In this class we will consider the effects of, and debates about, substances such as tea, coffee, tobacco, gin, beer, cannabis, and opium. We’ll look at the way these substances shape and encourage global trade, and how they contribute to the consideration of virtue and vice. We will read some modern scholarship on the history of these stimulants and intoxicants, but the primary focus of the class will be Early Modern philosophy, literature, and art. We will consider the way spaces, like the coffee house or public house, foment a certain kind of literary culture. We will also think about the way anxieties about a growing consumer culture attach themselves to drugs, which are perhaps the purest form of consumption.