ADHS Daily Register: Call for Editors

The Alcohol and Drugs History Society is looking for one or more new Managing Editors of the ADHS Daily Register.  The Daily Register is a long-time online publication of the ADHS, dedicated to providing regular news, publication updates, and announcements of interest to both the members of the organization and the wider, global audience interested …

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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, if you are interested.  1) A drug use and social movements panel: What are the various roles drug use …

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Shanghai Reflections: A Final Postcard

Editor’s Note: As a final word, here are a few thoughts from Diana L. Ahmad of the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and a participant at the conference.  Thanks to Diana for taking a moment to prepare these thoughts.  In late June, over forty scholars from four continents and eight countries gathered at Shanghai …

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Shanghai Reflections, Part One: Talking Across Substances

Editor’s Note: This week, I’ll be offering up some reflections on the recently-concluded conference, “Drugs and Drink in Asia: New Perspectives from History,” which was held at the Shanghai University on June 22 and 23, 2012.  The conference itself was organized by Drs. Yong-an Zhang, James H. Mills, and myself (Joe Spillane).  The sponsoring organizations included James Mills’ University of Strathclyde, the Wellcome Trust, the David F. Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies at Shanghai University (headed by Yong-an Zhang), and the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.  As the current President of the latter organization, I was very pleased to assist with the meeting, and to help welcome attendees.  The late Professor Musto would have been very gratified, I think, to have seen this gathering of younger and more senior scholars–together, they provided ample evidence of the maturation of the field of drugs and alcohol history.  Our hope in organizing this meeting was to showcase the “new perspectives” promised in the conference title, and to develop conversations across the boundaries of nation, substance, discipline, and method.  In this week’s posts, I’ll step back and offer some preliminary thoughts on those conversations.

Before I begin, a brief bit of news for Points readers: this month, I’m stepping down as one of the Managing Editors’ for the Points blog.  It has been two years since Trysh Travis and I began preparing to launch this new enterprise, and about eighteen months since our first post.  Since then, we have published over 350 more posts, and attracted a modestly sizable readership.  Most of this success is courtesy of the indefatigable Trysh Travis, with whom it has been an absolute pleasure to work.  I will remain a fully engaged consumer of this blog’s content, and an occasional contributor as well, and look forward to seeing what new surprises Points has in store during the years to come.  Now, back to Shanghai…

Conference banner
Advertising drugs, drink, and discussion

Conference themes are a curious thing.  In theory, they promise a great deal, but all too often end up being nibbled at around the edges over the course of a meeting.  Broad enough to sound exciting, themes are generally also capacious enough to include a lot of conversations that happen simultaneously but largely separately.  The idea of talking about “Drugs and Drink in Asia: New Perspectives from History” provides us with just this sort theme–just coherent enough to tantalize the participant with the possibilities for engaging academic interactions, just big enough to make one worry that too much was going on.

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Call for papers: Under control?: alcohol and drug regulation, past and present

Papers and panel proposals are invited for an international conference on the history of alcohol and drug regulation to be held in Bristol, UK 21st-23rd June 2013. The conference will explore all aspects of drug, tobacco and alcohol regulation. Work covering all periods and places, including recent history, will be considered. Confirmed keynote speakers: Professor …

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Special Announcement: The Points Online Library Project

Points‘ mission, in addition to providing readers with a regular opportunity to read new, insightful, and provocative content on the history of drugs and alcohol, is to help further develop  online research and publishing in general. In an age in which WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are fundamentally altering the nature of academia – in both positive …

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Another Points Milestone, Another List!

You’ll all be pleased to know that Points recently passed the 50,000-view mark–nothing spectacular, of course, but worthy of note in our little corner of the electronic universe.  If you’re new to Points, or just curious, here’s a walk back through the ten most-viewed posts.  If you haven’t seen them before, why not take a look?

What the Hell's it Good For?

11. Siobhan Reynolds, “We Are the Drug War: Prohibition as Success”: I couldn’t help but include this final guest post from Siobhan Reynolds, posted back in July, 2011.  The eleventh-most-viewed post concludes, “it no longer makes sense to talk about the War on Drugs as something we as a nation do. The drug war forms the structure of our political system both domestically and abroad. It is, rather, what we are.”

10. AND 9. Ron Roizen, “Washington State’s Prop. 1183 Passes Easily” AND “Washington State’s Prop. 1183: The Iowa Dustup and Trends Thereafter”: the ninth and tenth most-viewed posts were part of Ron’s extended discussion (in October-November, 2011) of Proposition 1183 and the privatization of liquor sales.  Interest in 1183 led a lot of folks to read Ron’s thoughtful discussion.

8. Siobhan Reynolds, “Abusive Treatment: Drug Prohibition and the Erosion of the Doctor/Patient Relationship”: The third post in Reynolds’ guest series, this one from June, 2011.

Redemption Songs

7. Eoin Cannon, “Boxing, Crack, and Class in The Fighter: This guest post from May, 2011, is the seventh most-viewed.  Cannon’s thoughtful post places the film The Fighter and its story of Dicky Ecklund’s addiction and recovery into the larger context of recovery narratives.

6. Siobhan Reynolds, “Getting Relief in Wartime: Opioids, Pain Management, and the War on Drugs”: The second guest post of Reynolds’ series.

5. Joe Spillane, “The Stoned Ages”: This post from September, 2011, announced the forthcoming History Channel documentary The Stoned Ages, which featured several regular Points contributors.  A more substantive follow-up post is in the Points top twenty.

4. Eoin Cannon, “Clinical Sentiments, Part 2: Shane MacGowan”: In this April, 2011 post Cannon reflects on the best of what songwriters can do with addiction: “not scorning the very real felt experiences that addicts report, but instead making meaning from the tense interpenetrations of artistic and therapeutic purposes.”

3. Ron Roizen, “Washington State’s Proposition 1183: Consumer Convenience or Culture and History?”: This the the post that started Ron’s series on Prop. 1183.  Timely and interesting when it appeared in October, 2011, it is still worth a read!

Prohibition in the Headlines

2. Jason Lantzer, “Burns and Novick’s Prohibtion: Lantzer on Episode Three”: The day after the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary series Prohibition ended on PSB, this concluding commentary by Jason Lantzer began drawing (and still draws) lots of views.  Readers may also wish to check out David Fahey on Episode One and Episode Two, and Frankie Bailey on Episode Two–all of which have substantial readership in their own right.

Which brings us, to channel Casey Kasem, to number one…

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Alcohol and Drugs History at the AHA Annual Convention I

Editor’s Note: If you’ve not looked at our banner recently, you may not know that Points readers is an official organ for the Alcohol and Drugs History Society (ADHS), an affiliated organization of the American Historical Association.  That venerable body holds its annual meeting next weekend, and the ADHS is sponsoring two sessions chock full …

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