2011-2013), affiliated academic member of staff at the Division of Social Anthropology of the University of Cambridge (2011-2017), and Resident Fellow at the Centro Incontri Umani (Ascona, 2011) and the Fondation Brocher (Geneva, 2017). Besides his current ERC Grant, Dr Lynteris has received grants and awards by the Wellcome Trust, the British Academy (awarded and declined), the Leverhulme Trust (awarded and declined), the Rockefeller Foundation, the Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme, the Ladislav Holy Trust, the Carnegie Trust, and the Fondation Brocher.

Selected Publications:

Lynteris, C. & Evans, N. (eds) 2018. Histories of Post-Mortem Contagion: Infectious Corpses and Contested Burials. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lynteris, C. 2017. Zoonotic Diagrams: Mastering and Unsettling Human-Animal Relations. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 23(3): 463-485.

Lynteris, C. 2017. A Suitable Soil: Plague's Breeding Grounds at the Dawn of the Third Pandemic. Medical History 61(3): 343-357.

Lynteris, C. 2016. Ethnographic Plague: Configuring Disease on the Chinese-Russian Frontier. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Lynteris, C. & Prince, R. J. (eds) 2016. Medicine, Photography and Anthropology. Special Issue, Visual Anthropology 29(2).

Lynteris, C. 2016. The Prophetic Faculty of Epidemic Photography: Chinese Wet Markets and the Imagination of the Next Pandemic. Visual Anthropology: 29 (2): 118-132.

Lynteris, C. 2016. The Epidemiologist as Culture Hero: Visualizing Humanity in the Age of "the Next Pandemic". Visual Anthropology 29(1): 36-53.

Lynteris, C. 2014. Jean-Jacques Matignon's Legacy on Russian Plague Research in North-East China and Inner Asia (1898-1910). Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident 37: 61-89.

Lynteris, C. (ed.) 2014. Special Section: Epidemic Events and Processes. Cambridge Anthropology 32(1).

Lynteris, C. 2013. Skilled Natives, Inept Coolies; Marmot Hunting and the Great Manchurian Pneumonic Plague (1910-1911). History and Anthropology 24(3): 303-321.

Lynteris, C. 2011. From Prussia to China: Japanese Colonial Medicine and Goto Shinpei's Contribution to the Combination of Medical Police and Local Self-Administration. Medical History 55(3): 343-347.


Christos Lynteris

University of St Andrews, University of Cambridge