Category Archives: Uncategorized

Student Profile: Ben Scher

Here is the latest installment of ADTSG’s student profiles feature!

These profiles are a way for the ADTSG membership to become acquainted with the next generation of anthropologists of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.  In this vein, each profile will introduce one graduate or undergraduate student to the group by asking him or her a series of questions related to his/her background and career aspirations in this field.

In this installment, we are profiling Ben Scher, a M.A. student from the University of Waterloo.

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

Whilst anthropology was not offered at my high school, I was always passionate about history, politics, and human geography. Once I began my undergraduate degree at Durham University in the UK, I was immediately captured by anthropology’s ability to include these elements of the human story into one discipline. Having majored in anthropology and philosophy, when it came time to choose which discipline I wanted to write my thesis on, conducting hands-on research through the form of ethnography was extremely appealing. Getting this opportunity in my undergraduate degree motivated me to continue my studies and pursue an M.A.

Why are you interested in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research?

Mind-altering substances, illicit or not, have been and will continue to be present in human societies, regardless of what conservative politicians try and enact through the “War on Drugs.” Thus, it is imperative that the research community is at the center of understanding how the presence of substances can be managed in the safest and most logical way possible. In producing research, credible evidence can drive progressive, evidence-based policies. In light of the current opioid epidemic in North America, I am passionate about conducting research evaluating both the benefits of supervised consumption sites and the legislation needed in order to implement them into communities in need.

What are your research plans for studying alcohol, drugs, and tobacco?

For my M.A. research, this past summer I completed 5 months of ethnographic fieldwork at one of the supervised consumption sites in Vancouver. The purpose of this research is to analyze the ways in which police impact the daily lives of supervised consumption site users and ultimately inform on police practices that best serve the community in need of this service. Whilst in the last decade, police practices in the city have been updated to better address the increase in overdose rates, the findings of this study suggest that years of police harassment and subsequent distrust of this community still renders perceived police presence to be a barrier to everyday harm reduction practices sought out by illicit substance users. Ultimately the aim of this study is to contribute towards the body of literature uncovering the unintended structural violence produced by policing and shed light on potential solutions.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I am currently in the process of applying for Ph.D. programs in both the fields of social policy and anthropology. The aim of my doctoral research is to continue to conduct research on supervised consumption sites with the hope of producing research that can aid in the implementation of progressive public policy surrounding drug use and in particular aiding in solutions to the current overdose rates in North America.

If you are an anthropology student and would like to be profiled for the ADTSG website, please contact ADTSG’s Student Liaison, Breanne Casper, at casperb@mail.usf.edu for more information!

Graduate Student Paper Prize Winner: Sarah Brothers

The Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group is happy to announce the winner of our 2019 Graduate Student Paper Prize: Sarah Brothers!

Sarah is currently a Ph.D. student at Yale University. Her award-winning paper, A Good “Doctor” is Hard to Find: Assessing Uncredentialed Expertise in Assisted Injection, examines how laypeople assess uncredentialed expertise in the high-risk practice of assisted injection (when one person injects another with illicit drugs) in San Francisco, California.

The ADTSG Graduate Student Paper Prize is an annual award that recognizes the best graduate student paper in the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other psychoactive substance use. Please join us in congratulating Sarah on her excellent work and contribution to our field!

Graduate Student Travel Award Winner: Breanne Casper

The Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group is happy to announce the winner of our 2019 Graduate Student Travel Award: Breanne Casper!

Bree is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida.  The paper she will be presenting at the AAAs in Vancouver, Unscripted Change: A Critical Analysis of Rehabilitation Rhetoric in “Natural Recovery,” will examine academic, expert, and cultural constructions of “addiction” and “recovery” to interrogate the rhetoric and practice of drug cessation through “natural recovery.”

The ADTSG Graduate Student Travel Award is an annual award that helps a graduate student attend the AAAs to present a paper that engages questions related to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other psychoactive substance use.  Please join us in congratulating Bree on his excellent contribution to our field!

Contemporary Drug Problems Conference – Prato 2019

Rethinking “Change”: New Theories, New Topics, New Questions, New Methods

5th Contemporary Drug Problems Conference

This is a reminder that the 5th Contemporary Drug Problems Conference will soon convene in Prato, Italy, from September 4-6, 2019.  The conference will critically explore and debate the issues posed when we re-imagine the notion and focus of ‘change’ in relation to drugs.

