Fall 2007

Drugs in History, Society and Culture

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-05


Francis G. Couvares (Section 01)


This course examines the changing ways that human beings have used psychoactive drugs and societies have controlled that use. After examining drug use in broad historical and cross-cultural perspectives and studying the physiological and psychological effects of different drugs, we look at the various ways in which contemporary societies both encourage and seek to control drug use. Among the issues we address are the drug war, the disease model of drug addiction, the proliferation of prescription drugs, the images of drug use in popular culture, and America's complicated history of alcohol control. Above all, we examine the contradictions of a society that energetically both promotes and represses drug use. First semester. Professor Couvares.