Author Archives: Taz.Karim

2013 ADTSG Recap

Dear ADTSG members,goodbye 2013

It is the end of January and I think it is finally safe to say that 2013 was a successful year for ADTSG. The website has been on a bit of a hiatus over the last few months since the AAA meetings due to final exams and the holidays, but we hope to be able to start updating more often. In this post, I want to recap on a few points from the AAA meetings and solicit some suggestions/help from our membership moving forward in in the new year.

AAA Roundtable: In 2012, ADTSG put out what must have been a record number of panels for the AAA meetings with excellent attendance. This year, we decided to try something different and organized a roundtable on public engagement with some of our very own experts in the field of drug studies: Helena Hansen, Mimi Nichter, Bryan Page, Will Garriott, Daniel Lende. Despite the Wednesday evening time slot, it was well attended and we generated some great questions for our participants both before the session and during the Q&A period. Thanks so much to everyone who made it out, and a special thanks to our participants, our moderator Roland Moore, as well as Shana Harris (and myself) for organizing this event. We are in the process of writing a round table review so look for that in the near future.

Communications: Once again, ADTSG made a strong impression during the SIG chairs meeting with new SMA president, Linda Garro. We continue to be at the forefront of leveraging digital technology, increasing visibility and growing our membership – but there is always room for improvement. In particular, we are interested in increasing our social media presence and determining the best way to facilitate discussions/collaboration among group members. Although this blog has been a great way for us to reach our membership, we are ready to explore new mechanisms to stimulate conversation between conferences. Part of addressing this might include developing a communications subcommittee who can brainstorm and implement such a plan of action. If you have any ideas or would like to spearhead something like this, please email me at

SMA Takes a Stand: As we discussed last year, the SMA is requesting all SIGs to create a public policy statement as part of the SMA Takes a Stand Program. We have tentatively selected the issue of the decriminalization/legalization of Marijuana. Bryan Page has agreed to take lead on this project but we would like to recruit at least 3-4 more members to help draft this statement. If you are interested in being involved in the process, please send me an email and I will put you all in touch.

AAA 2014 events: During the ADTSG business meeting, we began brainstorming ideas for AAA 2014. Some potential events included:

  • Organizing a poster session on the Anthropology of Drugs and public engagement (with contributions from graduate and undergraduate students)
  • A panel focusing on the role of professionals in the treatment of drug use
  • A panel or roundtable looking on how other fields are examining ADT issues and inviting experts already located in the D.C. area
  • A panel or posters examining ADT issues from across the four subfields of Anthropology
  • Teaming up with some of the other AAA sections/groups like the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Association for Politial and Legal Anthropology to co-sponsor an event

If you are interested in any or all of these proposals, or would like to help organize an event for the 2014 AAA, please contact me ASAP. It would be great to see a number of these come to fruition but we need your help to make it happen!

Graduate Student Paper Prize: Finally, we had a wonderful response to our annual graduate student paper prize this year. Our winner was Nayantara Sheoran for her paper, “Stratified Contraception: Imagined Cosmopolitanism versus Lived Tangibility of Emergency Contraceptive Pills in Contemporary India”. Our honorable mention was Marc Blainey for his paper, “Forbidden Therapy: Santo Daime & the Disputed Status of Entheogens in Western Society”. Thanks to Roland Moore, Shana Harris and Lee Hoffer for their hard work reading and offering feedback on these fantastic papers. We plan to offer this prize again this year so if you are interested in serving as a judge, please contact me for details.

As I close this post, I realize that there is a lot to be proud of – but there is even more we can do to make the most out of the networks and resources provided by this study group. In the coming weeks, I will be sending out some  systematic requests to the group for help on these and other projects. Also, if you have any announcements you would like us to post, please send them to the gmail account. Thanks again for your continued engagement with ADTSG – I look forward to hearing from you and exploring new ways to improve your member experience.

