New Social History of Pharmacy & Pharmaceuticals Virtual Conference—Free Registration Now Open!

GT Bond's picture
September 24, 2020 to September 29, 2020
Subject Fields: 
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, American History / Studies, World History / Studies, Public Health, Health and Health Care

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy are pleased to host the virtual festival, A New Social History of Pharmacy & Pharmaceuticals. The Festival will be a free online streaming event running from Thursday, September 24 through Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

This five-day interdisciplinary Festival aims to generate a discussion related to the under-explored social history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals. We hope the contributed paper panels, books talks, and invited Festival talks will stimulate/connect new scholarship as well as place a spotlight on emerging trends in the studies of pharmaceuticals, drugs, and alcohol more broadly. 

The Festival will feature 11 panels, 4 book talks, 3 invited festival talks, 1 publishing roundtable discussion, and 1 early-career roundtable discussion. See preliminary schedule below for more details.

All events are free and open to the public.

Complete your free Registration now!


A New Social History of Pharmacy & Pharmaceuticals Festival Preliminary Schedule

All times are Central Time (-2 Pacific, +1 Eastern, +6 HRS GMT).

Day 1—Thursday, September 24, 2020

9:00–10:00 AM: Festival Opening—New Directions

Host: Lucas Richert, University of Wisconsin–Madison and editor Pharmacy in History

  • Axel Helmstädter, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main & President of International Society for the History of Pharmacy
  • Erika Dyck, University of Saskatchewan and editor Canadian Bulletin of Medical History
  • Nancy Campbell, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and editor Social History of Alcohol and Drugs


10:30–11:00 AM: Invited Book Talk—Know Your Remedies: Pharmacy and Culture in Early Modern China (Princeton University Press, 2020)

Host: Rima Apple, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Author and Presenter: He Bian, Princeton University


12:00 noon–1:00 PM: Panel 1—Contested Drug Markets

Panel Chair: Axel Helmstädter, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

  • Richard Del Rio, Florida State University: “Since When is Being a Drug Dealer a Bad Thing?: Race and the Criminalization of a Title in Early Twentieth Century America”
  • Joseph Gabriel, Florida State University: “Dangerous Markets: Risk and the Origins of ‘Ethical’ Pharmacy”
  • Mariana Broglia de Moura, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales: “Pharmacy’s Controls and Resistances During Brazilian Dictatorship”

1:30–2:30 PM: Publishing Landscapes Roundtable Discussion

Host: Lucas Richert, University of Wisconsin–Madison and American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

  • Toni Gunnison, University of Wisconsin Press
  • Kyla Madden, McGill-Queen’s University Press
  • Arnab Chakraborty, Medical History and Social History of Alcohol and Drugs

3:00–4:00 PM: Panel 2—Drug Regulation, Knowledge, and Use

Panel Chair: John Parascandola, University of Maryland, College Park

  • Nidia A. Olvera Hernández, Mora Institute (Mexico City): “The Mexican Pharmacopeia: The Inclusion of Psychoactive Natural Drugs in the Official Medicine (1846–1930)”
  • Christopher Blakley, University of California, Los Angeles: “Mkaumwa, Calumba and Miami Columbo: Slavery and Expropriated Pharmacology from the Swahili Coast to the Ohio Valley”
  • Michael Lewis, Christopher Newport University: “From Bar Rooms to Drug Stores to Dispensaries: The Evolutionary Response to the Liquor Problem in Athens Georgia, 1891”


Day 2—Friday, September 25, 2020

8:30–9:00 AM: Invited Festival Talk—”Formula Magistralis and the Battle between David and Goliath: The Dutch Pharmacist Versus the International Pharmaceutical Industry, 1865-2020″

Host: Jeremy Greene, Institute of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Presenter: Toine Pieters, Utrecht University


9:30–10:30 AM: Panel 3—Decolonizing Drugs from the South

Panel Chair: Maziyar Ghiabi, University of Exeter

  • Thembisa Waetjen, University of Johannesburg: “Apartheid’s War on Cannabis”
  • Athos Vieira, IESP/UERJ, “Cocaine and the Night: The Social Life of a Drug in Rio de Janeiro during Brazil’s First Republic, 1885–1920”
  • María-Clara Torres, Stony Brook University: “The Twilight and Revival of Coca: Northern Cauca, Colombia, 1950s–1980s”

11:00 AM–12:00 Noon: Panel 4—Pain, Treatments, and Chinese Drugs

Panel Chair: Lucas Richert, University of Wisconsin–Madison and American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

  • Jim Mills, University of Strathclyde: “The Asian Cocaine Crisis: Capitalism and Colonialism in Conflict, c. 1900–c. 1916”
  • Rafaela Zorzanelli, State University of Rio de Janeiro/Brazi & Utrecht University (Visiting Scholar): “‘My Benzo is like my Grandmother’s Chamomile Tea’ – Approaching Chronic Use of Tranquilizers in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil”
  • Shu Wan, University of Iowa: “Chinese Physicians’ Discovery and (Un)reception of Ephedrine between the 1920s and 1930s”


1:00–2:00 PM: Panel 5—Trends in Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice

Panel Chair: Gregory J. Higby, University of Wisconsin–Madison and American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

  • Christian Brown & Ben Urick, University of North Carolina: “Capitation for Pharmacy Services:  A Bold New Idea with a 40-Year History”
  • Johanne Collin, University of Montreal: “Gender and Pharmacy: Feminization and Transformation of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Profession since the 1950s”
  • Michael Oldani, Concordia University Wisconsin: “The Im/Possibleness of Radical Deprescribing: Can Pharmacy Take Back the Script?”

