Nominate a Book for the ADHS Rorabaugh Prize!

The Alcohol and Drugs History Society (ADHS) is pleased to issue a call for nominations for the inaugural competition for the Rorabaugh Book Prize. The Rorabaugh Book Prize commemorates the life of the late William (“Bill”) Rorabaugh (1945–2020), a pioneer in the social history of alcohol, University of Washington professor,  and a former president and tireless supporter of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.

The Rorabaugh Prize will be awarded on a biennial basis by the ADHS to the author(s) of a first or second monograph in the English language in the history of alcohol and drug studies (scholars who have published previously in other fields are welcome to apply).

The Rorabaugh Book Prize 2020 and 2021 Call for Submissions

In this inaugural year for the Rorabaugh Book Prize competition, two prizes will be awarded.

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Watch 2021 “Kreminar” Videos—History of Opiates & Opioids

2021 Kreminar Social Card

In May and June of 2021, the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and the Alcohol and Drugs History Society hosted and helped organize the second annual Edward Kremers Seminar in the History of Pharmacy & Drugs. The Summer 2021 “Kreminar” explored the theme of Opiates & Opioids and featured six virtual seminars, presentations, and discussions by scholars and practitioners researching and writing about the history and the contemporary status of opiates, opioids, and addiction. The six presentations were:

  • Dr. Benjamin Breen: “Three Ways of Looking at Opium: Flower, Latex, Pharmaceutical.”
  • Dr. Diana S. Kim: “Empires of Vice: The Rise of Opium Prohibition Across Southeast Asia.”
  • Dr. Daniel Skinner in conversation with Kerri Mongenel: “The Humanity of Addiction: What We Can Learn from Families, Educators, and Practitioners”
  • Dr. Nancy Campbell and Dr. David Herzberg: “Unexpected Histories of Opioids and Overdose.”
  • Dr. James Bradford: “Poppy Politics: Drugs in Afghanistan, Past and Present.”
  • Maia Szalavitz: “Undoing Drugs: Harm Reduction, Opioids and the Future of Addiction.”

Each 2021 Kreminar event drew between 50 and 70 attendees for a total attendance of 327 people across the six webinars. The hosts and sponsors of the Summer 2021 Kreminar were: the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, and the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Videos of each presentation are embedded below or available to watch on AIHP’s YouTube channel.

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Points Interview: David Fahey and the History of ADHS

Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to feature a Points Interview with Dr. David Fahey, a long-time member—and an unofficial resident historian—of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society. Dr. Fahey is Professor Emeritus at Miami University and the author of several books about the history of alcohol and temperance.

David Fahey

Dr. Fahey, nice to get in touch with you! Members of the ADHS often get notices about new publications and conferences from you via the Daily Register. So how long have you been involved in the organization?

Historians often neglect the history of their own organizations. I will happily provide a few details.

The Alcohol and Temperance History Group (ATHG) was first created at an American Historical Association (AHA) meeting in December 1979. A US Government-funded conference about alcohol history was then held at Berkeley, California, in January 1984—which occasioned the restructuring of the ATHG; its first officers (Jack Blocker as first president); and first membership dues. I joined a few years later and took part in the formal organization after the big Berkeley conference. Early conferences of the ATHG were usually held in Canada where funding for conferences was more available than in the USA (Berkeley in 1984 was unique).

Things used to be very informal. There were very few of us. At various times I was President of the organization and Editor of the journal. At some point, I took the main responsibility for the Daily Register but with no title. In fact, several people got the right to post and very occasionally did. 

I agree that we should be paying attention to our own history! What should members know about the early days of the ADHS? Can you share any gems from the organization’s history? 

You can read the early versions of SHAD. Also see Alcohol in History: A Multidisciplinary Newsletter, Spring 1980. It provides a brief history.

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Zoom Roundtable: The Past, Present, and Future of Drug History

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Zoom Roundtable, “The Past, Present, and Future of Drug History,” on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 from 5:00 PM–7:00 PM Eastern Time. The Roundtable will feature presentations by: Paul Gootenberg, Stony Brook University, “The Globalization of Drug History, 1990–2020”; Miriam Kingsberg Kadia, University of Colorado Boulder, “The Historiography of Drugs …

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Mark Your Calendars: ADHS Bi-Annual Conference, Mexico City, 7-10 June 2021

Screenshot 2020-07-29 10.53.47

We’re excited to announce the Alcohol and Drugs History Society’s next bi-annual conference will be held in Mexico City from June 7-10, 2021. The conference is a collaboration between the ADHS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México-Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales (IIS-UNAM) and El Colegio de México-Centro de Estudios Internacionales (CEI-Colmex).

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Coming Soon: ADHS Conference 2021: “Rethinking Alcohol and Drugs: Global Transformations /Local Practices”

“Rethinking Alcohol and Drugs: Global Transformations /Local Practices”

Alcohol and Drugs History Society bi-annual conference 7-10 June 2021

A collaboration between the ADHS, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IIS-UNAM) and the Centro de Estudios Internacionales-El Colegio de México (CEI-Colmex).

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Jose Maria Obregon, El descubrimiento del pulque (The Discovery of Pulque), 1869

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No Elephant in the Room? The ADHS at AHA in NYC, and the end(!)(?) of the War on Drugs

Editor’s Note: Today’s post on the recent annual conference of the American Historical Association comes from contributing editor Bob Beach. Beach is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Albany, SUNY. 

The Alcohol and Drugs History Society was represented last week at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association in a set of five fascinating panels, headlined by a wonderful discussion after lunch on Saturday on Capitalism and Addiction, but overall covering topics from pop culture to tea/coffee houses, from songs to theater to art, from India and Pakistan to Paris to New York, the very city in which we gathered.

Screenshot 2020-01-08 at 9.45.05 PM

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Introducing the Oxford Companion to Global Drug History

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from contributing editor Dr. Miriam Kingsberg Kadia , professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Today she reports on the ADHS conference held last week in Shanghai, China, and the upcoming publication of a potentially very useful new book for drug and alcohol scholars around the globe. 

In its earliest phase, the historiography of intoxicants generally focused on (inter)national attempts to bring troublesome substances under state control, particularly in western Europe and the United States. The past twenty-five years or so have witnessed the rise of the “New Drug History,” which breaks free of this legal and diplomatic history chrysalis to consider social, cultural and ideological issues pertaining to both licit and illicit substances. This New Drug History is not simply history, but rather an interdisciplinary mobilization of approaches and insights from anthropology, sociology, economics, ethnography, medicine, science and technology studies, literary studies, religious studies, and other disciplines. Recent scholars have taken up topics such as the constructed nature of “addiction,” attempts to alleviate and intervene against narcotics dependence, urban communities of users, and the significations of intoxicants in fiction, film, and the media. Illustrating the reach of narcotics into every aspect of public and private life, the diverse sources for these projects include (but are not limited to) newspapers, periodicals, statistical surveys, travel narratives, eyewitness accounts, personal testimonies, medical journals, clinical records, advertisements, photographs, and art.

Of equal importance to the making of the New Drug History is the long overdue representation of the non-West. No longer does research on Europe and the United States dominate the field. By examining Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, historians (including those born and employed in these regions) have not only brought previously unstudied drug cultures to light, but have also challenged colleagues to rethink the traditional narration of the history of intoxicants as a telos toward Western power and domination.

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