Author Archives: Shana.Harris

Reminder: ADTSG Awards

Don’t forget that the ADTSG Awards applications are due on August 15!! This year we are giving out three awards: Graduate Student Travel Award, Graduate Student Paper Prize, and Contingent Faculty Travel Award.

For more information about the awards:

We look forward to your submissions!

Student Profile: Jorge Mancillas

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 them a series of questions related to their background and career aspirations in this field.

In this installment, we are profiling Jorge Mancillas, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Why did you choose to use anthropological theory and methods in your research

The anthropological approach of ethnography was the best way to descriptively and theoretically broach topics that involve communities and individuals I’ve been close to most of my life. I turned to the anthropological literature to negotiate with the “insider/outsider” dilemma, how one’s positionality as an ethnographer as an “insider” or “outsider—or a combination of both—affects the research process. In social science the research process is ostensibly unbiased and apolitical, but the research question is not, so that is why I chose to follow methodological principles from anthropologists such as Diego Vigil, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, and Philippe Bourgois among many others who study urban violence, substance use, incarceration, and so on, and address their positionality in relation to the participants and community they’re studying and the impact of their research.

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

Right now, my research is focused on trauma in relation to gangs, and alcohol, drugs and tobacco are part of their larger obdurate context—there is a liquor store on almost every corner of the neighborhoods where there are gangs. The research on alcohol, drugs, and tobacco shows that substance use disorders disproportionately affect low-income communities of color, so I’m interested in building on existing research to study the ways in which alcohol, drugs, and tobacco are used as a form of self-medication amongst gang members to cope with traumatic loss.

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

Rehabilitation programs are not as accessible as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco are in low-income communities of color, so my future research plans are to foreground this disparity and advocate for policy that is constructive rather than criminalizing. Policy has more often criminalized addiction and catalyzed cycles of incarceration that ultimately decimated the communities that the policies purport to support. This is most obvious if one looks at the legacy of the “war on drugs”. Any future research I plan to do must, therefore, include the historical impact of the criminalization of addiction and substance use disorders in order to influence policy that is beneficial for the communities that are most affected.

What do you hope to do following your dissertation defense?

Sleep. Following that, I hope to stay in academia and do work that allows me to shape public policy discourse on the issues I care about.

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

ADTSG 2022 Contingent Faculty 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 2022 AAA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington. An award of $100 will be given to a contingent faculty member (adjunct, instructor, postdoc, or similar non-tenure positions) presenting a paper at the conference that engages questions related to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other psychoactive substance use. This is ADTSG’s Contingent Faculty Travel Award, to be offered once every two years. The award will be rewarded on a competitive basis and reviewed by a committee comprised of ADTSG members.

QUALIFYING CRITERIA

  • Applicant must be a contingent faculty member (adjunct, instructor, post-doc, or similar non-tenure position)
  • Applicant must be presenting a paper at the 2022 AAA Annual Meeting (this award is open to both online and in-person attendees)
  • 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, position, and contact information (no additional materials are required) to Breanne Casper, Chair of ADTSG, at casperb@usf.edu
  • Applications must be received by 5:00PM EST on August 15, 2022, for full consideration.

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

ADTSG 2022 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 their name will be announced at the Society for Medical Anthropology awards ceremony at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November 2022. 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 the 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 the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Please submit via email to Breanne Casper, Chair of ADTSG, at casperb@usf.edu.
  • Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST on August 15, 2022, for full consideration.

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

ADTSG 2022 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 2022 AAA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.  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 2022 AAA Annual Meeting (this award is open to both online and in-person attendees)
  • 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 Breanne Casper, Chair of ADTSG, at casperb@usf.edu.
  • Applications must be received by 5:00PM EST on August 15, 2022, for full consideration.

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

Student Profile: Lauren Textor

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 them a series of questions related to their background and career aspirations in this field.

In this installment, we are profiling Lauren Textor, a M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

I love meeting and building relationships with people I wouldn’t have the opportunity to deeply engage with unless I were doing fieldwork. I started studying anthropology as an undergraduate because I liked that meeting people, talking and engaging with them, was considered a legitimate way to understand the world. To me anthropology is a tool for understanding not just what is happening in a particular moment in a particular place, but how it happensIt’s one tool for asking questions about how injustices keep happening and how another way might be possible. 

