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Orkideh Behrouzan M.D., Ph.D.

Orkideh Behouzan is a physician, medical anthropologist, and anthropologist of science and technology. Her research is committed to interdisciplinary approaches to mental health and the Middle East, with primary focus on two interrelated areas: social ruptures and memory; and comparative research on medicine and technology. She received her PhD in History and Anthropology of Science and Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Before joining the department in 2012, she was assistant professor of Medical Anthropology at the Institute for the Medical Humanities (IMH) at University of Texas.

Behrouzan has taught undergraduate, postgraduate, and medical school courses in medical anthropology, social medicine, history and anthropology of psychiatry, science and technology studies, global health policy, and humanities and ethics practicum (for medical students). In her role as the Department's Study Abroad Tutor, she provides departmental/programme specific guidance to incoming Study Abroad students on academic and pastoral issues, as well as act as a Personal Tutor to incoming Study Abroad students. As the director of the department’s international partnerships and international exchanges, she coordinates the department's collaborations and faculty exchanges with other universities. She is the chair of the department’s interdisciplinary research group Culture Medicine and Power (CMP). The group welcomes graduate students interested in social, cultural, historical and political dimensions of health and medicine.

Behrouzan has recently initiated the collaborative, multi-cited project Beyond 'Trauma': Emergent Agendas for Understanding Mental Health in the Middle East. This interdisciplinary project aims to bring together scholars, practitioners, and policymaker, towards an inclusive approach to psychological wellbeing, by foregrounding the compelling role of diverse cultural practices, historical conditions, moral contexts, medical pedagogies, and the movement of displaced individuals in shaping the afterlife of social ruptures. In light of today’s rapid transformations in the region, the project responds to the pressing need for a cultural critique of dominant PTSD-focused paradigms in health practice and policy. (For updates, please see:

She was selected as a 2014-15 fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), for work on her first book, Prozāk Diaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran (Stanford University Press, 2016). Combining anthropological and psychoanalytical frameworks, Prozāk Diaries is an ethnography of psychiatric discourses and the emergence of psychiatric selves in Iran. It examines individual, professional, and generational cultures of medicalisation in various sites from clinical encounters and psychiatric training, to intimate interviews, works of art, and Persian blogs.
Behrouzan is the Winner of 2011 Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in Social Sciences [Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) and has received fellowships from several foundations including Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Wellcome Trust. She has also worked as cultural and policy consultant in areas of health, education, and conflict in the US and the UK, and recently served as expert adviser for Medact’s Health Impact Assessment (HIA) report, which draws on the health consequence of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).

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