Arthur Kleinman




Arthur Kleinman (born March 11, 1941), a physician and anthropologist, is now in his 35th year at Harvard. A graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, with a master’s degree in social anthropology from Harvard and trained in psychiatry at the Mas¬sachusetts General Hospital, Kleinman is a leading figure in several fields, including medical anthropology, cultural psychiatry, global health, social medicine, and medical humanities. Since 1978, he has conducted research in China, and in Taiwan from 1969 until 1978.

In 1973, Kleinman taught Harvard’s first course in medical anthropology, and, in 1982, he inaugurated Harvard’s PhD program in medical anthropology. He has supervised more than 75 PhD students and more than 200 postdoctoral fellows. He has also taught generations of Harvard undergraduates, medical students, master’s students, and residents.

Kleinman was chair of the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School for a decade, and, from 1993 to 2000, he was Presley Professor in that department. From 2004 through 2007, he chaired the Department of Anthropology in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and since 2008 has headed Harvard’s Asia Center as Victor and William Fung Director. Since 2002, he has served as the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology in Harvard University’s Department of Anthropology (FAS) and is Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Kleinman is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The 2001 winner of the Franz Boas Award of the American Anthropological Association (its highest award), Kleinman is a distinguished lifetime fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has twice given the Distinguished Lecture at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and, until 2011, was a member of its Council of Councils (the advisory board to the director). He chaired the selection committee for NIH’s first Pioneer Awards. Kleinman has delivered several noted lectures, including, among others, the Tanner Lectures (Stanford University), Florey Lecture (University of Adelaide), Beattie Smith Lecture (University of Melbourne), Westermarck Lecture (Helsinki), Hume Lecture (Yale University), Simon Lecture (Brown University), and William James Lecture (Harvard University). He is Honorary Professor at Fudan University (Shanghai) and has received an honorary doctorate of science from York University (Canada). A former Guggenheim Fellow, Kleinman has been Cleveringa Professor at the University of Leiden and Royal Society Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He is a former winner of the Doubleday Award from the University of Manchester (UK); Medical Humanities Excellence Award, Imperial College, London; Elysio de Moura Medal, University of Coimbra (Portugal); and Wellcome Medal, Royal Anthropological Institute (UK). Kleinman is the author of six books, coauthor of two others, coeditor of nearly 30 volumes and seven special issues of journals, and author of more than 300 articles, book chapters, reviews, and introductions.

In 2011 Arthur Kleinman was appointed to the honorific position of Harvard College Professor and received the 2011 Harvard Foundation Distinguished Faculty Award. Dr. Kleinman has recently completed a collaborative study with health economists from Harvard School of Public Health on health consequences of rural-urban migration in China (funded by the National Science Foundation [NSF]) and studies on stigma in China with Professor Sing Lee of Hong Kong. Dr. Kleinman was the lead convener of an NSF-supported international conference on Avian Flu in December 2006 and of a conference on Values in Global Health in May 2007. In addition, he formerly co-chaired the Global Health Committee in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, of which he remains a member and co-teaches a General Education course on global health. He chairs Harvard’s Council on Asian Studies, and has been a member of the Center for the Study of World Religions. He directs the Medical Anthropology Program in the Department of Anthropology, through which 75 students have so far received or will be receiving a PhD (including 15 MD-PhDs). In 2011-2012, he will, for the second time, deliver the William James Lecture at Harvard, as well as lectures at Dartmouth, University of Virginia, UC Davis, Cornell Medical School, Pasteur Institut (Paris) and University of Milan (Italy).

Kleinman’s collaborative volume on Japanese medical atrocities in China during World War II has recently been published by Routledge. Professor Kleinman’s co-authored collaborative volume entitled Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person. What Anthropology and Psychiatry Teach Us About China Today will be published in September 2011 by University of California Press. He is also co-editor of a forthcoming volume: Mental Illness and Substance Abuse in Africa. His co-edited volume Governance of Life in Chinese Moral Experience: The quest for an adequate life has recently been published by Routledge. He has co-authored articles on stigma and mental illness and on the appropriate uses of culture in clinical practice. He is the author of several articles in The Lancet on caregiving and global mental health, values in global health, and the moral cultivation of the self as a way of reforming medical education via the medical humanities. And he is currently co-authoring a volume on the social theory of Social Suffering.

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Feb 23rd 2016

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