HIS 4306 Alcohol and History                    Professor Geoffrey J. Giles

Fifty Possible Research Paper Topics

Cultural Aspects

1) The national specificity of drinking customs
2) Shared drinking customs of pre-industrial/agricultural populations
3) Regional differences in drinking habits within a country
4) Alcohol and the arts
5) Satire against alcohol in the graphic arts of the 18th and 19th centuries
6) The development of advertising for alcoholic beverages
7) The portrayal of alcohol and drinkers in literature
8) The use of alcohol by artists and writers
9) Alcohol, temperance and youth groups (e.g. Boy Scouts)
10) School campaigns against drinking and smoking
Political aspects

                    11) Governmental measures to curb excessive drinking
                    12) Alcohol taxation since 1800
                    13) Attitudes of political parties to the alcohol question
                    14) The socialist anti-spirits campaign in Europe
                    15) The effect of individual temperance and abstinence organizations
                    16) The role of the churches in the fight against alcoholism
                    17) Alcoholism within the political elite
                    18) The function of alcohol in diplomatic life
                    19) The regulation of alcohol consumption in wartime
                    20) The practice of election bribery with drink

Legal aspects

21) Drunkenness: the transition from sin to crime
22) The practice of the courts with offenses involving drunkenness
23) The development of the law on alcohol-related traffic accidents
24) Treatment by police of offenders from different classes in cases involving drunkenness
25) The debates about punishment vs. treatment for criminal alcoholics?
26) "I didn't know what I was doing!" Drunkenness as an extenuating circumstance
27) Categorization of alcoholics by the Nazis as "asocials"
28) Excessive drinking by concentration camp guards in Nazi Germany
29) Control of bars through restricted granting of licenses
30) The role of the factory inspectorate in the alcohol question
Social aspects 31) The class-specific nature of drinking customs and different kinds of alcoholic beverage
32) Student drinking customs
33) Attitudes toward drinking in the military
34) Alcohol use by women
35) Alcohol use in the working class
36) Alcohol use by white-collar workers
37) Alcohol use in the upper classes
38) The relationship between industrialization and alcohol use
39) The question of social control through alcohol
40) The bar, tavern or pub as community center
Medical aspects 41) The development of medical knowledge concerning alcoholism
42) Medicine and the state in the debate on alcoholism as crime or disease
43) Racial theories concerning the "inferiority" of alcoholics (notably of the Nazis)
44) Welfare organizations for alcoholics
45) The role of "Alcoholics Anonymous"
46) The use of alcoholic beverages in hospitals
47) Popular perceptions on the benefits of drinking beer, wine and spirits
48) The marketing and use of allegedly healthful "tonic wines" in various countries
49) Pregnancy and alcohol: theories and practice
50) Alcohol, sports and sports medicine