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As an affiliate of the American Historical Association, the ADHS regularly holds annual events and limited sessions. The ADHS also organizes a biennial international conference. Past events have been held in ShanghaiUtrecht, Guelph, Glasgow, Buffalo, London and Bowling Green, Ohio.

Girls Studying

Buffalo, New York
June 27 -30, 2024

​Psychoactive Paradigm Shift? Historicizing Drug/Alcohol Policies and Practices

The Alcohol and Drugs History Society (ADHS) invites abstracts for papers on any aspect of drug, medicine, and alcohol history in any time period or global region for its 8th biennial meeting, to be held in Buffalo, NY / Niagara Falls, CN, June 27-30, 2024.

From the global movement to decriminalize cannabis and other drugs to the “psychedelic renaissance,” the 21st century has witnessed dramatic transformations in how people make, circulate, regulate, use, and police drugs, medicines, and alcohol. How can history help us make sense of these changes? What are the precedents and antecedents, and what (if anything) is entirely new? How can analysis of the rich history of drugs and empire, global capitalism, state building/formation, racialization and gendering, social movements, science and medicine, religion, and other essential developments guide our understanding of modern shifts? What role should history—and historians—play in today’s debates?

The Program Committee, led by Co-Chairs Haggai Ram and James Bradford, encourages the submission of papers that build connections between the history of drugs, medicines, and alcohol and related fields and disciplines such as law, sociology, anthropology, science studies, international relations, political science, and public policy; that expand the methodological, thematic, chronological, and geographic diversity of the field; and that address the importance of key areas such as:

  • Regional drug and alcohol cultures

  • National drug/alcohol policies

  • Race, gender, class, citizenship, ability and other social hierarchies

  • Alcohol and drug use in post-colonial societies

  • War on Drugs in the Global South

  • Drugs and diplomacy

  • 20th- and 21st-century empires

  • Substance use and treatment

  • Commercialization of psychedelics and other substances

  • Transforming regulatory regimes

  • Trafficking in borderlands


To submit a proposal please send a title, abstract and 1-page CV by or before October 1, 2023 to:

Abstracts should not exceed 300 words.

Panel proposals are welcome.

Submissions will be accepted in English only.

All participants must be registered as members of the ADHS. Join now >


Owing to the difficulty of a mixed in-person and online event, the biennial meeting will be entirely in-person and unavailable to view online.

***For all international scholars, please be aware that the US State Department is currently experiencing unusually long wait times for visas. ADHS will provide active assistance to all scholars to ensure maximum attendance at the conference. 

Mexico City
June 15 -17 2022

Rethinking Alcohol and Drugs: Global Transformations and Local Practices in History


Website de la conferencia en Espanol:

The 2022 Alcohol and Drugs History Society is pleased to release its call for papers for its biennial conference.

As jurisdictions around the world begin relaxing regulations on psychoactive substances including cannabis and psychedelics, the consequences of an era of prohibition call out for historical scrutiny. The politics of prohibition have plagued the history of alcohol and drugs, while scholars have examined points of contradiction, friction, resistance, and even opportunities created by restricting some substances and encouraging others. We invite participants to ‘rethink’ this history, drawing inspiration from new sources, methods, and historical actors to deepen our understanding of the historical significance of alcohol and drugs.

All participants must be registered as members of the ADHS. To join the ADHS, click here.

To submit a proposal please send a title, abstract and 1 page CV by or before January 7, 2022 to:

Abstracts should not exceed 300 words. Panel proposals are welcomed. Submissions will be accepted in English or Spanish.

City Center


We are pleased to announce the full program for our June 15-17 conference in Mexico City.


Erika Dyck

Program Committee Chair, University of Saskatchewan

Cecilia Autrique

Posdoctoral fellow, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Luis Astorga

Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Paul Gootenberg

President ADHS, Stony Brook University


ADHS is proud to host its first meeting in Mexico City. Latin America has always been an important source and exporter of hallucinogens, licit and illicit psychoactive drugs, and various kinds of alcohol. This region exists at a crossroads of ideas, drug products, and policy decisions that have flowed in and out of this area with dramatic consequences for the rest of the world. It has always played a central role in our understanding of intoxicants, from practices to policy. Mexico City is ideally situated as a venue for the Alcohol and Drug History Society’s 2022 biennial conference. Following on from the success of the 2019 ADHS meeting in Shanghai, the Mexico City conference will broaden networks and enhance exciting scholarship on the history of drugs and alcohol, while attracting researchers from all over the world. We hope that this will be an in-person meeting, but further details will be released in early 2022.


Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México has a notable spacious campus and good public transportation (metro and metrobus), with museums and restaurants within walking distance from the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales. There are several hotels nearby, such as the Radisson Paraiso Hotel, as well as two malls--Perisur and Plaza Cuicuilco--boasting a wide variety of coffee shops, restaurants, and stores. The campus is near San Ángel and Coyoacán, two beautiful historic southern Mexico City neighborhoods with a plaza, markets, restaurants, museums, and bookstores.

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