Editor’s Note: Christopher Hallam is an independent researcher working in academia and civil society organisations, and a Research Associate at the Global Drug Policy Observatory, Swansea University. He is also the author of ‘White Drug Cultures and Regulation in London, 1916-1960‘ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). In this ‘Points’ interview we ask him about his book and then his broader research interests in the history and culture of illicit drugs and the regimes that have sought to control them.
Please tell readers a little bit about yourself.
Depending on the context, I usually introduce myself as either a marginal academic or an independent researcher. Either way, I possess a remarkable skill for conducting research that no-one is willing to fund. By discipline, I am a historian who emerged, intellectually speaking, out of the cultural studies debates of the late twentieth century. I like to use a mix of conceptual tools drawn from heterogeneous theoretical frameworks, and I study drugs primarily as cultural substances – symbolic things that people consume, talk about, try to control, fear and celebrate.