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Research at St Andrews

Christos Lynteris


Christos Lynteris
Postal address:
School of Philosophical
Anthropological & Film Studies
(Social Anthropology)
71 North Street, St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462973

Research overview

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, epidemiological epistemology, colonial medicine, global health, and epidemics as events posing an existential risk to humanity.

His recently completed 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) collected and analysed photographs and other visual documents of the third plague pandemic (1855-1959). The project showed that the emergence of epidemic photography played a pivotal role in the formation of scientific understandings and public perceptions of infectious disease epidemics in the modern world, and contributed significantly the formation of the concept of the “pandemic”. Dr Lynteris has investigated 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.

Previously, Dr Lynteris’ 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.

Dr Lynteris has convened numerous international workshops and conferences including: Ethnographic Data to Epidemiological Evidence (Brocher Foundation, 2018), Visual Plague: Image, Imagination and Imaginary (St Andrews 2018), Comic Epidemic: 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).

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 Department 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).

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