Drug War Capitalism (book, author interview)

Author and journalist Dawn Paley presents a thesis that the drug war “enables global capitalist expansion through enclosure.” “…how elites collude across borders for their own benefit at the expense of their populations.” (quotes by interviewer Andrew Smolski, a sociologist and writer).

Narcoepics (book)

Hermann Herlinghaus, Narcoepics: A Global Aesthetics of Sobriety (London and New York: Continuum, forthcoming 2012).

Dealing with literary works and films whose characteristics are linked to illicit global exchange, informal labor, violence, “bare life,” drug consumption, and ritualistic patterns of identity, this book argues for a new theoretical approach to better understand these “narratives of intoxication.”

Foregrounding the art that has arisen from or seeks to describe drug culture, Herlinghaus’ comparative study looks at writers such as Gutiérrez, J. J. Rodríguez, Reverte, films such as City of God, and the narratives surrounding cultural villains/heroes such as Pablo Escobar. Narcoepics shows that that in order to grasp the aesthetic and ethical core of these narratives it is pivotal, first, to develop an “aesthetics of sobriety.”

The aim is to establish a criteria for a  new kind of literary studies, in which cultural hermeneutics plays as much a part as political philosophy, analysis of religion, and neurophysiological inquiry.

Table of Contents

Introduction / 1. Aesthetics of Sobriety: Approximating Narratives from the Hemispheric South / 2. Genealogical Origins of the Narco-Novel: Nefarious Territories Beyond Confession / 3. A Hundred Plateaus: Wandering Delinquents Exposed to Globalization / 4. Big Criminals and Scapegoats: Pablo Escobar and the Titans of Delirium / 5. Female Outcasts Unbound: “Queens of the South” Far from Modernity / 6. Hemispheric Counter-Almanacs: A No-Man’s Land of Introspection / Bibliography

Hermann Herlinghaus is Professor of Latin American Literatures in the Institute of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and International Adjunct Professor of Latin American Literatures and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He is the author or editor of a dozen books in English, Spanisch, and German including Violence Without Guilt: Ethical Narratives from the Global South (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and Renarración y Descentramiento: Mapas Alternativos de la Imaginación en América Latina (Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2004).

(taken from publisher’s description of the book)

Drink, sobriety and transnational/global history: Switzerland, South America, and Bulgaria

Sönke Bauck/Francesco Spöring (Zürich): The Global Anti-Alcohol Movement, c.
1870-1940: Perspectives from Switzerland and South America [apparently also colonial Africa]

Nikolay Kamenov (Zürich/Berlin): Global Context/Local Application: Case
study of the anti-alcohol movement in Bulgaria: 1890-1940  [See also his thesis in progress, “Sober contemporaries – the Bulgarian temperance movement, 1890-1940”

At Global History. Connected Histories or a History of Connections? Spring
School. London: Antje Flüchter / Roland Wenzlhuemer, Cluster of Excellence
“Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, Heidelberg University; Ulf Engel,
Graduate School “Critical Junctures of Globalization” and Research Academy,
University of Leipzig; Matthias Middel, 11.04.2011-14.04.2011

Changing coffee market, with Brazil the largest consumer and not just producer of coffee

According to the Financial Times, the consumption of coffee in traditional markets has reached a plateau, but it is growing rapidly elsewhere, including in Asia where consumers are switching from tea.  Coffee-producers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have been known for low quality coffee drunk by local people, with the good stuff exported.  Quality is improving in the domestic market in coffee-producing countries.  And by next year Brazil will be the largest consumer of coffee in the world.