Andrew McDowell Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology Tulane University

Andrew McDowell

Assistant Professor
402 Dinwiddie Hall


Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2014


Fields of Study: Cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, tuberculosis, global health, the anthropology of science; South Asia.

Andrew McDowell is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. He has a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from Harvard University. His research interests focus on care, contagion, pharmaceuticals, diagnosis, and inequality in North and Western Indian social worlds entangled with tuberculosis. His book, Breathless: Tuberculosis, Inequality, and Care in Rural India, traces the complex relationships between development, disease, inequality, and biomedicine to theorize atmospheric but life changing connections forged by breath. Breathless won the AIIS’s 2023 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences.

In a second project McDowell considers global health’s role in TB’s dynamic local biologies. Focusing on private medical worlds in Mumbai, Profitable Practices: Medicine, Money, and Morals in Mumbai’s Private Medical Worlds, traces globalized treatment and diagnosis interventions in India. It centers on the moral questions that providing medicine for money in zone of economic precarity raise for private sector doctors, pharmacists, their patients, and those who hope to intervene in this world. More broadly, this research examines the human and microbial impact of global health initiatives that aim to manage patients’ access to technologies and medicines, standardize medical practice in Mumbai, and guide TB-related expertise and knowledge production across India.

His work has appeared in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Ethos, Biosocieties, and The Lancet among other venues.

Selected Publications:

McDowell, A. 2024 Breathless: Tuberculosis, Inequality, and Care in Rural India. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Gaudillière, J-P., A. McDowell, C. Lang, and C. Beaudevin. 2022 Global Health for All: Knowledge, Politics, and Practices. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

McDowell, A. 2021 “Dr. Zahir’s Dilemma: Money and Morals in India’s Private Medical Networks.” Biosocieties 16: 363-386.

McDowell, A. 2019 “Chunnilal’s Hauntology: Rajasthan’s ghosts, time going badly, and anthropological voice” in Ethos 47 (4) 501-518.

McDowell, A. 2019 “Dr. Ram’s Triage: Categorization, speculation, and granting access to global health technologies in India private clinics” in Medicine, Anthropology, Theory. 6 (4): 301-314.

McDowell, A., Engel, N., and A. Daftary 2019 "In the eye of the multiple beholders: Qualitative research perspectives on studying and encouraging quality of TB care in India" in Journal of clinical tuberculosis and other mycobacterial diseases 16 (2019): e100111.

McDowell, A., Raizada, N., Khapade, S., Raghuram, R., Sarin, S., Kalra, A., Salhotra, VS., Nair SA, Boehme, C., Deckinger, C. 2018 “’Before Xpert I only had my expertise’: A qualitative study on the utilization and effects of Xpert technology among pediatricians in 4 Indian Cities” in PLoS ONE 13(3): e0193656.

McDowell, A. 2017 “Mohit’s pharmakon: Symptom, rotational bodies, and unregulated pharmaceutical use in Rural Rajasthan” in Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 31 (3) 315-331.

Satyanarayana, S., Kwan, A., Daniels, B., Subbraman, R., McDowell, A. Berquist, S., Das, R., Das, V., Das., Pai, M. 2016 “Use of standardized patients to assess antibiotic dispensing for tuberculosis in pharmacies across India: A cross sectional study” in The Lancet Infectious Disease. 16 (11) 1261-1268.

McDowell, A., Pai, M. 2016 “Treatment as diagnosis and diagnosis as treatment: Empiric. management of presumptive TB in the Indian private sector.” International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 20 (4) 536-543.

McDowell, A. 2012 “Echoing Silence: Backwardness, Governmentality and Voice in Contemporary India” The Journal of Asian and African Studies. 47 (4) 348-362.

Book cover for Breathless by Andrew McDowell


Tuberculosis, Inequality, and Care in Rural India 
Andrew McDowell