Fall 2018

Drugs in History

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-103

Moodle sites: Course  |  Section 01  |  Section 02


Francis G. Couvares (Section 01)
Jerome L. Himmelstein (Section 02)


This course examines the changing ways that human beings have used psychoactive drugs and societies have controlled that use. After examining drug use in historical and cross-cultural perspectives and studying the physiological and psychological effects of different drugs, we look at the ways in which contemporary societies both encourage and repress drug use. We address the drug war, the disease model of drug addiction, the proliferation of prescription drugs, the images of drug use in popular culture, America’s complicated history of alcohol control, and international drug trafficking and its implications for American foreign policy. Readings include Huxley’s Brave New World, Kramer’s Listening to Prozac, and Reinarman and Schivelbusch, Tastes of Paradise; films include Drugstore Cowboy and Traffic. This course will be writing attentive. Two class meetings per week.Fall semester.

Professors Couvares and Himmelstein.


Attention to Writing


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018