The Team


Christos Lynteris is the Principle Investigator on the Visual Plague project. He is a Social Anthropologist working on visual representations of outbreaks in China between 1855 and 1959, with a particular focus on the Hong Kong bubonic plague outbreak of 1894 and the Manchurian pneumonic plague outbreak in 1910-11. In comparing the two, his research focuses on the entanglement of visualisation strategies and biopolitical and geopolitical aspects of the epidemics. Of particular interest is the depiction of Chinese migrant workers (so-called “coolies”) as carriers of disease, and the representation of “coolie” urban environment and housing as an imagined source of infection.

Lukas Engelmann was a researcher on the Visual Plague project. He is a historian of medicine working on the visual representations of plague in North and South America. He has published various articles in the history of science and medicine, gender and visual studies and organized a series of workshops on knowledge-politics and AIDS/HIV.
His current research focuses on plague mapping, the history of medical geography and the historical comparison of the plague-driven enforcement of bacteriology in public health reasoning in North and South America.

Nicholas Evans was a researcher on the Visual Plague project. He is an anthropologist writing about South Asia. His previous work examined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, followers of a nineteenth century Messiah who see themselves as the one true Muslim sect, but face much persecution for their beliefs. As part of his work at CRASSH, he is currently developing a new project on Commissions of Inquiry in pre- and post-independence India.

Maurits Meerwijk is a postdoctoral researcher on the Visual Plague project. Maurits joined the Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic in January 2018, with a focus on plague in the Dutch East Indies between 1911 and World War II. His interests here lie primarily in the “home improvement campaign” and in medical propaganda, both intended to halt the spread of plague.

Branwyn Poleykett was a researcher on the Visual Plague project. Her work draws upon archival research and ethnographic fieldwork to understand the historical, social and cultural determinants of health and illness in Africa. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Senegal and Tanzania and archival research in Madagascar, South Africa and Morocco. She has recently begun work on the global history of the Senegalese diet and the interpretation and management of metabolic diseases in Dakar.

Abhijit Sarkar is a historian and anthropologist of disasters, both human and natural, currently working as a researcher on the Visual Plague project. He is focusing on the plague in India, with particular focus on plague hospitals and disposal of plague corpses. He has also been working on the background research for a forthcoming study in environmental history, looking at the long-term history of earthquakes and earthquake-relief in South Asia.

Advisory Board

  • Sam Barzilay, Creative Director, United Photo Industries/Photoville Festival, New York, USA
  • John Henderson, Professor of Italian Renaissance History, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London; Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge
  • Frédéric Keck, Director of the Department of Research and Education, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Chargé de Recherche, CNRS/ EHESS, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale.
  • David Napier, Professor of Medical Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology, University College London, University of London