The ADHS at AHA: Two Panel Possibilities

Editor’s note: Emily Dufton, assisting the ADHS in assembling panel proposals for the AHA conference in January, 2014, passes along two potential panels for which paper contributions are eagerly sought. Please contact Emily directly, at ebdufton@gwmail.gwu.edu, if you are interested. 

1) A drug use and social movements panel: What are the various roles drug use has played in some of the most important grassroots social movements in the United States? Most obviously we relate drug use to the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, but drug use has also driven activism within the Black Panthers, religious freedom movements in Native American culture, the gay rights movement seeking greater access to retroviral drugs in the time of AIDS, and the medical marijuana/freedom of access movement of the past two decades. Additionally, reactions against drug use have driven the formation of prohibition activists of the early 20th century and the parent movement of the late 20th century. Reading the term “social movement” as widely as possible, what other roles has drug use played in social movements that have transpired across the United States?

2) Drug use and urban history panel: Drugs have become a symptom of urban neglect for decades, and their eradication has long been read as a symptom of urban renewal. This panel hopes to explore the ways in which drug history and urban history have intersected.  How have drugs, drug use, and anti-drug activism played formative roles in the growth and evolution of cities? What can we learn about urban history from a study of drug use that we cannot learn in other ways?