Drinking Studies Network Conference 2018:

Changing Drinking Cultures

College Court, University of Leicester, 3rd & 4th February 2018

Since its foundation in 2010 the Drinking Studies Network has gone from strength to strength, and now boasts over 200 members worldwide. In response to this growth in membership we introduced a number of ‘Research Clusters’ within the DSN in 2015 to help facilitate focused conversations around particular themes within the field of drinking studies. At the same time, we did not want to sacrifice the DSN’s capacity to bring together scholars from across the network to have a collective, interdisciplinary, over-arching conversation about the big questions that unite us as a field. Our third major two-day conference, supported by an Alcohol Research UK Network Development Grant, provides an opportunity for us to come back together as a network and participate once more in a collective conversation.

The focus of that conversation will be two interlinked questions that lie at the heart of drinking studies: how and why do drinking cultures change?

We invite contributions engaging with these questions from any scholarly discipline or background, focused on any society past or present. Papers could consider, but are not limited to, the following issues:
– what, or who, drives cultural change?

– who wants to change drinking cultures, and why?
– what are the relative roles of policy, the industry, and consumers in driving change?
– what methodologies allow us to identify changes in drinking cultures?
– can we ‘measure’ change, and if so how?
– what are the merits of quantitative and/or qualitative approaches to understanding change? – how and why do discourses about drinking change?
– how and why do drinking practices change?
– how can comparative approaches enhance our understandings of change?
– can we identify particular moments of dramatic change in drinking cultures?
– is it the role of scholars to try to bring about change, or simply to understand it?

Papers will be 20 minutes in length. Panel proposals (3 papers) are welcome. In the interests of the event functioning as a collective conversation we will follow our long standing policy of not running parallel sessions. This means that the number of papers will be restricted. Priority will go to those proposals that most explicitly – and most interestingly – address the conference theme. We welcome proposals from beyond our current membership: email drinkingstudies@gmail.com to join the DSN (this is free) to become eligible.

The DSN is keen to encourage participation by postgraduates, early career scholars, independent scholars, and those working outside of academia. We will endeavour to keep the price of attending low: the budget is yet to be finalised but we would anticipate an ‘all inclusive’ fee in the region £120 to cover all lunches, teas/coffees, a conference dinner, and one night’s B&B accommodation (but not alcohol). There will be a number of places reserved for postgrads/early career/non-salaried at a lower rate.

Proposals should be of no more than 250 words, accompanied by short biography of no more than 100 words, and sent to Deborah Toner – dt151@leicester.ac.uk – by Friday 15th September.