Event Report: Intoxicants and Politics Past and Present

In public debates around intoxicants, political and medical commentators tend to focus on their biological, neurological, pharmaceutical, and criminological aspects, while the complex historical and cultural roots that have shaped the deeply embedded modern cultures of intoxication are ignored. In contrast, this short conference at the Palace of Westminster brought some of the latest historical and […]

Intoxicants and Empire c.1600-1800: Space and Material Culture

Seminar Room A, Research Department, V&A Friday 21 April-Saturday 22 April 2017 Intoxicants were an omnipresent feature of European imperial and commercial expansion during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This is as true for ‘old world’ commodities like beers, wines, and fortified liquors as it was for ‘new’ comestibles like tobacco, caffeine, cocoas, and opiates. […]

Project Event: Intoxicants and Politics Past and Present

The CPA Room, Palace of Westminster Monday 10 October 2016 One of our key research themes is intoxicants, politics, and governance. We’re especially interested in the role of early modern governors in determining which intoxicants were consumed where, by whom, at what cost; in the relationship between intoxicants and political debate, conflict, and mobilisation; and in […]

Using Your Noggin: Identifying Intoxicating Objects

As the project nears its conclusion, and with data collection from manuscript sources now complete, we’re starting to identify and link to our existing records material artefacts associated with the production, exchange, storage, and consumption of intoxicants. I’m excited to be working on this work package with strand leader Dr Angela McShane; so far we’ve […]

Project Workshop: Intoxication, Discourse, and Practice

Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield Friday 30 September-Saturday 1 October 2016 Since at least the sixteenth century intoxication has frequently been seen as a problem in western cultures – a medical, social, political, moral, and economic concern, affecting both individuals and social bodies, that huge amounts of public funding and energy have been devoted […]

Licensed to Thrill: Governing Intoxicants in Early Modern England

It’s been another busy year for the Project. With our first two work packages on port books (including 11,588 consignments and 16,468 commodity instances) and church court depositions (including 1,783 transcribed statements, 4,091 actors, and 953 comprehensively modelled intoxication events) safely dispatched, since spring 2015 we’ve been packing our database with various records relating to […]

Jolly Good Ale and Old: An Evening of Drink, History, and Song at the Sign of the Sheffield Tap

Last week, as part of the University of Sheffield’s contribution to national humanities extravaganza Being Human Festival 2015 (#BeingHuman15), I managed to combine my interests in early modern drinking and song by organising and hosting a convivial evening of beer, ballads, and banter at venerable railway station watering hole The Sheffield Tap. Over sixty locals with […]

RSA Boston 2016 Panels: Intoxicants and Early Modernity

Further to our CFP back in May, we’re pleased to report that three panels on Intoxicants and Early Modernity featuring ten papers have been included in the programme of the Renaissance Society of America’s next Annual Conference, which will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, in early 2016. The full conference schedule is now online; our […]