2:30–3:30 PM: AIHP Early Career Roundtable Conversation

Panel Chair: Paula De Vos, San Diego State University

  • Naomi Rendina, Case Western Reserve University (PhD 2020) and American Institute of the History of Pharmacy
  • Jacob Green, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Barbara Di Gennaro, Yale University
  • Aileen T. Teague, Texas A&M University

3:45–4:15 PM: Invited Festival Talk—”Doing Drugs in Socialist East Germany”

Host: Emily Dufton, George Washington University
Presenter: Markus Wahl, Institute for the History of Medicine, Stuttgart

Day 3—Saturday, September 26, 2020

8:00–9:00 AM: Panel 6—Shortages and Knowledge: Southeast Asian Perspectives

Panel Chair: Laurence Monnais, Université de Montréal

  • Gani Jaelani, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung: “Testing the Chanted Water: Medical-Based Experiment on Traditional Pharmaceutical Knowledge”
  • Malika Basu, Kalna College, University of Burdwan (West Bengal): “Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Education in Colonial India: Understanding the History of a Historical Science”
  • Nishanth Kunnukattil Shaji, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: “Grappling with Morphine: A Local History of Painkiller Use in Kerala, India”

9:30–10:30 AM: Panel 7—Traditional and Early Modern Drug Knowledge

Panel Chair: Matthew Crawford, Kent State University

  • Edoardo Pierini, University of Geneva: “Different People, Different Addictions: The Recognition of Different Cultures of Intoxication in Early Modern Medicine”
  • Pedro Carlessi, University of São Paulo: “Neotraditional Medications: Ethnographic Contributions to the Conceptual Definition”
  • Julia Nurse, Wellcome Collection: “The Healing Power of Colour: Pigments as Potions in the Early Modern Period”


11:00 AM–12:00 Noon: Panel 8—Objects, Museums, and Names

Panel Chair: Briony Hudson, Independent Historian and Museum Curator

  • Laura Robson-Mainwaring, The National Archives (UK): “‘Own Name,’ ‘No Name,’ and ‘the Plague of Fancy Names’ in the Pharmaceutical Market c. 1870–1920”
  • Violetta Barbashina, Sloan Kettering: “‘…In Charity, for the Sake of Charity, and with Charity’: The Ointment Jar and the Virtue of Caritas in the Apothecary’s Practice”
  • Katarzyna Jarosz, University of Logistics and Transport in Wrocław: “The Development of Museums of Pharmacy in Post-Soviet Countries”


1:00–1:30 PM: Invited Book Talk—Compound Remedies: Galenic Pharmacy from the Ancient Mediterranean to New Spain (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020)

Host: Petros Bouras-Vallianatos, University of Edinburgh
Author and Presenter: Paula De Vos, San Diego State University


1:45–2:45 PM: Panel 9—Breakthroughs and Ethics

Panel Chair: TBD

  • Pierre-Marie David, Université de Montréal: “Une décennie de ruptures de stock en médicaments au Canada 2010–2020: causes et effets d’une situation de moins en moins exceptionnelle Le cas des anti—cancéreux”
  • Jordan Liz, San Jose State University: “Pharmacogenetics and the Politics of Race: Conceptualizing Health, Purity, and Miscegenation in the US and Brazil”
  • Cheryl Krasnick Warsh, Vancouver Island University: “Dr. Frances Kelsey and the Animals: A Case Study of the Evolution of Pharmacology in the 20th Century”


3:30–4:00 PM: Invited Book Talk—OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose (The MIT Press: 2020)

Host: Joseph Gabriel, Florida State University
Author and Presenter: Nancy Campbell, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Day 4—Monday, September 28, 2020

9:00–10:00 AM: Panel 10—Medicine vs. Drugs: African Perspectives

Panel Chair: TBD

  • Jo-Ansie Van Wyk, University of South Africa: “Radiopharmaceuticals in South Africa: From Apartheid’s Atoms to Ubuntu’s Isotopes?”
  • Phumla Innocent Nkosi, University of Johannesburg: “A Picture of Dagga Policing in Mid-Century South Africa (1932–1960)”
  • Muhammad Wada, Bayero University (Kano, Nigeria): “Internal Outsiders, Domestic Politics and the Campaign against Drug Abuse in Kano State, Northern Nigeria, 1999–2015”

10:45–11:15 AM: Invited Festival Talk—”Vaccines & Epidemics: Successes & Crises from Smallpox to COVID-19″

Host: Arthur Daemmrich, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Institution
Presenter: John Grabenstein, Merck Vaccines (retired) and American Institute of the History of Pharmacy


Day 5—Tuesday, September 29, 2020

9:00–9:30 AM: Invited Book Talk—Taming Cannabis: French Pharmacy, Cannabis, and Exotic Drugs (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020)

Host: Erika Dyck, University of Saskatchewan
Author and Presenter: David Guba, Bard High School Early College


10:00–11:00 AM: Panel 11—Advertising Drugs and Pharmacy

Panel Chair: David Herzberg, University at Buffalo

  • Erika Dyck, University of Saskatchewan, and Mat Savelli, McMaster University: “Methodological Challenges in the History of Drug Advertising”
  • Jacques Guyot, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai (NY): “‘This Formidable Foe Now Has a Conqueror’: Patent Medicine Advertising in British Guiana, 1880-1920”
  • Wouter Klein, Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University: “Newspaper Advertising and the Start of A Global Market for Drugs in the 18th Century”


Please visit the Festival website for more information.

Contact Info: 

Greg Bond,
AIHP Assistant Director


Contact Email: