Orkideh Behrouzan

Non-Resident Fellow


Medical anthropology, global health, public health in MENA, mental health 


Orkideh Behrouzan is an academic, author, mentor, and consultant with over a decade of experience in research and analysis, consulting, project management, and interdisciplinary degree programme design and curricula strategy and implementation in the U.S. and the U.K.. A physician, medical anthropologist, anthropologist of science and technology, and the author of ProzakDiaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran (2016, Stanford University Press), she is a 2015-16 fellow of the  American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the winner of the 2011 Kerr Award from the Middle Eastern Studies Association, and a bilingual author and poet in Persian and English. She currently teaches at the Department of Anthropology at the School of Oriential and Africanm Studies, University of London.

Her areas of expertise include mental health, refugee health, and the Middle East. Behrouzan is the founder of the Beyond Trauma Initiative. In 2014, she created the collaborative, multi-cited initiative Beyond "Trauma': Emergent Agendas for Understanding Mental Health in the Middle East. This interdisciplinary platform aims to bring together scholars, artists, practitioners, and policymaker, towards an inclusive approach to psychological wellbeing, by foregrounding the compelling role of diverse cultural practices, historical conditions, moral contexts, and medical pedagogies in shaping the afterlife of social ruptures.

In light of today's rapid transformations in the region and the movement of displaced individuals, the project responds to the pressing need for a cultural critique of dominant PTSD-focused paradigms in health practice and policy. Behrouzan launched the initiative with a 2014 Wellcome Trust funded international workshop, Beyond 'Trauma': Workshop on Emergent Agendas, followed by the publication of the 2015 Beyond Trauma Special Issue in Medicine, Anthropology, Theory. For more including her 2018 TEDx Talk, please see: https://www.beyondtraumaproject.com

"Democracy remains the most effective way to tackle terror, stop bloodshed and political violence in Arab countries."

- JAMAL KHASHOGGI, Al-Arabiya, June 12, 2016