Drugs and the Senses in Popular Culture : An Ambiguous Relationship.
Drug taking is often a question of alteration of the senses, popularized in popular culture or addicts subcultures… Some texts, from chemists (Hoffmann, Schulgin) to militants of counter-culture, have described the effects of drugs on mind or senses; some musical movements have put the emphasis on drugs and related modifications of senses: psychedelic rock, punk rock, techno music … Meanwhile some films tried to depict the experience of drug taking through a sensorial experience like Darren Arnofsky in Requiem for a dream (2000)… Ways of describing or staging the use of psychotropics are numerous in Literature or Arts.
History of drugs in contemporary society can actually be readdressed from the side of the senses, using popular culture and subcultures as materials. How can we describe what is unspeakable ? What are the roles of the senses (vision, sound, touch, other…) in the depiction of the altered or parallel universes created by the drug ingestion? But the opening of the doors of perception, based upon the democratization of the access to psychotropic substances in the last century, had also an impact on social imaginary. How can we measure and study this link ? What are his effects on our own perception of the world, passed through popular culture ?
Expected papers must address these issues, with no restriction of cultural or geographical frames. But contributions on the contemporary period (XIXth-XXth centuries) will be appreciated. Papers should address the field of sociology, history, anthropology or even any interdisciplinary perspective in humanities.