Author Archives: Shana.Harris

Student Profile: Katelynn Carlsen

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 Katelynn Carlsen, a M.A. student at the University of South Florida.

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

I originally chose to pursue a degree in anthropology because it can encompass pretty
much anything, and I had a wide range of interests. Throughout my undergraduate
degree, I honed my research interests down to medical anthropology and then further
down to mental health. My professor at California State University, Stanislaus, Dr. Ryan
Logan, was instrumental in shaping my research. I chose to pursue my master’s degree
in applied anthropology because I wanted to help address problems within the
biomedical system and the treatment of people with mental health problems.

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

Substance use is closely tied to other mental health problems. Anxiety and depression
are common comorbidities. I am interested in substance use partially because of this
overlap. Substance abuse can develop from substance use intended to mediate the
symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. In these cases, addressing the larger structural
or environmental issues that can lead to increased levels of anxiety or depression is
important. This is something that has always been really interesting to me. Substance
abuse also runs in my family and is something that has always been a part of my life, so
it was an area of research that I felt connected to.

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

Autism and substance abuse are also comorbidities. A future avenue of research would
examine the causes or cues associated with substance use in autistic people. It’s
possible that substance use is higher because of the ableist environment and attitudes
increasing anxiety and depression. This is an area of research I would like to explore
further. Currently, I am researching substance use cues in students at the University of
South Florida (USF).

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I plan to complete my MA at USF and pursue PhD in Applied Anthropology and an MA
in Public Health at USF. Afterwards, I want to work with nonprofits and harm reduction
programs to help people with substance problems and mental health issues.

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

ADTSG 2023 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 2023 AAA Annual Meeting in Toronto, 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.


  • Applicant must be currently enrolled in a graduate program
  • Applicant must be presenting a paper at the 2023 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 for instructions on how to join)


  • Submit your paper abstract, university affiliation, graduate program (M.A., Ph.D., etc.), and contact information (no additional materials are required) to Breanne Casper, Chair of ADTSG, at
  • Applications must be received by 5:00PM EST on August 1, 2023, for full consideration.

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

ADTSG 2023 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 2023. Submissions from all anthropological sub-disciplines are encouraged.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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
  • Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST on August 1, 2023, for full consideration.

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

CFP – The Mainstreaming of Psychedelic Usage (AAA 2023)


From Decriminalization to Professionalization: The Mainstreaming of Psychedelic Usage

A select few U.S. cities and/or states (e.g., Denver, Oregon, Seattle) have recently elected to decriminalize the use of psilocybin and are moving towards mainstreaming psychedelic-assisted treatment. This session welcomes thematic content that explores the transition from the decriminalization of psychedelics, its subsequent medicalization and professionalization, and its effects on caregivers, health providers, and communities at large.

Consider contributing a presentation for this session, which will be reviewed by the Association for the Anthropology of Consciousness. Please indicate interest by Tuesday, March 21, by contacting Nicole Torres at or Lisa Gezon at

CFP – Alcohol in Transition (AAA 2023)


Alcohol in Transition: Conflict and Encounter in our Social Worlds

Panel Co-Organizers: Christina Tekie Collins (Indiana University Bloomington, and Brandon D. Lundy (Kennesaw State University,

* Please send your title, affiliation and contact information, abstract (maximum of 3,500 characters including spaces), and 5-6 keywords by March 16, 2023, for consideration by email to the panel organizers. 

Panel Proposal Abstract

Alcohol, as a special class of food-drug, is a rich ethnographic object for the study of both unity and discord. Alcohol as a social lubricant, facilitator, and binder brings people and communities together around life events. However, drinking also often acts as a catalyst in the moments leading up to dispute and discord. Attitudes and actions surrounding the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcohol are sites of social, cultural, political, economic, religious, medical, and environmental tension. This panel explores how alcohol serves as a useful lens for exploring the socio-cultural processes of conflict and its reconciliation. Specifically, in line with this year’s theme, Transitions, we examine how conflict emerges through encounter-not in a causal, but liminal sense-the build-up, the bubbling, and the brewing before the bonding or blowout. 

What story does alcohol tell us about conflict, as a social process, in transition? The anthropological literature on alcohol either examines drinking as a cultural act that gives insight into our social worlds (Douglas 1987; Heath 2000) or emphasizes a public health perspective through research on intoxication, addiction, and other harmful drinking practices (Babor et al. 2023; Singer 2012). Hunt and Barker (2001) call for scholars to conceptually bridge this divide-arguably, a divide that arises from alcohol’s status as an embodied material culture that is simultaneously food and drug-or “food with difference” (Dietler 2006; Dietler and Herbich 2006, 398). As a food, alcohol indexes the richness of social life as a marker of cultural, linguistic, racial/ethnic, religious, political, gender, generational, and class identities; but, as a drug, alcohol’s psychoactive and intoxicating properties makes it a potent and paradoxical agent of social tradition, transformation, transgression, and trauma. Over the last two decades, several scholars have addressed this divide through the study of alcoholism and Alcohol Anonymous (AA) globally (Borovoy 2005; Christensen 2015, Raikhel 2016). However, how might an approach that more broadly interrogates the relationship between alcohol and conflict, in transition, further bridge such divergent conversations? 

