Cultural Histories of Substance Abuse and E-History: Creating an International Multilingual Research Network

E-Humanities and E-History, the digitization of historical data and the development of text and sentiment mining tools to explore these data, bring new challenges and possibilities for research into the developing field of the history of alcohol and drugs. More in particular, E-History – when combined with more traditional historical methods – can stimulate andContinue reading “Cultural Histories of Substance Abuse and E-History: Creating an International Multilingual Research Network”

Coca: The Survival of a Drug of the Dispossessed

In the beginning of this year, Bolivia gained the right to re-access the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs with a reservation concerning the prohibition of the chewing of coca leaves. This is a small but perhaps not unimportant victory against the global War on Drugs. Especially it means some recognition of the rightContinue reading “Coca: The Survival of a Drug of the Dispossessed”

Santa Claus, Mushroom Beer, and the Dutch

In my home country, The Netherlands, Santa Claus does not come for Christmas. By then he has already left. Santa Claus comes every year to the Netherlands to celebrate with us his birthday on 6 December. A few weeks before his birthday he sets out from his home in Spain by sea, on a steamerContinue reading “Santa Claus, Mushroom Beer, and the Dutch”

Drugs in Everyday Life: Some musings, and thoughts about research directions

‘Life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.’ I had to think of these sentences when reading this blog’s latest Weekend Read. The words are from the opening paragraph of The Society of the Spectacle, French Situationist Guy Debord’s fundamental critique of our societyContinue reading “Drugs in Everyday Life: Some musings, and thoughts about research directions”

The Adventures of Tintin in the Opium Empire

At a very early age we have been exposed to one of the most influential images of drug use in our culture. Reading as children the comic book The Blue Lotus, we see Tintin lying in an opium den in Shanghai (named The Blue Lotus) and pretending to smoke an opium pipe. To children theContinue reading “The Adventures of Tintin in the Opium Empire”

Pirates and Cocaine: The Buccaneer Spirit and the Psychoactive Revolutions

In January 1681 an English buccaneer ship, the Trinity, appeared on the coast of Spanish America. The intended target of the pirates was the port town of Arica, now in the north of Chile close to the Peruvian border. At that time Arica played a vital role in the economy of Spanish America, as portContinue reading “Pirates and Cocaine: The Buccaneer Spirit and the Psychoactive Revolutions”

On Acid: LSD and the Sorcerer’s Apprentices

Editor’s Note: Readers coming to Points for the first time may be interested in some of our other posts treating psychedelic experience.  They include (but are not limited to) Religious Studies Professor Gary Laderman’s meditations on the place of LSD in the late 20th-century US; a two-part series by Comparative Literature scholar Tace Hedrick, lookingContinue reading “On Acid: LSD and the Sorcerer’s Apprentices”

On Speed: James Bond and the Myth of the Nazi Superman

Ian Fleming describes the preparations for a secret and dangerous operation of his secret agent and assassin James Bond in the 1954 novel Live and Let Die. Among other essentials, ‘There was even a box of Benzedrine tablets to give endurance and heightened perception during the operation…’ Drug historians have quite rightly quoted this andContinue reading “On Speed: James Bond and the Myth of the Nazi Superman”

Ruminations on a Digital Tool for Drug History

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) gives us multiple-purposed weapons. Tools that are used to monitor drug trafficking can become excellent additions to the methods of the historian. They might help with a problem that every historian faces – not only every historian, every person in everyday life. We think, what is this person talking about?Continue reading “Ruminations on a Digital Tool for Drug History”

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