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Geisteswissenschaftliches Kolloquium "Hermann Herlinghaus (Freiburg): On the Psychoactive Predicament of Western Modernity"

When Feb 03, 2014
from 12:15 PM to 01:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, large room
Contact Name
Contact Phone 0761 203 97362
Attendees universitätsoffen
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My talk traces a framework that points to the role that narcotic plants from the New World have played, across centuries, in the transatlantic formation of a Western modernity. In doing so, it pleads for a perspective able to resituate the notions of psychoactive substances/narcotics and intoxication/“Rausch“ (which are not the same), beyond current prejudices, or stigmatization. Historical, and pharmaceutical memory can teach us about a contradictory process, in which there existed, first, a „psychoactive revolution“ (from the 17th to the 19th centuries), before a selective „psychoactive repression“ set in at the beginning of the 20th century. By „psychoactive predicament,“ we address a contemporary dynamic, in modern culture, by which the formative role of large-scale, psychoactive stimulation is both repressed and played out in terms of artistic work, life styles, and practices of medicalization.