Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs (From the Sixteenth to the Twenty First Century)
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
29 May 2019
Requisites for this module
Drugs are an intricate part of modern history. Study on drugs opens an opportunity for us to approach modern history from a different, refreshing yet equally authentic angle. This module questions the received knowledge by looking at the cultural and social history of drugs from the sixteenth century to the twenty first century.
It covers opiates use in China and Britain as well as the global culture of smoking well before the advent of the 'Opium War' and 'War on Drugs' from the second half of the nineteenth century. It charges the multiplicity of drugs used in the twentieth century and highlights their diverse modes of consumption by a variety of social groups, from opium-smoking scholars to morphine-consuming housewives and heroin-injecting peddlers.
The module will also show how prohibition in the early twentieth century contributed to social exclusion, driving drug consumption downwards the social ladder as it criminalised, and how far government policies purporting to contain narcotics actually created a 'drug problem'.
This module allows students to integrate drugs into the familiar terrain of historical studies and methods, and into pre-existing fields of society, culture, or power.
On completing the module, students will have gained confidence in working with a diverse range of primary sources. Have assessed recent theoretic and methodological debates about researching the social and economic as well as cultural history of narcotics. Have gained understanding of the diverse modes of narcotic use in different cultures from early modern to modern times.
General Reading List:
Coomber, Russ (ed.), Drugs and Drug Use in Society: a critical reader, Darford: Greenwich University Press, 1994.
Gilman, Sander L & Xun Zhou, Smoke: a Global History of Smoking, London: Reaktion Books, 2004
Goodman, J., Lovejoy, P. E., Sherratt, A. (eds.) Consuming habit: drugs in history and anthropology, London: Routledge, 1995.
Goldberg, Ted, Demystifying Drugs: A Psychosocial Perspective, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999.
1 x 2 hour seminar per week
This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||5,000 Extended Essay
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Xun Zhou
Graduate Administrator, Department of History, Telephone: 01206 872190
Dr Paul Corthorn
Queen's University Belfast
Senior Lecturer in Modern British History
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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