From Beer to Fraternity: Alcohol, Society, and Culture in North America

Module code: HS2359

This module surveys the social and cultural history of drinking in modern American society, and considers how the historical and cross-cultural study of drinking can add to contemporary debates surrounding alcohol consumption. Areas examined in the module include patterns and contexts of consumption; alcohol and the economy; the role of drinking in the formation of gender, class, and racial identities; the institutionalisation of medicine; and the development of popular cultures of drinking. Students will also examine the origins, strategies, and outcomes of the various campaigns that have tried to regulate and prohibit alcohol consumption in American society. The module draws on a wide range of primary and secondary sources to approach the subject of drinking from an interdisciplinary perspective, which will encourage students to engage with alcohol-related issues currently in the media and government spotlight and to place America’s history of alcohol in a broader historical context.