“I’ve Been to Dwight”

Transnational Perspectives on Addiction, Temperance and Treatment
in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Dwight, Illinois; 14-17 July, 2016

“I’ve Been to Dwight,” is an off-year conference of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Leslie E. Keeley Company’s closure. It gathers historians and social scientists at the site of the company’s former headquarters to present and discuss new research on the history of addiction, temperance and treatment in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The conference considers the broad topic of “addiction” in a transnational, comparative, historical framework.

Download conference programme (PDF)

Schedule of Events

Thursday 14 July 2016

2:00-5:00 Registration

5:00 Greeting and Conference Opening

5:15-6:30 Keynote address
Prof. Sarah W. Tracy, Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma
“No One Can Eat Just One” — Food Addiction within the History of Alcohol and Drugs

6:30-8:30 Reception hosted by the First National Bank of Dwight

Friday 15 July 2016

9:00-9:30 Registration and refreshments

9:30 – 11:00 Panel 1 Addiction, governments and frontiers
Chair: Tim Hickman – Lancaster University, UK

Medicinal liquor sales and the health of the people: Liquor laws and pharmaceutical activism in two Canadian provinces
Dan Malleck – Brock University CA

Drugs, Smuggling, and Automated Borders: A Losing Battle of Escalation or State/Non-State Symbiosis
Andrae Marak – Governor’s State University Ill, USA

The junkie and the “pharmakon”: an ambiguous addiction (a case study in France, 1960s-1980s)
Alexandre Marchant – Lycée Lakanal, Sceaux, FR

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:45 Panel 2 Temperance and intemperance
Chair: Scott Martin – Bowling Green State University, USA

”Alcohol; a funny medicine” – scientific discourse on addiction addressed to children in the UK
Annemarie McAllister – University of Central Lancashire, UK

Not Your Grandmother’s WCTU: Untapped Resources in Temperance Research
Janet Olson – Northwestern University and Frances Willard House, USA

 “A victim of intemperance” – The Drunkard’s Story
Michele Rotunda – Union County College, USA

 12:45-1:45 Lunch
(with table displays from Janet Olsen, ‘Nearly Neighbors: Evanston and Dwight;’ Dave Trippel, ‘The evolution of the “Temperance Pledge” in the U.S. and Great Britain between 1800 and 1880;’ and Kim Drechsel’s ‘Keeley Collection’)

1:45-3:15 Panel 3 The Sober and the Sodden: Alcohol, Gender, and Respectability in the Nineteenth-Century South

Chair: William J. Rorabaugh – University of Washington, USA

From Whiskey to Beer: The Role of Alcohol in the American Civil War
Joseph Beilein, Jr. – Pennsylvania State University, Erie/Behrend, USA


Sobering Prospects?: Virtue, Vice, & Violence in Antebellum South Carolina

James Hill Welborn III – Georgia College and State University, USA

“She Was in the Habit of Drinking Stimulants…to excess”: Women, Alcoholism and Early Death in St. Louis, Missouri, 1875-1885
Sarah Lirley McCune – University of Missouri, USA

3:15-3.30 Coffee break

3:30- 5:00 Panel 4 Inebriety around the world

Chair: Annemarie McAllister – University of Central Lancashire, UK

“English-minded” and “Vernacular-minded’ Temperance in British India
Robert ‘Eric’ Colvard – Wayne State University, NE, USA

“Any form of treatment that might be speedily successful should be given a fair trial”: The Inquiry as to Certain Alleged Cures for Inebriety, Victoria, Australia, 1901-03
Caroline Clark – Victoria University, AUS

The Decolonization of Alcoholism
Charles Ambler – University of Texas, El Paso, USA

5.30 Special Event:
Tour of Dwight, ‘The Town Inebriety Made Famous.’ Hosted and led by the Dwight Historical Society.

Saturday 16 July 2016

9:00 – 10:45 Panel 5, Roundtable: Not for the Squeamish: Multi-, Inter-, and Trans-Disciplinary Approaches to Addiction and Gender

