History 403C (101) Seminar in International Relations, Global History of Cocaine




Course Level



This course explores the myths, morals and make-up of global cocaine culture, beginning with the socio-historical divisions between cocaine and the coca plant, Erythroxylum coca. We will follow cocaine from its humble origins in the Andes Mountains through a vast matrix of biogeographical, socio-political and artistic configurations, all the while asking what kinds of political, cultural and ecological conditions facilitated its global reach. Topics covered will include the geographical imaginaries of development in Peru’s Huallaga Valley, once the world’s premiere source of cocaine paste; the course and contradictions of U.S. drug policy through the twentieth century; and cocaine-related cultural productions such as the Mexican narcodrama.