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Sixth International Conference on the History of Alcohol and Drugs, Buffalo, NY, USA, June 24-26, 2011

The 6th International Conference on the History of Alcohol and Drugs:

The Pub, the Street, and the Medicine Cabinet

 June 24-26, 2011 SUNY University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

 Historical studies of alcohol, illicit drugs, and pharmaceutical drugs are flourishing. Though law and tradition have created a scholarly division of labor, historians and other researchers have become increasingly aware of the cultural, social, political, legal, and medical connections among psychoactive substances.  We are pleased to announce that, for the first time, the biennial conference of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society (ADHS) will join with the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy (AIHP) to interrogate the nature and significance of these divisions and linkages in all periods and geographical contexts.  Though we welcome proposals on all aspects of alcohol and drug history, we especially encourage those that question boundaries and that extend conversations across lines of field and discipline. We also welcome papers from bioethicists and physicians as well as historians and other humanities and social-science scholars. The event’s major sponsors include a range of institutions at the University of Buffalo:  the Center for Clinical Ethics, the Humanities Institute, the Medical School, and the History Department.

 We are also happy to report that the University of Massachusetts Press is interested in publishing a volume based on the conference.  All submissions will be considered for inclusion unless otherwise requested. Articles not incorporated into the edited volume will also be considered for a special issue of The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs: An Interdisciplinary Journal, unless otherwise requested.

 Topics of interest include, but are by no means limited to, the following:


  • Origins of boundaries —between substances, classes (social, age, gender, ethnic, racial) of people authorized or forbidden to use them, and the conditions or mental states for which they are used.
  • Nature and maintenance of boundaries —who establishes them; who enforces them and how; what logics (research, ethics, marketing) explain/justify them; how do they operate at multiple levels (culture, law, economics)?
  • Impact/significance of boundaries —how do they affect different groups of people including users, prescribers, traffickers, regulators, reformers, and politicians; what purposes do they serve (public health, economic, bureaucratic, entrepreneurial); how well or poorly do they serve those purposes?
  • Tensions, contradictions, challenges , and change over time—countervailing voices, opposition, boundary-crossers; changes in nature, extent, power, location of boundaries; causes of those changes.


The conference will take place in historic downtown Buffalo, New York, at the recently renovated Hyatt hotel and conference center.  Buffalo’s temperate and lovely summers don’t make headlines like its winters, but the city makes the most of them.  The classic downtown features historic architecture, a marina, minor league baseball, theater district, rejuvenated night life, and other low-cost amenities, all within walking distance of the Hyatt.  Public transportation links to destinations such as Niagara Falls or major museums like the Albright Knox (http://www.albrightknox.org/) and the Burchfield Penney (http://www.burchfieldpenney.org/).  If enough people are interested, we will charter one of “Forgotten Buffalo’s” famous tavern-based tours of Buffalo history, focusing on the Prohibition era.

 The deadline for the submission of proposals for panels, sessions, and papers is December 20, 2010. Proposals should include an abstract of approximately 300 words and a short CV, and may be submitted in one of two ways:  online at https://www.ubevents.org/event/history2011 or by mail to


David Herzberg

History Department

University at Buffalo

546 Park Hall

Buffalo, NY 14260


Posted by David Fahey on November 9, 2010 at 03:50 PM in Calls For Papers | Permalink