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Dr Christos Lynteris

Senior Lecturer

Email: cl12@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: 01334 46 2973

Office: First Floor, 71 North Street

Office hours: Tuesday 10am – 12pm


MA (Hons) University of St Andrews; PhD (Social Anthropology) University of St Andrews

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


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

2012. The Spirit of Selflessness in Maoist China: Socialist Medicine and the New Man. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited Books

Plague and the City. London & New York: Routledge, (under contract); co-edited with Lukas Engelmann and John Henderson

2018. Histories of Post-Mortem Contagion: Infectious Corpses and Contested Burials. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018; co-edited with Nicholas Evans.

The Anthropology of Epidemics. London & New York: Routledge, (under contract); co-edited with Frédéric Keck & Ann Kelly.

Edited Journal Issues

[in print 2018] The Anthropology of Zoonosis. Medicine, Anthropology, Theory, co-edited with Frédéric Keck

2016. Medicine, Photography and Anthropology, Visual Anthropology, 29: 2, Spring 2016; co-edited with Ruth J. Prince.

2014. Epidemic Events and Processes. Cambridge Anthropology, 32: 1, Spring 2014.

2013. Across the Fields. Anthropology & Materialism, 1; Autumn 2013 https://am.revues.org/100; co-edited with Marc Berdet.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

[accepted] ‘Pestis Minor: The History of a Contested Plague Pathology.’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine.

[accepted] 'Plague Masks: The Visual Emergence of Anti-Epidemic Equipment.' Medical Anthropology.

[in print 2018] 'Zoonosis: Prospects and Challenges for Medical Anthropology.' Medicine, Anthropology, Theory, co-authored with Frédéric Keck

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

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

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

2016. Anthropology and Medical Photography: Ethnographic, Critical and Comparative Perspectives. Visual Anthropology, 29: 2 (February 2016): 101-117; co-authored with Ruth J. Prince.

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

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

2014. The Time of Epidemics. Cambridge Anthropology, 32: 1 (Spring 2014): 24-31.

2014. Epidemics as Events and as Crises: Comparing Two Plague Outbreaks in Manchuria (1910–11 and 1920–21) Cambridge Anthropology, 32: 1 (Spring 2014): 62-76.

2013. The State as a Social Relation: An Anthropological Critique. Anthopology & Materialism, 1 (Autumn 2014) https://am.revues.org/291

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

2011. ‘In Memory of Norman Bethune’; Two Exegetic Resurrections of the 'Spirit of Selflessness' in Maoist China. Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies. 1: 1 (December 2011): 21-49.

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 (July 2011): 343-347.

Book Chapters

(in print) Yellow Peril Epidemics: The Political Ontology of Degeneration and Emergence. In Frank Billé & Soren Urbansky (eds) Yellow Perils: China Narratives in the Contemporary World. Honolulu: Hawaii University Press.

2018. The Frankfurt School, Critical Theory and Anthropology. In Matei Candea (ed.) Schools an Styles of Anthropological Theory.  London and New York: Routledge.

2018. Introduction: The Challenge of the Epidemic Corpse. In Christos Lynteris & Nicholas Evans (eds.) Histories of Post-Mortem Contagion: Infectious Corpses and Contested Burials. London: Palgrave Macmillan; co-authored with Nicholas Evans.

2018. Suspicious Corpses: Body Dumping and Plague in Colonial Hong Kong. In Christos Lynteris & Nicholas Evans (eds.) Histories of Post-Mortem Contagion: Infectious Corpses and Contested Burials. London: Palgrave Macmillan; co-authored with Nicholas Evans.

2015. Ignoring Native Ignorance: Epidemiological Enclosures of Not-Knowing Plague in Inner Asia. In Roy Dilley & Thomas G. Kirsch(eds) Regimes of Ignorance: Anthropological Perspectives on the Production and Reproduction of Non-Knowledge. Oxford: Berghahn.

2014. Speaking Marmots, Deaf Hunters: Animal-human semiotic breakdown as the cause of the Manchurian pneumonic plague of 1910-11. In Morten Tønnessen & Kadri Tüür (eds) The Semiotics of Animal Representations. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2013. State of Exception, Culture of Medical Police: SARS and the Law of No Rights in the People's Republic of China. In Alex Mold and David Reubi (eds.), Health Rights in Global Context: Genealogies and Anthropologies. London: Routledge.


2006. Ernest Gellner. Muslim Society. Alexandria Publications: Athens.

Book Reviews

2017. Infectious Change. Reinventing Chinese Public Health after an Epidemic. Katherine A. Mason. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 2016. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 31: 1 (September 2017) DOI: 10.1111/maq.12356

2016. Agitating Images: Photography against History in Indigenous Siberia. Craig Campbell. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. Anthropologica, 58: 1 (2016): 124-125

2015. Communities of Complicity: Everyday Ethics in Rural China. Hans Steinmüller. Oxford: Berghahn, 2013. In Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 21: 3 (September 2015): 693-694.

2013. Revolutionary Medicine: Health and the Body in Post-Soviet Cuba. P. Sean Brotherton, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012. Cambridge Anthropology, 31: 1 (March 2013): 163-164.

2013. Living with Koryak Traditions: Playing with Culture in Siberia. Alexander D. King. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011. American Anthropologist, 115: 4 (December 2013): 698–699.

2011. Biopolitics, Militarism and Development; Eritrea in the 21st Century. David O’Kane & Tricia Redenek Hepner (eds). Oxford: Berghahn, 2009. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 17: 4 (December 2011): 891-892.

2011. Speaking of Epidemics in Chinese Medicine: Disease and the Geographic Imagination in Late Imperial China. Marta E. Hanson. London: Routledge, 2011. Social History of Medicine, 25: 4 (October 2012): 900-901.


2016. Untimely Ends and the Pandemic Imaginary. Somatosphere (July 8 2016) http://somatosphere.net/2016/07/untimely-ends-and-the-pandemic-imaginary.html

2016. Pandemic Heroes: Saving Humankind on the Big Screen. Humanitarian Health Ethics (5 February 2016) https://humanitarianhealthethics.net/2016/02/05/pandemic-heroes-saving-humankind-on-the-big-screen/

2015. Photographic Plagues. Royal Historical Society: History in the News (March 31 2015) http://royalhistsoc.org/christos-lynteris-photographic-plagues/


2012. Obituary to David Riches (1947-2011). Anthropology Today, 28: 2 (April 2012) 26-27.


2017 Cambridge & the ERC: 10 years of research excellence




2015  ‘Rückkehr der Killerplage’ Der Spiegel no.47 132-133

2015 ‘Portraits of the Plague’, BBC History Magazine (July 2015), pp. 33-36

2014 ‘Visions of Plague’, Research Horizons, Issue 25 (October 2014), pp. 10-11