CFP – Psychopharmacology and British Literature: 1650 to 1900

Deadline for abstract submissions: 1 February 2017

Full name / name of organization: Natalie Roxburgh, Jennifer Henke

Contact email: natalie.roxburgh@uni-siegen.de, j.henke@uni-bremen.de

Psychopharmacology and British Literature, 1650 to 1900, an edited volume to be submitted for consideration in the series Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science, and Medicine, is now inviting submissions. This volume’s aim is to bring together multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives on plant-based and/or chemical psychoactive substances that were new to contemporaries. Essays will investigate the time period of 1650 to 1900, the period in which psychoactive drug use, which had always been a part of cultural practice, became intensified partly because of colonial exploration and bio-prospecting but also because of the rise of pharmacological sciences and the advent of synthetic organic chemistry in the eighteenth century.

Rather than focusing on biographies of writers who used drugs as many scholarly inquiries already have done, papers in this volume will emphasize 1) the literary representations of drugs in British literature and 2) the contexts in which they were sold, used, and understood to work on the human brain and body.

We welcome contributions on psychoactive substances ranging from, but not limited to: new types of alcohol, opium, morphine, cannabis, coca, laudanum, tobacco, coffee, tea, chocolate, and sugar.

Possible angles include:

  • the aesthetics of intoxication
  • new approaches to psychopharmacological medicine in literature
  • literature and the history of addiction
  • new contexts for the biochemistry of drugs as represented in literature
  • social attitudes towards drug use as represented in literature

Please submit a 500-word proposal to natalie.roxburgh@uni-siegen.de and j.henke@unibremen.de by 1 February 2017. Acknowledgement of accepted proposals will be given by 1 March 2017. For those invited to contribute to the volume, completed essays of 5000-6000 words will be due by 1 September 2017. Please follow MLA style for in-text documentation and bibliography.

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