CV and publications

Current posts

Director: Thinking Threads

Research Fellow – Bath Spa University

Research Associate – African Studies Centre, University of Oxford

Curator – !Khwa ttu Heritage Centre, Yzerfontein, Western Cape, South Africa

Previous posts

2005 -2013 University of Oxford, Research Fellow and Associate, African Studies Centre: holder VIP Award Wellcome Trust (2008-2009); ESRC Research Fellow (2005-2008)

Lecturer MSc African Environments (2007-2009) sessional lecturer MSc Comparative and International Education (2004, 2006); MSc Medical Anthropology (2004); Tutor African History BA (2004)

2011            Sussex University, 2011, lecturer and dissertation supervisor BA, ‘Anthropology of Africa’.

2004            Birkbeck College, 2005, University of London, School of History, Archaeology and Classics, sessional lecturer, MSc, Disease and Society in Africa.



  1. September 1999 to May 2004: University of Oxford , Christ Church;D.Phil , Historical anthropology; D.Phil title: ‘Khoisan Healing: Understandings, Ideas and Practices’.
  2. October 1997 – Sept 1998: Imperial College / UCL; MSc, History of Science and Medicine, Grade: Distinction
  3. October 1995 – June 1997: Durham University, St. Cuthbert’s Society; BA. (Hons) Archaeology
  4. Sept 1990-1992, British College of Acupuncture, Diploma Acupuncture ( part time).
  5. Sept 1985-June 1989, European School of Osteopathy, Diploma Osteopathy.

Recent academic markers of esteem

Contributor to BBC World Service , Living with Nature – The Desert, to be broadcast June 2018

Invited contributor “Images, gestures, voices, lives – What can we learn from Palaeolithic art?”, a conference. 30th May-2nd June, 2018, Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, Sigwartstrasse 10, Tübingen

Invited contributor to Global Aboriginal Mental Health – a symposium at University of Guelph-Humber, March 19-23, 2018, Ontario, Canada

Reviewer for National Research Foundation / RISA, South Africa

PhD external examiner for Edinburgh University and University of Cape Town

ad hoc reviewer for:

Berghahn Books

Anthropology and Medicine

Current Anthropology

Journal of Southern African Studies

Journal of Namibian Studies

Journal of African Cultural Studies

Quaternary Science Review

Academic Research Advisor: National Geographic, Hunters of the Lost World ( Man Hunt): ‘Kalahari Killers’,  episode on Bushmen, land and hunting, 2011. Won an award for ‘Cultural Insight’ at the Montana CINE International Film Festival , 2011.



Chris Low and Neil Rusch (eds), Bushman Stories by G.R. von Weilligh, translated by Philip John (Cape Town, !Khwa ttu and Mantis Books, 2017)

Chris Low and Elisabeth Hsu (eds), Wind, Life, Health: Anthropological and
Historical Perspectives
(Oxford, Blackwell, 2008)

Chris Low, Khoisan Medicine in History and Practice , Research in Khoisan
Studies Volume 20, (Köln, Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, 2008)

Book chapters

Chris Low, ‘Hunter-Gatherer Cosmologies’, in H. Callan (ed), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Forthcoming 2017.

Chris Low, ‘Human Physiology, San shamanic healing and the ‘cognitive revolution’, in C. Powers, H. Callan and M. Finnegan, Human Origins. Berghahn Books. Forthcoming 2016.

 Chris Low, ‘Locating /Xam beliefs and practices in a contemporary KhoeSan context’, in P. Skotnes and J. Deacon (eds.) The Courage of //Kabbo: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Publication  of Specimens of Bushman Folklore (Cape Town, UCT Press 2014): 349-361.

Christopher H. Low, ‘Different Histories of Buchu: Euro-American appropriation of San and Khoekhoe knowledge of Buchu plants’, in Sarah Johnson (ed.) Indigenous Knowledge. ‘Themes in Environmental History’ reader series (Cambridge, The White Horse Press, 2012).

Chris Low, ‘Working with potency: the role of weather in KhoeSan
healing’ in Barboza, Christina & Jankovic, Vladimir (eds.), Weather,local
knowledge and everyday life: issues in integrated climate studies
(Rio de
Janeiro,  MAST, 2008).

Chris Low, ‘Gatherers of Knowledge: Namibian Khoisan healers and their world of
possibilities’, in David Johnson (ed.), The Changing Landscape of Education
in Africa: Quality, Equality and Democracy
, Oxford Studies in Comparative
Education (Symposium Books, 2008), pp. 161-181.

Chris Low, ‘Shamanism among San People’, in L. Hughes (ed.), The No Nonsense
Guide to Indigenous Peoples
(Oxford, 2003), pp. 118-119.



Chris Low, ‘The role of the body in Kalahari San healing dances’, Hunter Gatherer Research 1.1, 2015,: 29- 60.

Chris.Low, ‘Khoe-San ethnography, ‘new animism’ and the interpretation of Southern African rock art, South African Archaeological Bulletin, 2014 69 (200): 164-172.

Chris Low, ‘KhoeSan shamanistic relationships with snakes and rain’, Journal of Namibian Studies, 2012 (12): 71-96.

Chris Low, ‘Birds and KhoeSan: linking potency, spirit and healing with day-to-day life’, Africa  81 (2) (2011), 295-313.

Chris Low, ‘ Birds in the life of KhoeSan’, Alternation 16,2 (2009).

Chris Low, ‘Massage among the KhoeSan of Namibia’, in, In Touch,
Newsletter, ‘The Official Voice of the Massage Therapy Association – South
Africa’ (Oct. 2008), 5-7.

Chris Low and Elisabeth Hsu (eds.), ‘ Introduction, Wind, Life, Health: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute  vol. 13, Special Issue (2007), S1-S17.

Chris Low ‘Khoisan Wind: Hunting and Healing’, in Chris Low and Elisabeth
Hsu (eds.) Wind, Life, Health: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives,
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute vol. 13, Special Issue (2007),  S71-S90.

Chris Low, ‘Finding and Foregrounding Massage in Khoisan Ethnography’,
Journal of Southern African Studies  33:4 (Dec. 2007), 783-799.

Chris Low, ‘Different Histories of Buchu: Euro-American appropriation of
San and Khoekhoe knowledge of buchu plants’ Environment and History 13:
3 (August 2007), 333-361.

Chris Low and Sian Sullivan, ‘Shades of the rainbow serpent? A KhoeSan animal between myth and landscape in southern Africa – ethnographic contextualisations of rock art representations’. Arts 3(2) (2014) : 215-244


Chris Low, book review of Megan Biesele and Robert K. Hitchcock (2011) ‘The Ju/’hoan San of Nyae Nyae and Namibian Independence’. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, in Journal of Modern African Studies 50 (3) , 2012: 543-544.

Chris Low, book review of Shane Moran (2009) ‘Representing Bushmen: South Africa and the Origins of Language’,  New York: University of Rochester Press, in Journal of Modern African Studies 50 2012(1), 165-167.

Chris Low. Book review of R. Katz and M. Biesele (1997) ‘Healing Makes Our Hearts
Happy’, in African Studies Review 45:3 (Dec. 2002), 74-75.

Chris Low. Book review of J. Suzman (2000) ‘Things from the Bush: a Contemporary
History of Omaheke Bushmen’, in The Journal of African History 44:3
(2003), 546-547.

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