April 4, 2018

VSU Talks Drugs, War with Medical Anthropologist Jennifer Carroll April 9

Dr. Jennifer Carroll

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will examine how drug use intersects with large-scale conflicts and society as a whole when it welcomes Dr. Jennifer Carroll, a medical anthropologist, for a talk at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 9, in the University Center Cypress Room. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, and friends of the university.

Carroll, who studies cultures of drug use and related public health interventions, will discuss “Narkomania: What Drug Users Can Teach Us About Society, Politics, and Going to War with Russia.” 

“War, as a metaphor, is central to the way we talk about drugs,” according to a description from VSU’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, which is sponsoring the event. “The government is waging a ‘War on Drugs.’ Addiction is often perceived as a personal war — an internal battle between biology and will. The motif of war illuminates many of the social values we hold about drug use.

“But can drugs also shed light on why and how we wage actual wars? To answer this question, this talk follows the social trajectory of individuals engaged in opioid use on two different continents — first, in the internationally-sponsored clinics and ongoing military conflicts in Ukraine and, second, in America, which is in the middle of an opioid crisis — to explore how the ‘othering’ of people who use drugs can be a fundamental building block of identity, statehood, and contemporary social order.” 

Carroll is a consultant working on overdose prevention with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; an adjunct assistant professor of medicine in the Alpert Medical School at Brown University; and a contractor for the Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, which works to improve public safety and well-being by disrupting and dismantling drug-trafficking and money-laundering organizations.

Contact Dr. Shelly Yankovskyy, instructor of anthropology, at (229) 333-5943 or sayankovskyy@valdosta.edu to learn more.

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