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Special Pieces

Vol 2 No 3: December issue

Recoiling from war again

  • Michael M.J. Fischer
January 10, 2015
December 9, 2015


What have we learned in the aftermaths of wars across the Middle East as a prolegomena for a new generation of research frameworks on mental health burdens in the region? Four questions are addressed: what are the moral implications of different forms of intervention? Are there transformations in the discursive structures over the past three decades in response to experiences of war? What are the implications for mental health and social resilience in neighboring countries to those in war? What mix of methods to research these are most helpful? The 2014 ‘Beyond Trauma’ workshop held at Kings College, London, organized by Orkideh Behrouzan, provides a beginning benchmark for new comparative work across the region from the Levant to Afghanistan and Acheh. I discuss the workshop’s case studies, together with other research, to highlight the range of methods utilized and objects examined, and to draw attention to the resonances this research has with the work of many other scholars. A new network and new conversation should grow and connect with other networks of researchers, bringing together patient life histories, genres of expression, and new discursive formations to address transformations in the lives of everyone touched by these wars.