From compulsion to addiction; conviviality to belligerence; legality to illegality; and indigenous production to commercialization, we invite papers that explore the relationship between alcohol and conflict. This may include research that examines transitional states of being (e.g., soberness to intoxication); mediations between material-spiritual realms (i.e., alcohol in religious ritual); regional, national, and/or global rivalries (e.g., corporate versus craft alcohol production); prohibition and resistance (e.g., informal brewing/distilling versus state regulation); alcohol as a symbol of repression or resistance; and the many other tensions arising from our everyday encounters with alcohol. Overall, we ask, in what ways does alcohol challenge our conception of conflict, in transition, or even transition, in conflict, to better understand our ever-changing, turbulent, social realities in an increasingly globalized world.  


Babor, Thomas F., Sally Casswell, Kathryn Graham, Taisia Huckle, Michael Livingston, Esa Österberg, Jürgen Rehm, Robin Room, Ingeborg Rossow, and Bundit Sornpaisarn. 2023. Alcohol: No ordinary commodity: Research and public policy. Third Edition. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 

Borovoy, Amy. 2005. The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependence, and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Christensen, Paul. 2015. Japan, Alcoholism, and Masculinity: Suffering Sobriety in Tokyo. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.  

Dietler, Michael. 2006. “Alcohol: Anthropological/Archaeological Perspectives,” Annual Review of Anthropology 35: 229-49. 

Dietler, Michael, and Ingrid Herbich. 2006. “Liquid Material Culture: Following the Flow of Beer Among the Luo of Kenya.” In Grundlegungen. Beiträge zur europäischen und afrikanischen Archäologie für Manfred K. H. Eggert,edited by Hans-Peter Wotzka, 395-407. Tübingen: Francke.  

Heath, Dwight. 2000. Drinking Occasions: Comparative Perspectives on Alcohol and Culture. New York: Routledge.  

Hunt, Geoffrey, and Judith C. Barker. 2001. “Socio-cultural anthropology and alcohol and drug research: Towards a unified theory.” Social Science & Medicine 53(2): 165-88.  

Raikhel, Eugene. 2016. Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 

Singer, Merrill. 2012. “Anthropology and addiction: An historical review.” Addiction 107(10): 1747-55.

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!

Student Profile: Karlie Tessmer

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 Karlie Tessmer, a M.A. student at Simon Fraser University.

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

I chose to study anthropology because of the methods that are employed by anthropology. I am particularly drawn to ethnography and the ability to provide voice to those who are often unheard, misjudged, and silenced. Ethnography allows researchers to provide an accessible outlet for our interlocutors to share their stories while also giving space for the larger contexts and social situations our participants face. Anthropology as a discipline enables me to learn about the interconnections between people and how those people function within a given community.

How does your work overlap with alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research? 

Currently my research examines what “support” means in supportive housing in 2nd stage transitional housing in the lower mainland of Vancouver. My work overlaps with alcohol, drugs, and tobacco as my research site is a harm reduction building, and many of the women I work with either have or had issues with substance use. While my work does not specifically focus on how alcohol, drugs, and tobacco impact the women, these substances play an important role in the overall lived experiences of my interlocutors. In addition, their substance use or recovery of substance use informs what types of support they might need and/or expect to receive as they move through the housing continuum.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

Following my graduate program, I hope to gain employment as a social planner with the City of Vancouver. I am particularly interested in working in areas such as housing/homelessness, family programming, and harm reduction.

How do you foresee harm reduction informing your future work?

I see harm reduction being a core element in my future work as a social planner, especially because I am focused on Vancouver’s housing crisis. In the lower mainland of Vancouver, a disproportionate number of people who are either houseless or underhoused also suffer from substance use issues. Harm reduction – particularly in relation to Housing First approaches – will be an important component to working with this population if my work is to have any meaningful impact. I hope to carry forward my learnings of harm reduction as a way to advocate for Housing First approaches rather than the Continuum of Care, which is Vancouver’s current housing model. 

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

UCSF Postdoctoral Fellowship – Opioid Industry Documents Research and Community Data Engagement

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is looking for a Postdoctoral Fellow (1 year duration, with potential for renewal for up to 3 years) to assist with research development and community engagement within the recently launched University of California-Johns Hopkins University (UCSF-JHU) Opioid Industry Documents Archive. Fellowships typically start July 1, 2023 but dates are flexible.

The UCSF-JHU Opioid Industry Documents Archive (OIDA), established in Spring 2021, is a digital collection of publicly disclosed opioid litigation materials. The Archive contains emails, memos, presentations, sales reports, training materials, budgets, audit reports, meeting agendas and minutes, expert witness reports, and depositions of pharmaceutical industry executives. The Archive provides a freely accessible digital resource for use by researchers, journalists, policymakers, and the public. The Archive provides an unparalleled opportunity to investigate scientific, legal, regulatory, and marketing questions, and apply computational as well as other diverse analytic methods, to generate fundamental new knowledge about the origins of the epidemic, and to inform changes to policies and practice to prevent future harms.

