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Murphy Halliburton
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Queens College
Degrees/Diplomas: PhD CUNY, 2000
Research Interests: Medical anthropology, anthropology of science, psychiatric anthropology, ayurvedic medicine, intellectual property; South Asia
Subfield: Cultural Anthropology
Murphy Halliburton is Professor of Anthropology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He specializes in medical and psychological anthropology, Science and Technology Studies and the anthropology of pharmaceuticals. His work involves long-term, critical engagement with biomedical psychiatric ideologies and practices starting with his book Mudpacks and Prozac (Routledge 2009) and continuing in his current work that assesses the effects of the Movement for Global Mental Health in South Asia. Professor Halliburton has also tracked the effects of global patent policies on pharmaceutical production and biopiracy of ayurvedic knowledge in India since the 1990s. He later engaged in fieldwork on this topic with pharmaceutical producers in India and the United States resulting in the publication of his book India and the Patent Wars (Cornell University Press, 2017).

In 2014, he completed Fulbright-funded fieldwork in Kerala, India that attempted to explain India’s success in treating schizophrenia, and he has recently embarked on a project on the role of eugenics in the history of Stanford University and in California public schools. In addition to his more ethnographically-engaged work, Professor Halliburton has an interest in contemporary anthropological and social theory and has contributed articles on debates over the anthropology of the body and embodiment and on the role of “authoritative sources” in developing social theory.
Selected Publications

India and the Patent Wars: Pharmaceuticals in the New Intellectual Property Regime. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017

Mudpacks and Prozac: Experiencing Ayurvedic, Biomedical, and Religious Healing. New York: Routledge, 2009

Articles and Chapters
“The House of Love and the Mental Hospital: Zones of Care and Recovery in South India” In The Movement for Global Mental Health: Critical Views from South and Southeast Asia, William Sax and Claudia Lang, eds. Pp. 213-242. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021

“Hegemony versus Pluralism: Ayurveda and the Movement for Global Mental Health.” Anthropology & Medicine, 2020 []

“Introduction.” (Special Issue – Intangible Property at the Periphery: Expanding Enclosure in the 21st Century) International Journal of Cultural Property 19(3): 233-249, 2012

“Resistance or Inaction? Protecting Ayurvedic Medical Knowledge and Problems of Agency.” American Ethnologist 38(1): 85-100, 2011

“Drug Resistance, Patent Resistance: Indian Pharmaceuticals and the Impact of a New Patent Regime.” Global Public Health 4(6): 515-527, 2009

“‘Just Some Spirits:’ The Erosion of Spirit Possession and the Rise of ‘Tension’ in South India.” Medical Anthropology 24(2):111-144, April-June 2005

“Rethinking Anthropological Studies of the Body: Manas and Bodham in Kerala.” American Anthropologist 104(4):1123-1134, December 2002