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 seeks to 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. 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?

The event´s organisers are keen to encourage those conducting historical research into all substances that can be understood as psycho-active, from across the modern period. While the focus is on Asia, comparative papers will be considered. The preference will be for research that is being conducted or that has recently been published. The objective is to bring together from around the globe all those currently tackling issues related to psycho-active substances in Asia before c. 1961. To discuss proposals please contact Dr Yong-an Zhang (zhangyongan@shu.edu.cn), Professor James Mills (jim.mills@strath.ac.uk) or Dr. Joseph F. Spillane (spillane@ufl.edu).

Proposals for panels and papers of no more than 300 words per paper are welcomed by December 15 2011. Please submit by email to zhangyongan@shu.edu.cn, jim.mills@strath.ac.uk and spillane@ufl.edu. Those accepted will be notified by January 16 2012. Participation will require the submission of papers of no more than 5000 words by April 30 2012. The intention is to publish a collected edition of papers from the event.

The conference will take place in Baoshan Campus at Shanghai University, Shanghai and accommodation will be provided for all participants. Some funding for travel may be available to post-graduate students and early career scholars. The event´s major sponsors include the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare Glasgow; the Wellcome Trust; the University of Florida; the Alcohol and Drugs History Society; and a range of institutions at Shanghai University: the David F. Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies, the Center for Global Studies, the Graduate School, the History Department and the College of Liberal Arts.

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