Jul 20, 2017

Coffee & Marijuana

Episode 326


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Commodities, their circulation, and their consumption have long been favorite topics of cultural and economic historians alike. In this episode, we build on the historiography of commodities by studying further the social and political context of two particular commodities: coffee and marijuana. Our guests, Casey Lurtz and Lina Britto, have each studied these commodities in their Latin American contexts, and following a global discussion of coffee and marijuana with some focus on the Middle East, we talk to each of these scholars about their respective research projects. We examine how the arrival of coffee impacted local political economies in Mexico, and we explore how the history of marijuana as a "drug" has had political consequences for modern Latin American countries. We conclude with a roundtable discussion on the history of commodities like coffee and marijuana and what they tell us about the changing cultural context surrounding both these items today.