Connect with ADHS at AHA 2018 in Washington, D.C.!

Today, historians begin descending upon wintry Washington, D.C., for the 2018 meeting of the American Historical Association. AHA is the largest annual gathering for such professionals and their affiliated societies. Among those represented again this year is the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, with two panels of original research and one roundtable discussion. The date, times, and location of those sessions are listed below. Points readers (and their interested friends!) are invited to meet historians active in the field and learn about their most recent projects. We hope to see you there!

Session 1: Transgressive Marijuana: Cultivating, Performing, and Regulating the Cannabis Culture in the 20th Century

Friday, January 5, 2018: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Roosevelt Room 2 (Marriott Wardman Park, Exhibition Level) Continue reading →


CFP: “Bodies That Eat, Bodies That Drink: Biocultural Approaches to Nutrition, Incorporation, and Commensality”

Call for Papers

Conference theme: “Bodies That Eat, Bodies That Drink: Biocultural Approaches to Nutrition, Incorporation, and Commensality”

Date: January 20, 2018
Location: Spain

Subject Fields: Anthropology, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Literature, Public Health, Women’s & Gender History / Studies

The theme of 11th International Symposium of CORPUS will be “Bodies that eat, bodies that drink. Biocultural approaches to nutrition, incorporation and commensality”.

Consequently, we invite researchers (anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, philosophers, physicians, psychologists, sociologists, etc.) interested in the bodies that eat and drink to participate at this meeting, especially considering one of the following themes:

  • Cultures of the body that eat and drink: way of eating/drinking, positions and forms of involvement of the body during the eating/drinking processes, use of utensils, etc.
  • Sensory experiences and their cultural transcriptions: epistemology of sensory analysis, cultural use, control and lecture of facial expressions of disgust/satisfaction, biocultural dynamics of taste, etc.
  • Cultural, medical and psychological implications of food/drink incorporation: magic eating, placebo/nocebo, superfoods, ideal diets, aphrodisiac/anaphrodisiac foods, etc.
  • Dietetics paradigms and nutritional knowledges: ancient, traditional and biomedical dietetics conceptions, popular reception of academic nutritional knowledge, etc.
  • Cultural responses to the physiological consequences of food/drink incorporation: management of drunkenness and flush syndromes, aesthetic constructions of slim/fat bodies, material culture and representations of excretion, etc.
  • Eating disorders, malnutrition and their social and political readings.
  • Valorisation and demonization of drinks/foods within the framework of health politics:  forms, effectiveness and social consequences.
  • Gender approaches to forms of commensality, rituals of consumption, etc.
  • Representations of the bodies that eat or drink in arts and advertising.

Presentations will be preferably delivered in English. The proposals must include an abstract (400 words) and a current CV. The deadline for receiving presentation proposals is January 20th 2018. Please use the addresses provided below to send your proposal to Frédéric Duhart, Maria José García Soler y Paris Aguilar Piña. All proposals will be evaluated by an international scientific committee.

There will be no registration fee. Transportation, visa, travel insurance costs and accommodation will be the sole responsibility of each participant.


Frédéric Duhart
CORPUS General Coordinator

Maria José García Soler
11th Symposium Coordinator

Paris Aguilar Piña
Scientific Committee Coordinator


Continue reading →

Conference Spotlight: Watch Michelle Alexander’s International Drug Policy Reform Conference Keynote

drug_policy_alliance_logoFrom October 11 to 14, the Drug Policy Alliance, a reform-minded advocacy organization and occasional cross-poster to Points, held its biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Washington, D.C.  Topics of interest include organizing and educating about drugs under differential prohibitions, mitigating the harms of the drug war and promoting self care for vulnerable populations, and influencing the discursive boundaries of debates over drugs and other substances (one such panel featured Points alum Dr. Ingrid Walker). The full program is found onlineContinue reading →

#ADHS2017 Field Report: Sunday, June 25 by Berrie van der Molen and Lisanne Walma

Editor’s Note: Between June 22 and June 25, the Alcohol and Drugs History Society organized its biennial conference in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In three day-by-day reports, some attendees will reflect upon the proceedings and their highlights.  Today’s post was provided by Drs. Berrie van der Molen and Lisanne Walma. 

