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Rats and the Global History of Maritime Fumigation Seminar

The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health and the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies warmly invite you to a joint seminar:

Dr Christos Lynteris: Rats and the Global History of Maritime Fumigation

5pm Wednesday, October 23

University of Exeter, Amory 106 (Building 29 on the university map)

Christos Lynteris (University of St. Andrews) 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.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust with an Investigator Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Lynteris’ new project (2019-2024) ‘The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis’ will examine the global history of a foundational but historically neglected process in the development of scientific approaches of zoonosis: the global war against the rat (1898-1948). The project will explore the synergies between knowledge acquired through medical studies of the rat, in the wake of understanding its role in the transmission of infectious diseases (plague, leptospirosis, murine typhus), with knowledge acquired during the development and application of public health measures of vector-control: rat-proofing, rat-catching and rat-poisoning. By examining the epistemological, architectural, social, and chemical histories of rat control from a global, comparative perspective, the project will show how new forms of epidemiological reasoning about key zoonotic mechanisms (the epizootic, the disease reservoir, and species invasiveness) arose around the epistemic object of the rat.

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