Tea (book)

George van Driem, The tale of tea: a comprehensive history of tea from prehistoric times to the present day (Brill, 2019).

The Tale of Tea is the saga of globalisation. Tea gave birth to paper money, the Opium Wars and Hong Kong, triggered the Anglo-Dutch wars and the American war of independence, shaped the economies and military history of Táng and Sòng China and moulded Chinese art and culture. Whilst black tea dominates the global market today, such tea is a recent invention. No tea plantations existed in the world’s largest black tea producing countries, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, when the Dutch and the English went to war about tea in the 17th century. This book replaces popular myths about tea with recondite knowledge on the hidden origins and detailed history of today’s globalised beverage in its many modern guises.

Coffee (book)

A Rich and Tantalizing Brew: A History of How Coffee Connected the World
Jeanette M. Fregulia (University of Arkansas Press, 2019).

The history of coffee is much more than the tale of one luxury good—it is a lens through which to consider various strands of world history, from food and foodways to religion and economics and sociocultural dynamics.

A Rich and Tantalizing Brew traces the history of coffee from its cultivation and brewing first as a private pleasure in the highlands of Ethiopia and Yemen through its emergence as a sought-after public commodity served in coffeehouses first in the Muslim world, and then traveling across the Mediterranean to Italy, to other parts of Europe, and finally to India and the Americas. At each of these stops the brew gathered ardent aficionados and vocal critics, all the while reshaping patterns of socialization.

Cultures of Intoxication (conference at University College Dublin, 7-8 Feb. 2020)

Registration Open – Cultures of Intoxication: Contextualising Alcohol & Drug Use, Past & Present

Humanities Institute, University College Dublin, 7-8 February 2020

This conference will focus on the cultural meanings and contexts of alcohol and drug use, both past and present. It aims to assess how cultural norms and stereotypes around alcohol and drug use shape policies, practices, treatment and users’ experiences and behaviour. In particular, it seeks to consider how and why those of certain ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexuality and socio-economic background are deemed prone to excess while others are supposedly abstemious.

Papers will reflect on the following themes:

  • Defining “drinking culture” and “drug culture”
  • Attempts to change drinking/drug cultures
  • Ethnic, racial, gendered and socio-economic stereotypes/stigma of alcohol and drug use
  • Medical/policy/public perspectives on drug and alcohol use
  • Cultures of abstinence or excess
  • Hidden cultures, subcultures and countercultures
  • Culture-specific marketing and advertising
  • Alcohol and drugs tourism

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Geoffrey Hunt, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences – Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University

Dr Deborah Toner, School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester=

Supported by the Wellcome Trust

To register, please click here.


Please note, registration ends on 31 January 2020 and places are limited. For queries, please contact the organiser, Dr Alice Mauger: alice.mauger@ucd.ie


Cultures of Intoxication programme 2020