Undergraduate Historical Society Hosts Dr. Steven Bunker

Steven Bunker speaks from behind a lecturn in the Summersell Room.On Wednesday, February 12, the Undergraduate Historical Society hosted a talk with Dr. Steven Bunker about his HY 378 course, “Drugs, Booze, and Mexico.”

Bunker compared U.S. and Mexican notions about drugs and alcohol, noting that the U.S. was the first to put marijuana on the list of controlled substances in 1925. He explained that although most people from the United States believe marijuana is native to Mexico it in fact originated in Central Asia and came to the New World as part of the so-called “Columbian Exchange” as part of the hemp ropes and rigging used on Spanish ships.

Bunker also discussed the war on drugs in Mexico, arguing that much of the current violence associated with it has arisen as a result of the prohibition discourse. The talk was followed by a Q&A during which students asked about the challenges of creating and teaching a course of this nature.