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The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis,


Project Description

PhD Studentship in Social Anthropology

The project The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis, funded by a Wellcome Investigator Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences (PI Dr Christos Lynteris), invites applications for one PhD studentship, for applicants to start at the University of St Andrews in September 2020.

The student will examine the development and deployment of rat-poisoning for domestic, public and industrial use in British India (1898-1947). Involving a historical anthropological study of interspecies relations in epidemic control, research will focus on the entanglement between experimental and observational studies of the impact of different poisons on rats in British India, and the way in which these contributed to zoonosis-related knowledge and to a transformation of human-rat relations on the ground.

The project The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis examines the global history of a foundational process in the development of scientific approaches of zoonosis: the global war against the rat (1898-1948). The project examines the scientific study of the rat and the public health practices developed and deployed for its control and eradication in the wake of understanding its role in the transmission of infectious diseases. It explores the synergies between knowledge acquired through scientific studies of the rat, with knowledge acquired during the development and application of practical, 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 engages in an analysis of how new forms of epidemiological knowledge and reasoning arose centred on the epistemic object of the rat.

For further information on the project, see https://wwrat.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk

The main focus of the PhD project is to conduct archival research on British colonial archives, including published and unpublished documents produced by doctors, public health services and affected communities. The successful candidate will find a highly stimulating research environment and supervision by Dr Christos Lynteris at Social Anthropology, and will be invited to interact with the project team at its regular work in progress meetings. The studentship allows for the development of a flexible and independent historical anthropological project around rat-poisoning in British India. While the project is a free-standing PhD project it will be embedded into a wider project The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis.

We are looking for a PhD candidate trained in Social Anthropology AND History, at either undergraduate or postgraduate levels. This could include someone with a joint degree or someone with a Masters and/or Undergraduate degrees in Social Anthropology and History, or in Social Anthropology and South Asian Studies. Applicants should have completed a taught-postgraduate degree (or equivalent) with a Masters degree by September 2020. It is desirable that the student is able to read Hindi.

Admission to the programme requires that you hold a good undergraduate degree, high 2.1 (16.5) or better or its equivalent (e.g. GPA of 3.6 or better on a 4-point scale).

The studentship is funded through the Wellcome Trust. The scholarships comprise a full-fee waiver (home fees only), a stipend for the normal full-fee paying period (3 years), and a research expenses allowance (£20,150 over 3 years). The stipend will be paid at the current Wellcome Trust rate (Year 1: £19,919, Year 2: £21,542, Year 3: £23,298). The scholarship may be awarded to a UK/EU or international applicant.

Applicants should apply for a PhD place via the University of St Andrews standard application process: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/research/. In addition, they should submit a research outline of a maximum of 1,000 words directly to Dr Christos Lynteris ()

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 25 May 2020.

Funding Notes

The studentship is funded through the Wellcome Trust. The scholarships comprise a full-fee waiver (home fees only), a stipend for the normal full-fee paying period (3 years), and a research expenses allowance (£20,150 over 3 years). The stipend will be paid at the current Wellcome Trust rate (Year 1: £19,919, Year 2: £21,542, Year 3: £23,298). The scholarship may be awarded to a UK/EU or international applicant.

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Anthropology and Development Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.66

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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