“Grass and Grassroots”
By Berrie van der Molen and Lisanne Walma

Despite the rain, and what for some had probably been an intense night of conviviality, a lot of people made sure to turn up for the early Sunday sessions. Their persistence was definitely rewarded as Sunday proved to have a number of essential panels in store at what had already been a very inspiring conference so far! The five panels featured papers taking everyone all over the world and through time: we overheard many attendees finding it difficult to choose from the diverse options. Continue reading →

#ADHS2017 Field Report: Saturday, June 24 by Kelly Hacker Jones

Editor’s Note: Between June 22 and June 25, the Alcohol and Drugs History Society organized its biennial conference in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In three day-by-day reports, some attendees will reflect upon the proceedings and their highlights.  Today’s post was provided by Dr. Kelly Hacker Jones. 

“On the role of Alcohol and Drugs History”
By Kelly Hacker Jones

In many ways during the recent Alcohol and Drugs History Society meeting in Utrecht, I thought of myself as a tourist. For one, this was my first visit to the Netherlands. For another, this was my first ADHS conference. As a PhD candidate in history studying health and alternative medicine, I come to the history of drugs more from the licit than the illicit side, at least as in terms of my research. The sessions I attended, therefore, were an education in the approaches, methods, and topics of concern for the field. Just as the seasoned traveler will recognize commonalities across cultures, what I observed at ADHS were shared lines of inquiry and familiar challenges.

On Saturday, I attended panels that examined drug cultures, the displaying and depiction of intoxicants, and the interrelationship between drug regulation and industry. From the papers and conversations I heard, I learned a great deal about the contexts in which various substances have been traded, taken, and regulated. A common area of inquiry I observed was that of the public’s perception of drugs. Convincing the public to think one thing or another about various substances seems to have occupied a great deal of the time, money, and effort of governments and manufacturers across eras and countries.

The keynote address by ADHS President Virginia Berridge, “Where is Alcohol and Drugs History Now?” gave an overview of the development of the field. In the last couple of decades it has gotten more diverse geographically (beyond the US and UK), chronologically (into the early modern period), and topically (substances beyond opium, cocaine, and cannabis). Professor Berridge also posed questions that have been plaguing historians across the discipline. How might we engage more across fields? And what role should historians have in the areas of policy, public health, and addiction studies? Should we strive to make a direct impact, or think of our scholarship as “seeping” into the public discourse on intoxicants, effecting indirect change?

The open forum pounced on this latter question. Where do historians fit in? Many picked up on the theme of seepage, asserting that we can best effect change indirectly through teaching and scholarship. Others stressed that scholars should take a more direct approach and try to inject nuance and context into debates, whether in policy, popular media, or in the courtroom. Yet in all arenas, the demand seems to be for uncomplicated, definitive answers. How can historians inject nuance and context when news media, policy makers, and the public seem to prefer convenient, easy-to-swallow sound bites?

I’m thinking about all of this after I’ve returned home, and I’m preparing to give a walking tour on the local history of Prohibition – a tour I’ve given dozens of times. It’s a difficult one to wrap up, as the tour meanders through sites connected to both the politics of Prohibition and to speakeasy culture. What I talk about most, however, are the attitudes influential groups and individuals had about the use and abuse of alcohol over the course of nearly a century. And I admit, I’ve been cautious in recent months about appearing to favor one side or the other in the controversies I discuss. But what I should be doing, I realize, is emphasize how the conversation about alcohol changed during this era, and what that meant for public policy. That, to me, now seems the most important lesson of Prohibition.

#ADHS2017: Utrecht, The Netherlands


The Alcohol and Drugs History Society convenes this weekend at Utrecht University in the Netherlands for its biennial meeting.  The conference theme is “Drinking and Drug Policies in History: Contextualizing Causes and Consequences.” There, participants are presenting new research and charting the future of the field. In an opening keynote address delivered Friday evening, “The Consumption of Intoxicants in the Past – Old Problems, New Approaches,” Phil Withington suggested innovative methodologies to make sense of how and why people – and, importantly, which people – used intoxicants in the past. (Also be sure to check out Dr. Withington’s Intoxicant Project for more information on drug use in early modern Europe.) Continue reading →

A Taste of Dutch Drug Policy: Topics of Interest for ADHS 2017

Editor’s Note: Today’s post was provided by Berrie van der Molen and Lisanne Walma, PhD candidates at the Utrecht University. 

The next bi-annual ADHS conference is hosted in Utrecht, The Netherlands from June 22 to June 25, 2017, and drug use and drug policy make the Dutch news often. Headlines of recent years include the taking of party drugs at dance events, underage drinking, the deaths of tourists in Amsterdam due to white heroin, and the introduction of the weed pass. What was the role of Dutch drug policy in these cases? What other issues emerge from the implementation of the policy? Although policy decisions are usually pragmatic, they can lead to unexpected and often contradictory messages… Continue reading →