Drugs in World History

History 280S.001

Fall 2009
Instructor: 
Osseo-Asare
Location: 
225 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Thurs 10-12
CCN: 
39753
Units: 
Units

The field of drug history allows us to learn about societies through their shifting relationships to pharmacological substances. In this seminar, we will focus on the multiple histories of major drugs including: Opium, Cocaine, Oral Contraceptives, Khat, Kola, and Viagra.

We will trace stories of each substance across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas using articles, historical texts, novels and films. Seminar participants will gain a comparative perspective on how societies regulate, discover, test, and market legal and illegal drugs over time, and how these multiple approaches overlap and inform one another. We will emphasize new research in history of medicine, anthropology, film studies, and public policy that suggests a theoretical framework for further investigations.