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Call for Abstracts: Psychoactive Paradigm Shift? Historicizing Drug/Alcohol Policies and Practices

The Alcohol and Drug 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: adhsconference2024@gmail.com.


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


For the full Call for Abstracts, please visit the University of Chicago Press Journal site by clicking here.

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