Moderator: Nancy Campbell – Dept. of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA

Michelle McClellan – Dept. of History, University of Michigan, USA

Jill Becker – Dept. of Psychology, University of Michigan, USA

Beth Glover Reed – Depts. of Social Work and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan, USA

M. Leora Bowden – University of Michigan Medical Center, USA

10:45 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Panel 6 Alcohol and Drugs- commonalities and interrelationships

Chair: Dan Mallek – Brock University, CA

“Articles of Common Use”: Alcohol, Drugs, and Intoxication in Early American Temperance Discourses
David Korostyshevsky – University of Minnesota, USA

“A hard lesson for temperance men”: Nineteenth-Century Americans and the Turn to Opiates
Elizabeth Kelly Gray – Towson University, USA

Brothers and Sisters of Temperance: The Washingtonians, Sons, and Daughters of Temperance in Norwalk and Sandusky, 1828-1889
Josh Steedman – University of Toledo, USA

 12.30-1.30 Lunch (with displays from Olsen, Trippel and Drechsel as before)

 1:30-3:00 Panel 7 Brothers, sisters and alcohol

Chair: Annemarie McAllister – University of Central Lancashire, UK

The Manly Medical Vision of Female Alcoholism in Modern Mexico, 1870-1920
Andrei Guadarrama – Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Mexico

Drinking for Health or Courting Addiction? Women and Tonic Wine in Late Victorian Britain’
Thora Hands – Strathclyde University, UK

“She Voted for King George”: Prohibition and the Corrupted Public Sphere in Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest
David Pratt – College of William and Mary, USA

3:00-3:15 Coffee break

3:15-4:45 Panel 8 Addiction and Activism: Lessons From the Grassroots

Chair: Scott Martin

Activism and the Ordinary Joe: Navigating the Crack Era Bronx
Michael J. Durfee – Niagara University, USA

Social Drinkers and “Killer Drunks:” MADD and the Uses of the Alcoholic
Colin Eager – SUNY, Buffalo, USA

“You’se a Viper”: Confronting Reefer Madness through Jazz, 1930-1940
Bob Beach – SUNY, Albany, USA

7.00 Conference dinner at The Country Mansion

Sunday 17 July 2016

9:00-11:00 Sunday Brunch

11:00-12:30 Panel 9: Taking the Cure

Chair: Tim Hickman – Lancaster University, UK

Alternative American alcohol treatment in Danish environments around the turn of the 19th century
Sidsel Eriksen – Copenhagen University, DK

A New Home on the Range: Addiction, Treatment, and Punishment at the Federal Narcotics Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, 1938-1971
Holly Karibo – Oklahoma State University, USA

Miracle Cure or Chemical Slavery? African American New Yorkers and Methadone, 1962-1977’
Kyle A. Bridge – University of Florida, USA 

Special Event: The AA Roundup

On Sunday afternoon, following the conference, the Village of Dwight will be hosting its own commemorative event to mark the Keeley anniversary—a recreation of the “AA Roundup,” which was a summer barbecue hosted jointly by the Keeley Company and Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1950s and 60s. There will be a variety of events and speakers with a great deal of historical interest. The town will open a time capsule placed at the 50th anniversary of the Keeley Company’s founding. Conference participants are cordially invited to attend!

 “I’ve Been to Dwight” programme committee

  • Timothy A. Hickman, Lancaster University, Chair and Conference Organizer.
  • Dan Malleck, Brock University
  • Scott Martin, Bowling Green State University
  • Annemarie McAllister, University of Central Lancashire
  • James Mills, Strathclyde University
  • William White, Chesnut Health Systems

The committee would also like to extend special thanks to Mary Flott, Frederick Strufe, the members of the Dwight Historical Society, Eric Stewart of the First National Bank of Dwight and Bob Ohlendorf and Ashley Maskel of the Country Mansion. Without their enthusiasm, hard work and support, this conference couldn’t have happened!