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

  • Fay Dennis, ECR keynote, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London: “Mobilising Stasis: A Critical Orientation to Change”
  • Natasha Martin, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego: “Rethinking Hepatitis C Treatment and Prevention: How Modelling Is Informing the Change Required To Achieve Elimination among People Who Inject Drugs”
  • Kate Seear, Faculty of Law, Monash University: “On Law’s Fragility, Onto-advocacy and the Possibility of Change”

Further details on the conference theme, keynote and accepted presentations, venue, format, and registration are available at: http://ndri.curtin.edu.au/news-events/ndri-events/fifth-contemporary-drug-problems-conference.  A draft program will be posted in the coming weeks.  Please consider attending!

CFP: Society for Medical Anthropology 2020 Conference

2020 Conference of the Society for Medical Anthropology in Havana, Cuba

The Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) will hold its 3rd conference in Havana, Cuba, on March 9-12, 2020. It will take place during Anthropos 2020, the anthropology conference organized by the University of Havana. The conference registration and welcome will take place on Monday, March 9th, and they will devote each of the following three days to one topic: 1) social determination of health from social medicine, critical epidemiology, and critical medical anthropology perspective, 2) sexual and reproductive health and rights, and 3) indigenous movements and intercultural care in health.

The SMA hopes to have participation from medical anthropologists from around the world and that, by holding the meeting in Cuba, many will come from other Latin American countries that have been highly productive intellectually in these three areas. All the sessions will have translation services Spanish-English. Travel to Cuba to attend conferences is permitted, and since commercial flights from the United States were allowed two years ago, the cost of traveling to Havana has decreased substantially. The SMA is currently working on securing affordable single and shared rooms and will provide more information as it becomes available.

Presentation of Abstracts

Only one abstract is permitted as first author. Abstracts should adhere to the following format: title (in capital letters, centered, and limited to 20 words), author(s) with the name of the presenter underlined, institution(s), email address, country, preference of audio or poster presentation, reference to medical anthropology as the proposed thematic area, and any required audiovisual media. Each abstract should be no more than 250 words, in 12-point Arial font, single-spaced, written in Word version 6.0 or higher, and should include: introduction, objectives, methods, results, and conclusions. Submissions should not contain citations or bibliographical references. Please submit the abstract to anthroposmontane2020@gmail.com.

Submission deadline: October 12, 2019.

If accepted, you will receive notification by October 28, 2019.

Publication of Congress Contributions

The abstracts or papers submitted to the event will be published in a CD that will be delivered free of charge to registered delegates. Contributions are limited to a maximum length of 15 pages (letter size, 216 x 279 mm), in 12-point Arial font, 1.5 line spacing, with bibliography, graphics, and tables included, and submitted in Word. Those who wish to publish their full presentations should send them by email to: anthroposmontane2020@gmail.com.

Submission deadline: November 12, 2019

Conference Fees

Foreign participants: 250 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC). Undergraduate students: 175 CUC (limited to those who provide official certification of their status from their educational institution). Non-presenting guests: 100 CUC. The Havana Convention Center offers the possibility of paying the registration fee online.

Contact Information

Please contact pagosonlinepalacio1@palco.cu or pagosonlinepalacio2@palco.cu and submit this information: 1. Name and dates of the event: Anthropos 2020, March 9-12, 2020. 2. Your personal information: Name and last name, country of residence, email address. 3. Indicate if you are a participant, a student, or a non-presenting companion. You will receive a response email with a link to a secure site where you will be able to pay the registration fee with a credit card or a bank transfer. If paying through a bank transfer, please provide the name of the bank account owner.

ANTHROPOS 2020 is convened by the Montané Anthropological Museum, the “Luis Montané” Chair of Anthropology at the University of Havana, the Cuban Society for Biological Anthropology, and the “Eopithecus” Primate Studies Society of Mexico. It is also co-sponsored by the Latin American Association of Biological Anthropology, the Cuban Institute of Anthropology, the Fernando Ortiz Foundation, and the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association.

