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Book Launch: The Pharmakon: Concept Figure, Image of Transgression, Poetic Practice

When Jun 06, 2018
from 05:30 PM to 06:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar room
Contact Name
Contact Phone + 49 (0) 761 203-97404
Attendees Universitätsoffen / Open to university members
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Book Launch

The Pharmakon: Concept Figure, Image of Transgression, Poetic Practice

Hermann Herlinghaus (ed.)


The ancient Greek semantic of “pharmakon” comprises at least three meanings – denoting a medicine, a poison and/or a magic potion. This helps to uncover a non-dogmatic meaning of “drugs.” A millenarian cultural history testifies to the ongoing need of communities and societies to actively use and deal with “pharmaka,” prominently including mind-altering substances. However, Western modernity has complicated an unbiased approach to the pharmacological aspects of historical and social life by aggressively multiplying, and later restricting psychoactive substances. The present volume questions a logic of good vs. bad drugs as it discusses a wide semantic spectrum – the cultural, anthropological, aesthetic and poetological scope of the “pharmakon.” In order to critically resituate the concept, the book offers a glance into compelling scenarios , European, North American, Latin American, Transatlantic, and fascinating transdisciplinary perspectives.


With contributions from Nancy Campbell