Taz Karim

Social gathering at the AAA meetings in Chicago

Dear ADTSGers,

T-minus two hours and fifty minutes until our highly anticipated roundtable:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013: 8:00 PM-9:45 PM
Grand Tradition (Chicago Hilton)

Please join us afterwards at George’s Cocktail Lounge located at 646 S Wabash Ave. We will be congregating in the lobby of the Hilton at 10pm to walk down together. Otherwise, we hope to see you there!

george's cocktail

George's cocktail lounge






As posted on YELP: The sign says it all!


2013 AAA Meetings in Chicago

Dear ADTSG members,

Its that time of year again and we are gearing up for the American Anthropological Association Meetings in Chicago. This year, we have put together a fantastic roundtable examining issues of public engagement in the Anthropology of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. It will take place on Wednesday evening, from 8:00 – 9:45 pm in the Chicago Hilton: Grand Tradition Room.


Our panelists include:

  • William Garriott (Drake University)
  • Helena Hansen (Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research)
  • Daniel Lende (University of South Florida)
  • Mark Nichter (University of Arizona)
  • Mimi Nichter (University of Arizona)
  • J. Bryan Page (University of Miami)

Roland Moore (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation) will be serving as moderator. We are still accepting questions in advance for the panelists (email to , but you will also have an opportunity to fill out question cards during the roundtable, as well as send in questions via twitter to the hashtag #ADTSG in real time. We envision this as a very open, lively conversation.

Afterwards, we invite you to join us for a social gathering to kick off the AAAs before the bars and restaurants get too crowded. We will be meeting in the lobby of the Chicago Hilton at 10 pm to venture together to a location that is to be determined. We will make sure to announce the location on our website and on twitter (@PharmaCulture) for those of you unable to attend the round table.

Our final event is our annual business meeting on Saturday evening, from 6:00 – 7:45 pm in the Chicago Hilton, McCormick Board Room. We will be discussing our progress over the last year and making plans for 2014. If you have never been to one of our meetings, we encourage you to attend! For more information about ADTSG at the AAA, visit our conferences page.


Taz Karim, Chair

SFAA 2014 Call for Papers – October 12, 2013

Silk Roads: Place and space in alcohol, tobacco and other drug use 

Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting Albuquerque, NM, March 18-22, 2014 

Co-organizers: Juliet P. Lee and Tazin Karim

silk roads

Space is an important element to consider in  the anthropology of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco. For example, electronic media are increasing our capacities to synchronically link across space. In this new landscape, individuals have carved out spaces to exchange ideas and experiences with Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Use. Some have even leveraged these technologies to exchange drugs themselves. How have traditional conceptions of “space” transformed in modern times in the context of drug use? What are the implications for research, education, and prevention? We invite papers that consider the issue of “place,” broadly conceived, as a frame of reference for drug users (clinics; neighborhoods; nationalities); or for drug use (settings; use contexts); as nodes or destinations in trans- or multi-local studies; de-centered or placeless spaces of consumption and exchange; or symbolic uses of place in drug studies.

Topics could include:

  1. Online drug forums
  2. Social media and drug use
  3. The transportation of drugs across borders
  4. Varying meanings of drugs across spaces
  5. Places of risk & pleasure
  6. The country and the city in drug use studies
  7. Drug use at the crossroads: “Intersectionality” in ATOD studies

Please send 250-word abstract to Juliet P. Lee ( by October 12, 2013

We will notify you of acceptance by October 14 so you will have time to submit individually if necessary. We look forward to your contributions!

Updating our roster

***Apologies if we have already bombarded you with these requests***attendance

Hello fellow ADTSG members,

The Society for Medical Anthropology has requested that we provide them with a list of active members list in our study group. Since we are no longer allowed to collect dues from our members, the size of this list will directly influence the amount of support we receive from the SMA which will fund things like our student paper prize and special interest group events.

Unfortunately, there is no efficient way to do this other than to humbly ask you to take a moment of your time and send an email to with your name, email address and affiliation (if any). Also, if you have friends or colleagues who would benefit from engaging with this group, please forward this message on to them.

Also, if you are subscribed to this blog, please take a moment to also send a breif bio to  so we can put you on our member’s profile page. Our goal is to leverage this website to help our membership connect and collaborate on research/writing.  We also hope it will serve as a set of resources for scholars interested in Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco studies.

