Call for Papers: Tonics, Elixirs and Poisons: Psychoactive Substances in
European History and Culture
Conference (8-9 September 2012).
Psychoactive substances, whether narcotics, stimulants or hallucinogens,
affect their users as individuals, yet their social context informs their
cultural significance. At different times and in different places,
different substances have become a locus of fascination or anxiety, praise
or opprobrium, patriotism or prohibition. We seek papers examining
psychoactive substances in a specific cultural context. How, when, and why
did substances such as alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, opium, tea,
and tobacco acquire the cultural meanings that they did? How have
consumers of psychoactive substances crossed the border between medical
and recreational use, and how has society responded to any perceived
transgressions? How have these substances been represented in literary,
journalistic, legal, or scientific texts?
We seek papers undertaking a detailed study of a specific substance in a
specific time and place, and particularly encourage case studies of
less-commonly studied societies, e.g. in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the
Baltic, or the Balkans.
We expect to have a small budget to defray accommodation costs, but we
will not be able to pay for plane tickets from Europe or North America. We
can, however, send letters of invitation if necessary.
The Journal of Social History has also expressed interest in publishing a
themed issue of selected papers. All papers will go through a standard
peer-review process. For journal submissions, please follow the style
guide for the Journal of Social History (Chicago-style end-notes, not
Your paper can be considered for the themed issue even if you are unable
to attend the conference; similarly, you may attend the conference without
submitting a paper to the themed issue. When sending an abstract, please
specify whether you wish to be considered for the conference, the journal,
or both. Send an abstract as soon as possible, but no later than 30 July
2012. Final papers will be due at the end of January 2013.
The conference will take place at Victoria University of Wellington, New
Zealand. The conference will have no registration fee, and will be open to
the public. For further information, contact Alexander Maxwell or Richard
Alexander Maxwell alexander.maxwell(at)vuw.ac.nz
Richard Millington richard.millington(at)vuw.ac.nz
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
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