Work in Progress: Addiction, Pragmatism, and History

I’ve been working on a paper recently with a colleague of mine, Nathan Crick at Louisiana State University, and for a bit of a change of pace I thought it would be nice to see if any of our esteemed readers would be interested in – or willing to – take a look at itContinue reading “Work in Progress: Addiction, Pragmatism, and History”

GlaxoSmithKline, Drug Marketing, and the Problem of Disease Inflation

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline had agreed to settle criminal and civil complaints related to its illegal marketing of the popular antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin from the late 1990s through the mid-2000s. In addition to a number of other offenses, the settlement also covered allegations that theContinue reading “GlaxoSmithKline, Drug Marketing, and the Problem of Disease Inflation”

Laughing at / with the Dead

I recently had the pleasure of attending the annual meeting of the American Association for the History of medicine in Baltimore. It’s a great conference, filled with friendly and interesting people doing what academics generally do at such events – talking, schmoozing, drinking, and so on. If you work on the history of health, disease,Continue reading “Laughing at / with the Dead”

Flying into the Unknown: On the Limits of Addiction History

Let’s begin with the story of a woman named Anna. In October 1917 the research staff of the Laboratory of Social Hygiene at the State Reformatory for Women, Bedford Hills, New York, examined a woman who identified herself, at different times and according to different documents, as Anna Dillon, Anna White, Anna Miller, and AnnaContinue reading “Flying into the Unknown: On the Limits of Addiction History”

Aesthetics and the Failure of the FDA’s Cigarette Warning Labels

Last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a series of nine new warning labels for cigarettes. The labels were designed around a series of graphic images intended to highlight the dangers of smoking – a man exhaling smoke through a hole in his throat, a pair of diseased lungs next to a pairContinue reading “Aesthetics and the Failure of the FDA’s Cigarette Warning Labels”

Pharmaceutical Suspicion

Michele Bachman’s implosion on the campaign trail back in late September is now widely accredited to her suggestion that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. In an earlier post, I argued that pundits should think twice before dismissing Bachman due to her position on this topic, and while Bachman’s campaign collapsed a lot more quicklyContinue reading “Pharmaceutical Suspicion”

Rethinking Patent Medicines

Joe Spillane recently pointed us to Caroline Rance’s blog, “The Quack Doctor,” and suggested that her posts – filled with advertisements for  things such as “Carter’s Little Liver Pills” and “Effervescent Brain Salt” –  form a “reasonable platform” for historians to “ask the larger questions about  consumer behavior, medical authority, business interests, and the roleContinue reading “Rethinking Patent Medicines”

Michelle Bachman, Gardasil, and the Politics of Experience

Editor’s note: Contributing Editor Joe Gabriel’s fantastic “ripped-from-the-headlines” post appeared earlier this week, only to be buried by even more timely content on “The Stoned Ages.”  We’ve put it at the top of the page again so it can enjoy the adulation it deserves. I’ve been following the recent controversy over Gardasil with quite aContinue reading “Michelle Bachman, Gardasil, and the Politics of Experience”

Teaching Points: Culture, Medicine, & Society: Commentary on the Class

Editor’s Note: In the second part of our inaugural post to the “Teaching Points” series, Contributing Editor Joe Gabriel ruminates on teaching to both medical students and PhD candidates in the humanities. Yesterday I posted the syllabus to a class I taught for the history department here at Florida State. As I mentioned, I’m actuallyContinue reading “Teaching Points: Culture, Medicine, & Society: Commentary on the Class”

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