Category Archives: History of Pharmacy

Call for Papers: Psychedelic Capitalism: From Forest Retreat to Fortune 500 and Pharmacies

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals, the official journal of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP), is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue: “Psychedelic Capitalism: From Forest Retreat to Fortune 500 and Pharmacies.” The issue is anticipated to appear in 2023. Guest editors for the special issue will be Drs. Neşe Devenot and Brian Pace, both of The Ohio State University.

Submission Guidelines

To submit a proposal for the special issue, authors must submit a 500-word abstract and 100-word biography to Patrick Walsh ( by April 4, 2022. For guaranteed consideration for the special issue, the preferred deadline is August 15; after August 15, submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis. The editors anticipate publication in 2023. The final research papers must range from 6,000–8,000 words in length. Commentaries and discussion pieces, ranging from 1,500–3,000 words, will also be considered. All submissions must conform to HoPP style, available here.

Call for Papers

Buoyed by calls for medical access, social justice, and regulation, psychedelic substances and products are becoming more socially acceptable in various jurisdictions, and support for regulatory changes, in some countries at least, continues to grow. Several estimates suggest that the psychedelic industry may hit roughly $10 billion annually by 2027. Recent academic scholarship germane to psychedelics, meanwhile, is expanding rapidly but has remained largely North America-centric and focused on medico-scientific and socio-political developments rather than the business history. 

The aim of this CFP and special issue is to contribute to critical discussions around relatively underexplored socio-economic, business, and capitalist histories of psychedelics. Such substances, broadly conceived, exist at the intersection of legality and criminality, domestic and transnational markets, medicine and recreation, and scientific study and sensationalism. To build upon recent literature and foster new critical dialogues, we propose a business/economic history approach that connects circuits of psychedelic capitalism to engage with themes of commodification and coercion, as well as the open scientific questions and ongoing struggles in politics and society that will impact psychedelics in the marketplace. 

This special issue of History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals will address some of the following questions: How have these businesses evolved, and who has directed and financed this development? What methods and models are being used in pharmaceutical and recreational enterprises to promote, sell, and/or study the drugs? How has the media participated in selling psychedelics to new consumer markets? Are there parallels between movements of enclosure and the commodification of Indigenous psychedelic medicine and religious traditions? How are Indigenous approaches to psychedelics being appropriated to administer and sell psychedelic services? How will the concept of social justice fare under an increasingly profit-oriented system? What contributes to the belief that psychedelics would be different than any other commodity within capitalism? Are we witnessing the development of new psychedelic empires, and what will the effects of this transformation be? How are mental and public health issues being treated, and what happens to patient-consumers in a legalized personal use market? What are the international effects of a shifting market, and how does legalization, along with a growing gray market, affect issues like access and adherence in the medical marketplace? Given that for-profit healthcare functionally denies healthcare to millions, should psychedelics continue to be touted as a solution to the mental health crisis?

Possible paper topics include:

  • Organizational histories
  • Indigenous appropriation in branding, marketing, and advertising
  • Media representations of psychedelics
  • Government regulation of psychedelic businesses
  • Underground and illegal markets
  • Corporatization, industry, and its impacts
  • Transnational trafficking, regulations and sales
  • Biographies of influential business persons and companies
  • Comparisons of Indigenous modes of psychedelic production and exchange with market proposals
  • The problem of biopiracy and its proposed solutions, including the Nagoya Protocol

We invite submissions that deal with one or more of the above-mentioned topics or other possible topics that focus on the themes of this special issue. We particularly encourage submissions, based on primary and archivally-based research, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals: New Journal, New Name, New Design—New Issue!

We are excited to announce a new issue of the journal History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals. This issue, 63.1, marks many firsts: the first issue under the journal’s new name (formerly Pharmacy in History), the first issue to sport the journal’s new cover and interior design, and the first issue published with us at UWP!

