Updated: Aug 30
After a brief hiatus, Points is rolling out a new look. We have new managing editors and have added fresh voices to our roster of contributing editors (for more on that, check out our bios below). But our mission remains the same:
Points is an academic group blog that brings together scholars with wide-ranging expertise with the goal of producing original and thoughtful reflections on the history of alcohol and drugs, the web of policy surrounding them, and their place in popular culture. A group blog provides a space for the exchange of new ideas, insights, and speculations about our interdisciplinary and rapidly evolving field. With a diverse audience in mind, postings to Points will feature short takes (500-1000 words) by contributing editors and guest bloggers on a wide range of topics—ruminations on a new archive, scathing cultural criticism, commentary on current events, etc. More informed than the mainstream media and less turgid than the average academic journal, Points will exemplify a new kind of scholarly exchange.
Be on the lookout for new content beginning next week. If you’re interested in contributing, send a note to managing editors Claire Clark and Emily Dufton. Points can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Claire Clark is a dual-trained historian and behavioral scientist (Ph.D./MPH, Emory University, 2014) and a postdoctoral fellow in medical humanities and ethics. Her work has appeared in history and social science journals, and has been supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Hastings Center. Her current book project, provisionally titled The Recovery Revolution, explores how ex-addict activists shaped the addiction treatment industry since the 1960s.
Emily Dufton received her Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University in May 2014. Her dissertation, “Just Say Know: How the Parent Movement Shaped America’s Modern War on Drugs, 1970-2000,” traced the history of the parent movement, the most successful grassroots anti-drug movement of the late twentieth century. Dufton’s writing has appeared on The Atlantic, History News Network, and in several academic journals, and she has appeared on NPR’s “BackStory with the American History Guys” and the YouTube program Instant Response Team, discussing her work and the current marijuana legalization process in the United States.
Michael Durfee: A Ph.D. candidate in the history department at SUNY Buffalo, Michael Durfee works under the advisement of Points Contributor Dr. David Herzberg. His prior education includes an M.A. in history from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in education from Lewis and Clark College. He is currently at work researching his dissertation which analyzes the dynamics of Crack Era reform from 1986 to 1992, loosely constructed. In 2012, Michael joined the faculty of Niagara University’s History Department where he presently teaches courses on postwar urban history, the modern War on Drugs, and the rise of Mass Incarceration.
Alexine Fleck: Alexine Fleck teaches English and Women’s Studies at the Community College of Philadelphia. She completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she wrote about the ways drug users and addicts enter into and challenge “expert” discourse on addiction. While completing her degree, she worked as an ethnographer tasked with mapping HIV transmission through drug use and sex work for an HIV-prevention research division at the university. Her work attempts to use the tools of literary analysis to understand and legitimize the lived experiences of drug use and addiction. When she is not teaching or writing, she spends time with her newly adopted horse, Annie.
Nicholas Johnson: Nick Johnson is a graduate student in Public History at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His research interests include Weimar Culture, the First World War, Intellectual History, Urban History, Film, and Modern Literature. He is a huge fan of the Sazerac and everything that Belgian and German brewing traditions have to offer. Find him on Twitter @Tchoupitoulas89
Amy Long (Media Liaison): Amy Long is an MFA candidate in fiction at Virginia Tech. She previously worked for Media Coalition and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression in New York City; the ACLU’s Drug Law Reform Project in Santa Cruz, CA; and Common Sense for Drug Policy in Washington, D.C. Amy holds a BA in English and Women’s Studies and an MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Florida; her research there focused on the relationships among drug dealing, gender, and capitalism in early, modern, and contemporary narratives.
Michelle McClellan: Michelle McClellan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Residential College at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in American history from Stanford University, and she is very interested in interdisciplinary approaches to studying and teaching about addiction. Her research has focused largely on alcoholism and women, and she is completing a book that uses the figure of the alcoholic woman as a way to explore the complex intersection of gender and medicalization in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. McClellan is also fascinated by issues of secrecy, disclosure, and public memory in the history of addiction, and she is beginning a collective biography of women who revealed their alcoholism during the last third of the twentieth century.
Saeyoung Park: An Assistant Professor of East Asian History at Davidson College in North Carolina, Park is a historian who works primarily on China and Korea, She received her Ph.D (2011) from the Johns Hopkins University and was the Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (2011). Her book manuscript on war and memory is titled Politics of the Past: The Imjin War in Korea. Currently, she is working on psychoactive substances, addiction, and the aesthetics of consumption in Korea and China (1600-present).
Adam Rathge is a Ph.D. candidate in the history department at Boston College, working under the advisement of Dr. Martin Summers. His dissertation in-progress examines a century-long road to federal marijuana prohibition in the United States by analyzing the development and transformation of medical discourse, regulatory processes, and social concerns surrounding cannabis between 1840 and 1940. Adam’s research offers a fresh approach to the historiography on marijuana by tracing how and why cities and states across the country regulated cannabis before the federal government and the effect these varied regulations had on each other, on the emergence of marijuana hysteria, and on the impetus for federal regulation. He previously received a B.S. from the University of Dayton and a M.A. from the University of Cincinnati. Find him on Twitter @ARRathge.
Ron Roizen: Ron Roizen writes about the history and sociology of alcohol science; he lives in Wallace, Idaho.
Eoin Cannon (Managing Editor Emeritus): Now speechwriter for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Eoin Cannon spent several years as Lecturer and Assistant Director of Studies in the History & Literature program at Harvard University. His book, The Saloon and the Mission: Addiction, Conversion, and the Politics of Redemption in American Culture (UMass Press, 2013), examines sobriety movements between the Civil War and World War II, and the roles their narratives played in advancing various social and political ideas. A former newspaper reporter based in Dorchester, Mass., he also writes on cities, sports, religion, and literature.
Joe Spillane (Managing Editor Emeritus): Joe Spillane is Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida, where he is also an affiliate of the Department of Sociology, Criminology & Law. He has published Cocaine: From Medical Marvel to Modern Menace in the United States (Johns Hopkins Press, 2000) and co-edited Federal Drug Control: The Evolution of Policy and Practice (Haworth Press, 2004). His current drug-related research agenda includes: the history and development of drug abuse liability assessment; addiction, trauma, and Vietnam veterans; and reflections on the nature of drug epidemics.
Trysh Travis (Managing Editor Emeritus): A 20th-century literary and cultural historian, Trysh Travis teaches in the Center for Women’s Studies & Gender Research at the University of Florida. She has published on the gender and power of addiction and recovery, spirituality, and bibliotherapy in a variety of scholarly and popular venues. Her book The Language of the Heart: a Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey appeared in 2009. With Timothy Aubry, she is the co-editor of the anthology “Re-Thinking Therapeutic Culture” (U. Chicago Press, forthcoming).