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.
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 email@example.com, if you are interested.
1) A drug use and social movements panel: What are the various roles drug use has played in some of the most important grassroots social movements in the United States? Most obviously we relate drug use to the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, but drug use has also driven activism within the Black Panthers, religious freedom movements in Native American culture, the gay rights movement seeking greater access to retroviral drugs in the time of AIDS, and the medical marijuana/freedom of access movement of the past two decades. Additionally, reactions against drug use have driven the formation of prohibition activists of the early 20th century and the parent movement of the late 20th century. Reading the term “social movement” as widely as possible, what other roles has drug use played in social movements that have transpired across the United States?
2) Drug use and urban history panel: Drugs have become a symptom of urban neglect for decades, and their eradication has long been read as a symptom of urban renewal. This panel hopes to explore the ways in which drug history and urban history have intersected. How have drugs, drug use, and anti-drug activism played formative roles in the growth and evolution of cities? What can we learn about urban history from a study of drug use that we cannot learn in other ways?