The UCSF OIDA Postdoctoral Fellow will pursue original, publishable research using materials housed in OIDA and work closely with the archive research team to enhance the accessibility and usability of archival materials for a diverse array of communities, with a particular focus on racial and health equity. The fellows will take a leadership role in developing an effective organizational structure of the large volume of diverse materials housed in OIDA to facilitate a wide range of multi-disciplinary research endeavors. Fellows will work on a multidisciplinary team including faculty, other postdoctoral fellows and research assistants. Fellows will be mentored by and work closely with researchers and information specialists leading this work at UCSF. Fellows will be based at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education and participate fully in the fellowship program. Fellows will also be affiliated with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine.


Fellows should be well-versed in the history and social context of the ongoing harms associated with opioids —which has become known as the “opioid overdose epidemic” in the US, and/or be knowledgeable about research in related areas, such as the history, regulation, and impact of the pharmaceutical, tobacco, or food industries; agnotology; and the commercial determinants of health. We especially welcome applicants with training in social inequities, racism, perspectives on intersecting identities and society, and political economy. Scholars with relevant prior publications and/or dissertation research are encouraged to apply. Fellows should also be familiar with methods in digital and computational humanities, and means of using digital platforms to build research communities and enhance dissemination and engagement. Fellows should be innovative scholars with excellent research, communication, and organizational skills; be comfortable working on multiple projects in a dynamic research setting; and, have interest in helping work with many parties to build an important and accessible field of research.

Applicants with doctoral degrees in areas such as anthropology, sociology, history, history of medicine, information studies, political science, public health, health policy, nursing, American studies, and related fields with experience or interest in the digital humanities are eligible to apply. Dual degree trained scholars and health care providers, and interdisciplinary scholars are welcome.

Application Instructions

Fellowship application:

Questions about this position can be addressed to Kathleen Franklin,

New SIG: Health Professions Education Special Interest Group

The Executive Board of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) approved the proposal for the Health Professions Education Special Interest Group. (SMA HPE SIG) on November 11!    

A formal organization within the AAA and SMA is a positive step in guiding and supporting the value of anthropology in medical education. To be inclusive, people from all countries of the world are welcome to join: students, health practitioners, university professors, and those interested in influencing health professions with anthropology perspectives, methods, and information. Members do not need to be a member of the AAA or SMA. 

If you haven’t already joined, you are invited to become a member in support of the SIG’s mission:  “To support anthropologists in making a positive and lasting impact on medical and health professions education by creating an organizational space that nurture’s healthy professional identity, promoting lifelong career advancement, and serve as a representative voice for anthropology among the health professions and the public.”  


1. Create a professional organizational space for anthropologists and those interested in medical and health professions education to continue their affiliation with the discipline of anthropology. 

2. Enhance education and training for the teaching of anthropological perspectives to medical and health professionals on the continuum from undergraduate education to professional development.  

3. Share resources on related education research, training, career opportunities, and policy matters.  

4. Affiliate with organizations to collaborate on mutual topics and priorities. 

5. Provide direction and guidance for representatives of anthropology in professional health organizations, accrediting bodies, etc.  

6. Maintain a recognized professional organizational voice on educational and public policy issues.  

7. Advocate the presence of anthropological perspectives on professional school entrance examinations, certifications, and licensing examinations. 

8. Formalize the representation of anthropologists on medical and health professional boards, committees, and special initiatives at the local, state, national, and international levels. 

9. Recommend curriculum for anthropology graduate programs training students for careers in medicine and the health professions. 

10. Promote the representation of anthropologists on accreditation bodies to legitimize the employment of anthropologists in medical and health professions teaching roles. 

To join the SMA Health Professions SIG sign-up using this Google form:

Within two months of SMA approval, 140 individuals signed-up from a wide array of countries and health professions willing to make this a vibrant and productive Interest Group. 

The SIG is now beginning to build the organizational foundation in guiding and supporting the value of anthropology in the health professions.  To facilitate their dialogs, a listserv is now active, and additional communications media are being initiated. And, if you complete the sign-up form above, you will be invited to join the HPE listserv. 

Ph.D. Research Fellowship – VID Specialized University, Oslo, Norway

Announcing an amazing opportunity for a 3-year vacancy as a Ph.D. Research Fellow! This is part of the project “Human Rights in Opioid Substitution Treatment” at VID Specialized University in Oslo, Norway, with funding provided by the Foundation Dam. The Fellow will be included in the research group Human Rights and Social Harms (HUMANHARM).

Required qualifications and skills:

1. Master’s degree in anthropology, law, sociology of law, social work or another relevant discipline

2. The grade on the master’s thesis and the weighted average grade for the master’s degree must normally both amount to at least a B in order to be considered

3. Experience with qualitative methods, preferably semi-structured interviews and/or textual analysis

4. Excellent written and oral presentation skills in English and a basic knowledge Norwegian (Scandinavian) is needed to undertake data collection

5. Ability to work purposefully and independently

Application deadline: 21 January 2023            

Start date: 1 June 2023 or by specific agreement

Applicants who would like more information about the position can contact Dr. Aleksandra Bartoszko by email:

For more information and to apply for the position: