Dr/ Senior Lecturer - University of St Andrews
Fumigation: Global Health, Pandemic Planning and the Question of Vector Eradication
The aim of our joint Brocher Residency will be to complete a 200 pages long book presenting in an accessible way the history of fumigation as an epidemic control measure, leading up to its recent revival as an emergency technique against the Zika virus crisis. The book will be aimed at a general audience and will seek to demonstrate how as a key pandemic control technology fumigation is entangled with specific understandings of the causes of epidemic disease, as well as wider imaginations of humanity’s existential risk from pandemics. The key objectives of the book are:
- to deliver a full historical account of how fumigation became an established sanitary technology of an increasingly global public health in the twentieth century.
- to locate fumigation in between epidemiological, bacteriological and sociological reasoning, understanding its medical utility, its social impact and its cultural life in different contexts and times
- to establish an interdisciplinary account of fumigation in order to understand its immediate return in the case of Zika, despite the ethical and medical concerns carried with it
- to locate fumigation as a lens of the history of epidemic technologies, reaching an increased appreciation of historical processes as informative elements of contemporary global health policies.
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.