This lecture focuses on youth who self identify as daheh-ye shasta-ha or “the 1980s generation” in Iran, and who performatively remember, enact, mobilise, and embody specific cultural and linguistic references in order to reconstruct their collective and individual memories of the 1980s. The 1980s is considered a decade of socio-political turmoil, anomie, and double binds, evoking nostalgia, solidity, and a sense of generational kinship. The sensory experiences of childhood, particularly sounds, visuals, and the assemblage of imageries that shape the much-circulated memorabilia of the 1980s, continue to shape the identity politics of different generations of Iranians. This analysis combines anthropological and psychoanalytical approaches in order to examine acts of remembering and the making of generational aesthetics.
Orkideh Behrouzan is a physician, medical anthropologist, anthropologist of science and technology, and the author of Prozak Diaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran (2016, Stanford University Press). She is a 2015-16 fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the winner of the 2011 Kerr Award from the Middle Eastern Studies Association.