Nov/21
Prozak Diaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran

Book talk with Orkideh Behrouzan

Prozak Diaries is an analysis of emerging psychiatric discourses in post-1980s Iran. It examines a cultural shift in how people interpret and express their feeling states, by adopting the language of psychiatry, and shows how experiences that were once articulated in the richly layered poetics of the Persian language became, by the 1990s, part of a clinical discourse on mood and affect. In asking how psychiatric dialect becomes a language of everyday, the book analyzes cultural forms created by this clinical discourse, exploring individual, professional, and generational cultures of medicalization in various sites from clinical encounters and psychiatric training, to intimate interviews, works of art and media, and Persian blogs. Through the lens of psychiatry, the book reveals how historical experiences are negotiated and how generations are formed.

Orkideh Behrouzan is Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology at King's College London, and a 2015-16 Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. She is the winner of the 2011 Kerr Award from the Middle Eastern Studies Association.