Doctoring the Body and Exciting the Soul: Drugs and consumer culture in medieval and early modern Iran. Kazemi, R. Modern Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press.
Doctoring the Body and Exciting the Soul: Drugs and consumer culture in medieval and early modern Iran [link]Website  abstract   bibtex   
This article focuses on the development of early modern consumerism in a part of the Middle East that historians of consumer culture are yet to fully explore. Making use of a wide variety of unexplored and underexplored original sources, the article contends that early modern consumer culture in Iran was grounded deeply in the ever-widening patterns of exchange and use that had developed slowly over the course of the previous centuries. The discussion below takes the growing popular interest in a few key psychoactive substances as a useful barometer of the dynamics of mass consumption, and chronicles how the slow and ever-expanding use of alcohol, opium, and cannabis (or a cannabis-like product) in the medieval period led to the popularity of coffee, tobacco, older drugs, and still other commodities in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The aim here is to use the history of drug culture as an entry point to scrutinize the emergence of early modern consumerism among the elites and the non-elites in both urban and rural areas of the Middle East. In doing so, this article reconstructs the cultural and social history of recreational drugs prior to and during the early modern period, and elucidates the socio-economic context that helped bring about a ‘psychoactive revolution’ in the Safavid state (1501–1736).
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 abstract = {This article focuses on the development of early modern consumerism in a part of the Middle East that historians of consumer culture are yet to fully explore. Making use of a wide variety of unexplored and underexplored original sources, the article contends that early modern consumer culture in Iran was grounded deeply in the ever-widening patterns of exchange and use that had developed slowly over the course of the previous centuries. The discussion below takes the growing popular interest in a few key psychoactive substances as a useful barometer of the dynamics of mass consumption, and chronicles how the slow and ever-expanding use of alcohol, opium, and cannabis (or a cannabis-like product) in the medieval period led to the popularity of coffee, tobacco, older drugs, and still other commodities in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The aim here is to use the history of drug culture as an entry point to scrutinize the emergence of early modern consumerism among the elites and the non-elites in both urban and rural areas of the Middle East. In doing so, this article reconstructs the cultural and social history of recreational drugs prior to and during the early modern period, and elucidates the socio-economic context that helped bring about a ‘psychoactive revolution’ in the Safavid state (1501–1736).},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Kazemi, Ranin},
 journal = {Modern Asian Studies}
}
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