ADTSG 2019 Graduate Student Paper Prize

The Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology invites submissions for the best graduate student paper in the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other psychoactive substance use. A committee of ADTSG members will judge qualifying submissions.  The author of the winning paper will receive a cash award of $100, and her or his name will be announced at the Society for Medical Anthropology awards ceremony at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November 2019.  Submissions from all anthropological sub-disciplines are encouraged.

QUALIFYING CRITERIA

  • No more than 9,000 words (including references and notes)
  • Must be based on original fieldwork and data
  • Must have been written in the past 12 months
  • Primary or first author must be a graduate student at time of submission
  • May be unpublished or submitted for publication at the time of submission

JUDGING CRITERIA

  • Originality of fieldwork and data
  • Richness of substantive or evidentiary materials
  • Clarity of anthropological methods
  • Linkage of work to social science literature
  • Effective use of theory and data
  • Organization, quality of writing, and coherence of argument

SUBMISSION PROCESS

  • Please do not include your name or any identifying information in the paper itself.
  • Papers must be double spaced and in PDF format (please include page numbers).
  • References and in-text citations should be formatted according to Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Please submit via email to Shana Harris, Chair of ADTSG, at shana.harris@ucf.edu
  • Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST on August 1, 2019, for full consideration.

Questions may be directed to Shana Harris at the above email address. We look forward to your submissions!

ADTSG 2019 Graduate Student Travel Award

The Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology invites applications for a travel award to attend the 2019 AAA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.  An award of $100 will be given to a graduate student presenting a paper at the conference that engages questions related to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other psychoactive substance use.  The ADTSG Graduate Student Travel Award is awarded annually on a competitive basis and reviewed by a committee comprised of ADTSG members.

QUALIFYING CRITERIA

  • Applicant must be currently enrolled in a graduate program
  • Applicant must be presenting a paper at the 2019 AAA Annual Meeting
  • Applicant must be a member of the Society for Medical Anthropology (see http://americananthro.org for instructions on how to join)

SUBMISSION PROCESS

  • Submit your paper abstract, university affiliation, graduate program (M.A. or Ph.D.), and contact information (no additional materials are required) to Shana Harris, Chair of ADTSG, at shana.harris@ucf.edu
  • Applications must be received by 5:00PM EST on September 1, 2019, for full consideration.

Questions may be directed to Shana Harris at the above email address. We look forward to your submissions!

Student Profile: Sharon Foster

Here is the latest installment of ADTSG’s student profiles feature!

These profiles are a way for the ADTSG membership to become acquainted with the next generation of anthropologists of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.  In this vein, each profile will introduce one graduate or undergraduate student to the group by asking him or her a series of questions related to his/her background and career aspirations in this field.

In this installment, we are profiling Sharon Foster, a Ph.D. student from the University of Calgary.

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

I have an eclectic academic and professional background. My previous degrees are in political science, education and psychology, and I have professional experience as a teacher and therapist. Anthropology lends itself to trans and interdisciplinary work since its goal is the study of life and origin. I am of a mixed cultural background – my heritage is European Settler, Romani, and Shawnee Indian and these backgrounds inform my research. Anthropology’s incorporation of self-reflexivity in research aligns with my research approach based in indigenous methodologies where self-location is ongoing in the research process. In addition, social-cultural anthropology offers a wide field for theory and research on identity and belonging which is essential to understanding how individuals both learn and heal. My research interests involve examining healing from western and Indigenous perspectives and so medical anthropology is the appropriate field.

Why are you interested in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research?

I am interested Indigenous traditional knowledge and plant medicines.  Our elders tell us that all plants can heal but to develop knowledge of this healing, respectful and reciprocal relationship with these plants is essential. The history of colonization includes the control and governmental possession of sacred plants including tobacco operating through laws and other regulatory practices that prohibited ceremonial use. As a result, relationships between indigenous peoples and their sacred plants were disrupted.  My aim in research is to highlight indigenous perspectives of these plants as our oldest relations on earth and to examine the role of relationality in the healing outcomes of plant medicines.

What are your research plans for studying alcohol, drugs, and tobacco?

