Alcohol and anti-alcoholism in Greece, 1830-1950

Kostis Gkotsinas's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
October 12, 2018
Location: 
Greece
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Social History / Studies

Call for Papers “Alcohol and Anti-alcoholism in Greece (1830-1950)”
Athens, October 12, 2018

Alcohol is a key ingredient of everyday diet and a popular commodity in many societies. It also constitutes a fertile research subject for the social and human sciences. Indeed, as an agricultural and industrial product, a market good, a taxed commodity, a subject of medical and psychiatric research, an integral part of religious and lay rituals, a factor of socialization, a source of artistic inspiration, it has drawn the interest of economic historians, historians of food or anthropologists among others. 
     In the Southern Balkans, alcohol consumption was widespread before the creation of the Greek State, while the production and commerce of alcoholic beverages in Greece were encouraged from the first years after the independence from the Ottomans in 1830. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, wine-making and distillation developed rapidly at the margins of the raisin economy. At the same time, per capita consumption of alcoholic beverages rose, because of the growth of local production and the multiplication of alcohol’s medical uses, but also due to sociocultural shifts concerning the management of leisure, the emergence of new forms of entertainment, and the growing popularity of places of consumption, such as taverns and coffee shops. However, as the first cases of chronic or acute alcohol poisoning were recorded, an anti-alcoholic front was created in the early twentieth century, denouncing the social repercussions of alcohol misuse.
    The meeting “Alcohol and anti-alcoholism in Greece, 1830-1950”, which will be held under the auspices of the University of Crete and of the Research Center for the Humanities (RCH), examines the multiple aspects of the history of alcohol and anti-alcoholic discourses in Greece during the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. It does so by focusing on the relation between on the one hand the diffusion of alcoholic beverages in public space and the consumers’ habits, and on the other the advent of the notion of “alcoholism”. It aims thus at contributing to a social and cultural history of alcohol consumption practices and their understandings in modern Greece.
    We invite social scientists to submit a brief biographical note (up to 100 words) and a paper proposal (up to 500 words). Indicatively, but not exclusively, papers can treat one of the following subjects that will showcase the phenomenon’s historical dimension: 

  • Official policies on alcohol and their role in the formation of consumer habits
  • Economic dimensions of production and consumption
  • Cultural expressions and social representations of alcohol and its uses
  • Ideological and cultural stakes of discourses on alcohol
  • Medical and psychiatric perceptions of alcohol and their impact
  • Examples and analogies with other cases (Balkan, Mediterranean, European and beyond)

Proposal submissions and further information at the address: alcohol.antialcoholism@gmail.com
Proposal deadline: May 15, 2018 (Replies by May 31, 2018)
Scientific committee: Efi Avdela (University of Crete), Kostis Gotsinas (University of Crete), Yannis Yannitsiotis (University of the Aegean)

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