Alcohol has long been a major engine in civilization, both creative and destructive. This course focuses on the social and ethical issues surrounding the production, consumption, and regulation of alcohol. In this course we will study the social and scientific history of
alcohol, beginning with its early world history and focusing on the way that alcohol has shaped American Culture, from the social to the scientific and industrial. We will focus on alcohol’s historical and contemporary
production and consumption, as well as issues related to gender, professionalization, the industrial revolution, American prohibition, and government regulation. We will also look at the role that alcohol and our efforts to make it have influenced developments in science, from the spontaneous generation debates to
the development of thermodynamics.