My research will involve indigenous healers’ experiences with plant medicines which will likely involve traditional medicines such as tobacco.  Given the limited research on Indigenous Traditional Knowledges (ITKs) and integration into mental health and trauma treatment, my research objective is to explore both western and indigenous healers’ experiences of healing.  My research questions are: What are psychiatrists’ and indigenous elders’ experiences of healing (both plant-based and pharmaceutical-derived) ? What role do indigenous traditional plant medicines play in trauma and/or mental wellness treatment?  By exploring healers’ experience with indigenous plant medicines, my research will generate evidence to inform and identify potential community-based traditional indigenous treatment interventions to redress the mental health gap and enhance indigenous peoples’ health and well-being.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I hope to continue to work with indigenous elders and communities to identity community research goals to promote Indigenous plant medicinal knowledge and practices. Through this work, I hope to partner medical professionals with traditional elders to expand common understanding and practices of healing.

If you are an anthropology student and would like to be profiled for the ADTSG website, please contact ADTSG’s Student Liaison, Breanne Casper, at casperb@mail.usf.edu for more information!

CFP: Substance Use, Misuse and Dependence

Call for Papers

PLOS ONE Special Issue: Substance Use, Misuse and Dependence: Prevention and Treatment

This is a call for papers for a special issue for the multidisciplinary, open-access journal PLOS ONE. The guest editors for the special issue include a medical anthropologist (Philippe Bourgois), a medical sociologist (Lindsey Richardson), a researcher in social determinants of health (Hannah Cooper), a psychologist (Carl Hart), and an MD/medical researcher (Daniel Ciccarone). In other words, social scientists are very much encouraged to submit abstracts.  

The editorial team seeks contributions to this Collection that: 1) Assess the impacts of drug use-relevant policies for human health, 2) Evaluate the effectiveness of novel structural prevention and treatment interventions and 3) Identify and measure the contribution of social, structural and environmental conditions to SUD prevention, recovery and relapse. 

The accepted papers will form a PLOS ONE Collection/PLOS Medicine Special Issue, to be published in November 2019. Contributions should be submitted by June 7, 2019.

The journal PLOS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS), a non-profit open access publisher and advocacy organization and selects submissions for scientific rigor rather than perceived impact. As an interdisciplinary journal, PLOS ONE is open to all empirical research methods.

 You can find more information here: https://collections.plos.org/s/substance-use.

Postdoctoral Opportunity – Boston Medical Center

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position

Position Description and Responsibilities:

Boston Medical Center is seeking a PhD-level medical anthropologist to serve as a postdoctoral research associate. This individual will work alongside an interdisciplinary research team in BMC’s Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit on a CDC-funded examination of public health-public safety partnerships for post-overdose outreach throughout the state of Massachusetts. The postdoctoral research associate will be primarily responsible for conducting ethnographic research and targeted qualitative interviews among law enforcement personnel and individuals who may be at risk of overdose. The associate will also be heavily involved in data analysis and dissemination. A research mentor specializing in medical anthropology and ethnographic research among people who use drugs will oversee this position and provide training and support throughout the appointment period.

This is a 12-month appointment with an anticipated start date of June 2019, with a chance for renewal. PhD must be in hand by the time of appointment.

Applicants should have a Class C driver’s license (travel will be reimbursed) OR willingness to travel on public transport.

Qualifications:

Successful candidates will hold a PhD in social science, with preference given to cultural or medical anthropology, and have experience conducting independent qualitative or ethnographic research. Additional training or experience in public health is preferred, as is experience with qualitative analysis software, such as NVivo, Atlas.ti, MaxQDA, or Dedoose. For this project, candidates should possess a critical understanding of qualitative research ethics and be able to maintain the high levels of confidentiality, humility, and decorum necessary for working with vulnerable populations. Candidates with experience recruiting and conducting research among individuals who engage in high-risk substance use are especially encouraged to apply. Successful candidates will have strong written and oral communication skills and be able to work productively to bring research findings to publication in a timely fashion.

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resume/CV to Katherine Waye at Katherine.waye@bmc.org. Desired candidates will be requested to submit two references.

Questions regarding applying and benefits can refer to Katherine Waye, Katherine.waye@bmc.org.

Questions regarding the nature of the work can refer to Dr. Jennifer Carroll, jcarroll16@elon.edu.