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

Examining drugs, drug policies, and their on-the-ground effects provides insight into how a nation-state defines and governs pain and pleasure, care and addiction, and even citizenship. I got into studying opioids because I was training to be a physician, and I was observing violence carried out in the name of health care. My patients in pain were abandoned and punished by medical teams the moment they were deemed undeserving. I wanted to understand what was going on in this moment of “opioid crisis” that was deeply impacting health care but that I wasn’t really learning about in medical school. I wanted to better understand the role that biomedicine plays in shaping drug policy and how drug law enforcement shapes medical care. 

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

I want to keep pursuing drug research that helps to inform policy reform and advocacy. I also want to keep building on collaborations so that the anthropology of drugs is interconnected with research on housing justice, decarceration, and political economy. A big, persistent problem is that most health care providers cannot recognize the ways that health care and biomedical knowledge reproduce and sometimes worsen health disparities. So even when policy reforms attempt to increase access to health care and to something like addiction treatment, these reforms fall woefully short of providing meaningful care for people. At the policy level, we need new ways of imagining the meaning of care. That means asking the experts: people who use drugs, those who have been incarcerated, those who have lived unhoused, harm reductionists, and community organizers who have been practicing care for one another in the face of organized state abandonment for a long time. 

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I am going back to finish medical school this year and am applying to residency.

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

NYU Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

The Behavioral Science Training in Drug Abuse Research (BST) Program in the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University is offering predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships to support behavioral scientists (including anthropologists) studying drug use and related topics!

Check out the below links for more information!

ADTSG Business Meeting

How to Maximise Your Virtual Communications For Effective Team Meetings -  Corporate Vision Magazine

The virtual Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group Business Meeting will be held on Monday, November 1, from 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST. All interested in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research are welcome to attend!

Please email ADTSG Chair Breanne Casper at casperb@usf.edu for the meeting link.

Graduate Student Travel Award Winner: Joshua Falcon

Congratulations to ADTSG’s 2021 Graduate Student Travel Award Winner, Joshua Falcon!

Joshua will be presenting a paper entitled “Psychedelics as Technologies of the Self: An Ethnographic and Netnographic Study on the Relationship Between Psilocybin Experiences and Subjectivity” at this year’s American Anthropological Association conference. 

Read on to learn more about Joshua’s research. 

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

As someone who has always appreciated distinct forms knowledge and learning through different modalities, my interest in anthropology came about as a natural fit. My early academic pursuits in both philosophy and religious studies were what initially spurred my curiosity of other ways of knowing and being in the world; however, my decision to become an anthropologist came about by recognizing that different societies and people perceive, live, and understand the world in innumerable ways. Anthropology also attracted my interest given that, as a discipline, it tends to ground the researcher through social engagements that help keep one out of the confines of ivory tower thinking and hubris. 

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

My work maintains affinities with alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research insofar as I engage directly with topics such as drug politics, the War on Drugs, the phenomenology of drug use, and the physiological effects of drugs. I feel that it is important to further research on drugs due to the history of stigmatization and illegalization of drugs that has led to innumerable socioenvironmental atrocities. 

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

I feel that my research falls within the scope of ADTSG since my work involves ongoing research on psychedelic drug use in Miami, Florida, and the wider United States. My current project involves conducting 40 semi-structured interviews with individuals from Miami, Florida, while it also includes an analysis of 100 experience reports posted on online forums. The Source Research Foundation for psychedelic research helped to fund my project and serves as a valuable source of support for others researching similar topics.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

Once I graduate, I plan to teach at a university as a full-time professor. Ideally, I would teach classes that center on human-environment relations, psychedelic drugs and culture, and critical posthumanism, to name a few areas of interest. Given that jobs in the social sciences at universities are becoming increasingly competitive and scarce, I am prepared to work in a more applied environment that hopefully allows me to use my knowledge about drugs to help change oppressive policies while educating people about drugs.