Plus, this is a special issue, published in coordination with two other journals, the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History and the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs. Each is releasing an issue inspired by a 2020 conference hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy. History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals‘ latest issue “represents the increasingly global and vibrant nature of pharmacy and pharmaceutical history,” according to Editor-in-Chief Lucas Richert.

To celebrate all this, we’ve made the following articles and reviews from the issue freely available for 3 months:

Additionally, print copies of the issue are available at a discounted price. Visit our website to order.

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals is the official journal of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP). HoPP publishes original scholarly articles about the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals, broadly defined, including (but not limited to) the history of: pharmacy practice, pharmacy science, pharmacy education, drug regulation, social and cultural aspects of drugs and medicines, the pharmaceutical industry—including the history of pharmaceuticals, drugs, and therapeutics—and facets of the related medical sciences.

Call for Papers: Colonial Histories of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals

Image courtesy of the Wellcome Collection: The Munsong cinchona plantation, Kalimpong, Bengal, India: a woman in traditional Bengali dress holds a circular tray of cinchona seeds (the plant of which is used to produce the anti-malarial drug quinine), which are planted by the Bengali man next to her. Photograph, 1905/1920 (

History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals, the official journal of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP), is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue: “Colonial Histories of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals.” The issue will appear as volume 63, number 2 of HoPP (Winter 2021). Guest editors for the special issue will be Dr. Geoff Bil and Dr. Jaipreet Virdi, both of the University of Delaware.

Submission Guidelines

To submit a proposal for the special issue, please send a 200-word abstract and 1-page CV to guest editors Geoff Bil ( and Jaipreet Virdi ( by January 31, 2021. Invitations for manuscript submission of 8,000 words will be sent by February 6, 2021, with first drafts due April 15, 2021, for peer review. Please consult the full HoPP author guidelines when preparing manuscripts.

Call for Papers

Plants and their medicinal properties have been used for healing since time immemorial. Plant-based pharmacopoeias have generated local, regional, and global systems of production, distribution, and consumption; defined trade relations across borders; and even accompanied exchanges of bodies and technologies. Scholars have examined, for instance, how the circulation and consumption of plants and pharmaceuticals were generated within deeply inequitable systems of colonization, with the accompanying exploitation, suppression, and erasure of ancestral knowledges. Within these contexts, the very definition of plants as medicines—as opposed to foods, taxonomical specimens, symbols or ornaments—is frequently unstable, shaped by language, culture, empire, and ecological context, and subject to contingent understandings of the body, physiology, illness, and treatment. While the rise of synthetic and chemical pharmaceuticals has inadvertently positioned herbalist approaches as “alternative” healing systems in the Western world, phytomedicines have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as complementary forms of treatment, even while they constitute 80 percent of pharmacopoeias in the Global South. Increased demand, coupled with ecological destruction wrought by climate change, have furthermore depleted crucial plant resources, thereby threatening Indigenous ways of life. 

What are the cultural and epistemological tensions between plant-based pharmaceuticals and synthetic biomedicines? How have medicinal plants figured in colonial relationships? This special issue of History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals aims to reframe histories of phytomedicines through intersecting approaches from the history of medicine, pharmacy, and pharmacology with postcolonial, Indigenous, and gender studies, histories of science and empire, labor history, environmental history, and related fields.

We seek papers on themes including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Colonial histories of medicinal plants as examined through Indigenous and local histories
  • “Medical quackery” reframed through new histories of plant-based pharmaceuticals 
  • Workers and labor histories, including intersections with disability and industry
  • Gender, sexuality, and medicinal plant knowledges
  • Global and/or imperial consumption and distribution patterns 
  • Phytomedicines and colonial encounters in the Global South 
  • Plant-based approaches for chronic diseases, disability, and health maintenance
  • Effects of climate change and ecological factors on medicinal plant resources
  • Bioprospecting, patenting, and anti-colonial resistance
  • Medicinal plants in translation