Drugs and drink in Asia: New perspectives from History
June 22-24, 2012, Shanghai University, China

Drugs and drink in Asia : New perspectives from History

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The centenary of the Hague Opium Convention in 1912 marks a hundred years of the development of international controls on commercial flows in psycho-active substances.

This conference will bring together those conducting new research on the origins and trajectory of that system in order to exchange recent conclusions and to address emerging questions. The focus will be on Asian contexts given that these were at the heart of the controversies that drove the emergence of the international drugs regulatory system.  The event marks a new period of collaboration between both Western historians and those in Asia to reassess the issues and the period.

Among the questions to be considered are :

  1. What has recent research revealed about historic markets for psycho-active substances in Asia?
  2. How far were Asian consumers of psycho-active substances driving these markets or being led by them?
  3. What were the chief concerns of governments and administrations in Asia when seeking to control these markets and consumers?
  4. How significant was the place of psycho-active substances in both Asian and imperial commercial networks?
  5. Were representations of Asian consumers of psycho-active substances more varied than previously thought, and if so what does this tell us?
Shanghai University Supported by the Wellcome Trust

Further information

Call now closed

For list of papers see Papers and Schedule


Dr Yong-an Zhang
History Department
Shanghai University
99 Shangda Road
Shanghai, 200444, China

Professor James Mills
CSHHH Glasgow
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow G11XQ, UK

Dr Joseph F. Spillane
Department of History
025 Keene-Flint Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7320