Spring 2024 History GU4588 section 001



Call Number 11652
Day & Time
T 10:10am-12:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required Instructor
Instructor Samuel K Jr Roberts
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

Note: Admission to this course is by application only.  Please use the form found in the SSOL course message.

Through a series of secondary- and primary-source readings, digital archive research, and writing assignments, we will explore the history of harm reduction from its origins in syringe exchange, health education, and condom distribution, to the current moment of decriminalization, safe consumption politics, and medically assisted treatment (MAT). At the same time, we will think about how harm reduction perspectives challenge us to rethink the histories and historiography of substance use, sexuality, health, and research science. Along with harm reduction theory and philosophy, relevant concepts and themes include syndemic and other epidemiological concepts theory; structural inequities (structural violence, structural racism); medicalization; biomedicalization; racialization; gender theory and queer theory; mass incarceration, hyperpolicing, and the carceral state; the “housing first” approach; political and other subjectivities; and historical constructions of “addiction”/“addicts”, rehabilitation/recovery, what are “drugs,” and the “(brain) disease model”/NIDA paradigm of addiction. 

Readings are multidisciplinary and include works in history, epidemiology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and other disciplines, and the syllabus will include at least one field trip to a harm reduction organization. Students will complete a short research project.

There are no official prerequisites. However, students should have some academic or professional background in public health, African-American/ethnic studies history or social science, and/or some other work related to the course material. 

Admission to this course is by application only. Please use the form found in the SSOL course message. Students may not enroll in this course on a pass/fail basis or as an auditor without instructor permission. 

Student assessment will be based on various criteria:
Class discussion participation - 35%
Presentation of the readings - 15%
Writing assignments - 50%

Web Site Vergil
Department History
Enrollment 13 students (15 max) as of 6:07PM Monday, July 22, 2024
Subject History
Number GU4588
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Note Add to waitlist & see instructions on SSOL
Section key 20241HIST4588W001