Thanks in advance for your participation and please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve your experience as a member of our study group.

Warm regards,

Taz Karim, Chair
Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco Study Group
Society for Medical Anthropology

Graduate Student Paper Prize – Deadline extended

Deadline extended to September 8, 2013 @ 5pm

deadline-extendedThe Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology requests submissions for the best graduate student paper in the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, pharmaceuticals, tobacco or similar substances. Qualifying submissions will be judged by a committee of ADTSG members.  The author of the winning paper will receive a cash award of $100 and her or his name will be announced in Anthropology News and at the Society for Medical Anthropology awards ceremony at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November. Submissions from all anthropological sub-disciplines are encouraged.


  • No more than 9,000 words
  • 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


  • 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 should be formatted in the American Anthropologist style
  • Please submit an electronic copy to Tazin Karim, chair of ADTSG at
  • Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST, September 8, 2013 for full consideration

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

AAA 2013: Request for Roundtable Discussion Questions

The Alcohol, Drugs, & Tobacco Study Group of the Society for Medical Anthropology has organized a roundtable for the upcoming AAA meetings in Chicago.  The roundtable, “Looking Back, Moving Forward: Reflections on Public Engagement in the Anthropology of Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco,” will take place on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, at 8:00 pm – 9:45pm at the Chicago Hilton.

The roundtable will focus on the centrality of public engagement in the development of the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco (ADT).  Anthropologists of ADT have consistently contributed to projects, collaborations, and conversations marked by this type of commitment. Public engagement, however, has taken many shapes and held various meanings for anthropologists of ADT.  Panelists will discuss their previous projects, current engagements, and future research agendas in order to reflect on the various roles and manifestations of public engagement in the past, present, and future of the anthropology of ADT.  While addressing the specific themes of ADT, this roundtable also speaks to scholars working in the broader field of medical anthropology.  In recent years, the field has seen a marked increase in socially relevant and politically engaged scholarship. Now more than ever, medical anthropologists are consciously addressing real life problems and issues through their writing, speaking, and social activism and advocacy.  Many, particularly junior scholars, search for ways to reach beyond the academy to engage the public and exact social, political, and intellectual change.  This roundtable serves as a forum from which to discuss the ways in which we can shape our relationship with the public and our place within the public in the future.

The panel is organized by Shana Harris (National Development and Research Institutes) and Tazin Karim (Michigan State University), and is chaired by Roland Moore (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation). The roundtable participants are William Garriott (Drake University), Helena Hansen (New York University), Daniel Lende (University of South Florida), Mark Nichter (University of Arizona), and J. Bryan Page (University of Miami).

To help catalyze the discussion, we welcome any questions you have regarding alcohol, drugs, or tobacco research (past or future) that you would like this distinguished group of presenters to tackle.  Feel free to submit any questions prior to the conference to Roland Moore at .

Thank you!

Shana Harris, Taz Karim, and Roland Moore

Contemporary Drug Problems Conference – Aarhus University, August 21-23


Main theme

The last decade has seen the idea of complexity gain force in social science and epidemiological research. As social problems of all kinds prove less amenable to change than is sometimes suggested by the reductionist demands of orthodox positivist approaches, theory and method have turned to ways of articulating the elusive, uncertain and complex.

Continue reading

2013 ADTSG Graduate Student Paper Prize

The Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology requests submissions for the best graduate student paper in the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, pharmaceuticals, tobacco or similar substances. Qualifying submissions will be judged by a committee of ADTSG members.  The author of the winning paper will receive a cash award of $100 and her or his name will be announced in Anthropology News and at the Society for Medical Anthropology awards ceremony at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November. Submissions from all anthropological sub-disciplines are encouraged. Continue reading

New Volume: Addiction Trajectories (Eds. Eugene Raikhel & William Garriott)

We’re very pleased to announce the publication of this new edited volume on the anthropology of addiction.

 Addiction Trajectories
Eugene Raikhel & William Garriott, eds.
Duke University Press, 2013
Paperback: $25.95 ISBN: 978-0-8223-5364-5
Series: Experimental Futures

Download and read a free copy of the Introduction here: Continue reading