Campbell to Discuss Addiction and Gender – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Campbell to Discuss Addiction and Gender

The Women’s Studies Department will welcome Nancy D. Campbell to campus on Tuesday, March 6. Campbell, a professor of science and technology studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will discuss “‘Using Women’ to ‘Gendering Addiction’: Masculinities and Femininities in Drug-Using Social Worlds” at 5 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.

In her lecture, Campbell will address the gendered, raced and classed iconography of drug addiction. Through familiar visuals such as the “girl junkie” of the 1950s and the “crack mom” that gained prevalence in the 1990s, Campbell will examine the depiction of women as deviants and sociopaths, and the subtext of gender that often ventures into themes of gender-bending – and how this stands in sharp contrast to the more vulnerable, expressive portrayal of drug use in men.

“What Campbell’s work throws into immediate relief is how prevailing drug discourses of danger and risk and/or “just say no” redirect cultural and political attention away from the more pervasive ways drug policies , surveillance, gender and race are threaded through the eye of social, personal, economic,  and political life,”says Bayer. 

“Campbell is a foremost scholar in this regard,” adds Bayer.  In a review of Campbell’s work, Donna Haraway writes Campbell traces the discourses of drug users through relations of race, class, national and gender, typing this knowledge to the web of “law enforcement practices, psychiatry, criminology and pharmacological studies.” And, as Angela Davis notes, Campbelluncovers the surprisingly long historical road of drug policy leading directly to the racialized profile and exploding numbers of today’s population of incarcerated women.”

Campbell’s research and teaching interests center upon global public health, U.S. drug policy, bioethics, law, values and public policy, feminist and postcolonial science and technology studies.  Her most recent book, “The Narcotic Farm: A History in Photographs,” was used as part of the development of the film “The Narcotic Farm,” which cast a critical eye on the inner-workings of the United States Narcotic Farm that opened in Lexington, Ky. in 1935 in an attempt to aid recovering addicts, and operated until its closing in the 1970s.  

Also the author of the critically acclaimed, “Using Women: Gender, Drug Policy and Social Justice” and “Discovering Addiction,” Campbell has been interviewed by NPR and WNYC, and has been featured in Scientific American.