Amazon.com for Illegal Drugs?

On January 3, 2009, Satoshi Nakomoto officially created a new currency.  He would call it bitcoin.  No dead presidents, silver, or gold—just thirty-one thousand lines of code.  In an online profile, he said he lived in Japan.  His email address was from a free German service.  Google searches for his name turned up no relevantContinue reading “Amazon.com for Illegal Drugs?”

Conference Details: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Religion and Plants, 15-17 December, 2011

Editor’s Note: Points readers who have followed our coverage this fall of ayahuasca, mushrooms, and other psychoactive plants will be excited to learn the details of the first annual conference sponsored by the Working Group on Plants and Religion at the University of Florida, which will take place next week (15-17 Dec.).  As we notedContinue reading “Conference Details: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Religion and Plants, 15-17 December, 2011”

Points on Blogs: Understanding Society

There’s plenty of self-promoting, self-referential nonsense out there in the blogosphere.  When it came time to thinking about “Points on Blogs,” well…let’s just say that your editor did not feel this feature needed to promote the self-promoting, or add layers of nonsense to the nonsensical.  Consequently, we were very pleased to be able to bringContinue reading “Points on Blogs: Understanding Society”

Teaching Points: “Hooked: Addiction in American Culture”

Editor’s Note: This week brings the second installment in Points’ back-to-school series on teaching the history of alcohol and drugs.  Last week, Joseph Gabriel discussed using a History of Science approach to the topic in a seminar for medical students and PhD students in History.  This week, historian Michelle McClellan presents a more…well, point-ed approachContinue reading “Teaching Points: “Hooked: Addiction in American Culture””

E.M. Jellinek’s Essay on Drinking’s Symbolism: Another Look

Whatever’s written in your heart, that’s all that matters. You’ll find a way to say it all someday.  — Gerry Rafferty (1947-2011) This is a heart-warming story.  You’ll see! As a young man, in Budapest, E.M. Jellinek (1890-1963) became involved in the then-blossoming psychoanalytic movement.  He seems to have had a particular fascination with theContinue reading “E.M. Jellinek’s Essay on Drinking’s Symbolism: Another Look”

More Dispatches from Buffalo: Gender and Intoxication

Editors’ Note: Today’s report on the ADHS conference comes from guest blogger Nancy Campbell. Some of you may recall Nancy’s remembrance of the late Bob Schuster, which appeared on this site back in February.  We’re grateful to her for this contribution as well. The “Gender and Intoxication” panel illustrated a familiar theme to which historiansContinue reading “More Dispatches from Buffalo: Gender and Intoxication”

A Dispatch from Buffalo: Session H1 – Drugs and the City

As readers of this blog know, many of us recently convened in Buffalo for the 6th Biennial Meeting of the Alcohol and Drug History Society. Overall the conference was a great event, and I enjoyed myself tremendously – thanks to organizer David Herzberg for the all work and love that obviously went into it. One ofContinue reading “A Dispatch from Buffalo: Session H1 – Drugs and the City”

Keller’s Reticence: A Note on the Perils of Insider Historiography

Mark Keller (1907-1995) was the long-time editor and editor emeritus of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol.(1)  His career in alcohol studies stretched all the way back to the 1930s, when he worked for Norman Jolliffe at Bellevue Hospital as a general-purpose research assistant and sometime editor.  Over the years Keller published a number ofContinue reading “Keller’s Reticence: A Note on the Perils of Insider Historiography”

Historical Scholarship as a Subordinate Enterprise

I was recently speaking with a very prominent psychiatrist about the history and science of various mental illnesses, and he told something along the lines of “what historians can do to help is to explain how diseases came to be defined as they are; that way we can have a better idea of what weContinue reading “Historical Scholarship as a Subordinate Enterprise”

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