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Points Bibliography: Drugs Onstage, on Campus, and in National Discourse in U.S. History

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Editor’s Note:  These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

“Porgy and Bess” and the American Racial Imaginary, 1925–1985

Author: Noonan, Marie Ellen

Abstract: This dissertation traces the cultural history of the opera Porgy and Bess from its origins as a novel published in 1925 to a 1985 production at the Metropolitan Opera and subsequent entry into the standard repertory of American opera companies. Porgy and Bess was created by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, and Ira Gershwin and based on Heyward’s novel and 1927 play adaptation of that novel, both titled Porgy . First Heyward’s and later Gershwin’s insistence on employing African-American performers (rather than white performers in blackface makeup) in the stage versions of Porgy and Porgy and Bess , made these productions groundbreaking opportunities for African-American actors and singers to appear in serious roles before white critics and audiences. Their presence also insured that, in its novel and play versions, debut opera production in 1935, and revivals during the 1950s and 1970s, Porgy and Bess engendered a series of contests over the meaning of African-American racial authenticity and the politics of African-American cultural representation. This dissertation places Porgy and Bess in a broader history, stretching from the Harlem Renaissance to the post-Civil Rights Movement era, of the ways that the arena of cultural production has served as a site of struggle for African Americans seeking recognition of their human dignity and rights to full citizenship. With minimal influence over the artistic and financial means of mainstream cultural production in the performing arts for much of the twentieth century, African-American performers, intellectuals, and press commentators struggled to negotiate the opportunities available to them while challenging the representations—from pernicious to simplistic to obsolete—of African-American life and culture perpetuated through popular culture and the performing arts. Drawing on production and publicity materials, correspondence, and reviews and commentary in both mainstream white and African-American newspapers and periodicals, this dissertation explores the ways that, in successive generations, Porgy and Bess was remade by rapidly shifting attitudes about race and cultural representation. Within this remaking lies not merely the history of one opera but the history of ideas about race, culture, and nation in the twentieth-century United States.

Publication year: 2002

ISBN: 9780493631967, 0493631968

Advisor: Kelley, Robin D. G.

University/institution: New York University

The National Minimum Drinking Age Law and Student Alcohol Use: A Case Study of the University of Iowa Residence Halls, 1980-1995

Author: Reams, Angela Aileen

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation study was to critically examine college student alcohol use in the context of the microenvironment of residence halls, the transition of the national minimum legal drinking age, and the attitudes and experiences of University of Iowa students who lived on campus from 1980 to 1995. The following research questions guided this study: 1) What were the attitudes and experiences of students living in the University of Iowa residence halls before, during, and after the change in the national minimum legal drinking age? 2) What were the individual experiences of students in the residence halls, in particular their alcohol behaviors? 3) What were students’ attitudes towards policies and rules regarding alcohol? 4) How did non-residential students or staff members view student alcohol behaviors within the residence halls? 5) How might this information provide context and inform our understanding of the culture and environment we have on campus today? This study merged nested case study, historical methods, and oral history in order to address the research questions and best represent individual attitudes and experiences. Existing research on college student alcohol use and the influences of environment and peer groups, as well as the researcher’s own background, informed and framed the study. Qualitative data sources for this study included nineteen participants, who were students, staff members, or administrators during the 1980s and 1990s. Guided interviews combined with artifact analysis were employed. Four over-arching themes emerged as a result of participants’ attitudes and experiences provided during interviews: culture, residence halls, permissiveness, and sociability. Lessons learned include the importance of the culture and environment, the influence of residence halls norms, and the role of the university in shaping college student alcohol use. The national minimum legal drinking age transition seemed to affect few, if any, of my participants. My participants’ attitudes and experiences during the time period of 1980 to 1995 did not depend on what year my participant was on campus in relation to the national minimum legal drinking age as all my participants faced similar experiences throughout the years of my study. The time period on campus was not as significant in shaping experiences as was the culture that had developed over time.

Subject: Behavioral psychology; Higher Education Administration; Social psychology; Criminology; Higher education

Publication year: 2016

ISBN: 9781339983288

Advisor: Ogren, Christine A.

Committee members: Hevel, Michael S.; Pascarella, Ernest T.; Paulsen, Michael B.; Rocklin, Thomas R.

University/institution: The University of Iowa

Department: Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

Margaret “Marty” Mann’s Public Health Message: Transforming Drunkards into Deserving Patients, 1904-1980

Author: Roska, Claudia L.

Abstract: This study is a biographical history of Margaret “Marty” Mann a unique historical figure who transformed the discussion in America about alcohol in a way that changed public perceptions of people who drank to excess. Mann did not direct the science that established alcoholism as disease, she constructed alcoholism as a democratic disease that could affect anyone, and normalized the alcoholic patient as a person deserving of care. Mann’s work contributed to passage of national legislation creating the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the largest funder of alcohol research in the world, enacting her goal to increase knowledge and understanding of alcoholism and remove barriers to treatment for all afflicted. Mann’s groundbreaking contribution is a product of her life and her experience that brought attention to women with alcoholism and established sex and gender as important variables in alcohol research.

Subject: Biographies; American history; Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences; Alcoholism; Mann, Marty; Public health

Publication year: 2013

ISBN: 9781303150685

Advisor: Seligman, Amanda

Committee members: Anderson, Margo; Austin, Joe; Costello, Cary; Rodriguez, Joseph

University/institution: The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Department: Urban Studies


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