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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings


HIST 248 (W, TH) Drugs in World History (1)

This comparative history seminar will be an exploration of the various ways that psychoactive substances have influenced social and political life during the past four hundred years. We will cover a range of topics, including the medicinal and “recreational” roles of drugs in various non-Western societies; the trade in and consumption of habit-forming substances in the West; the eighteenth and nineteenth century international narcotics trade, along with its connections to the structures and processes of European imperialism and its historical implications for the countries of Asia and elsewhere; and the twentieth-century expansion of the global drug trade, particularly the rise of the Asian and Latin American narco-traffickers. The course will end with a look at the history of the US “war on drugs” and the implications of drug consumption and drug policy for American society.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-Centered

Mode of Inquiry: Thinking Historically

  • Offering: Alternate Springs
  • Instructor: Staff