Lecture 1 Tuesday, September 10, 2013
• Sexy professor is sexy
• Wrote about divorce in a particular city during the French Revolution
• Important because divorce became legalized during the French Revolution
• Ten-year period of very liberal divorce laws
• Looked at who got divorced, demographics, did they remarry, etc.
• Studied marriage and divorce, the history of the family, taught courses on it
• But a while ago, was on leave at Melbourne, working on a new history of the French
Revolution. His wife suggested he write about the history of wine. He began writing the
history of wine—came out in 2000 (“A Short History of Wine”). It drew on his long-
standing interest in alcohol.
• Age 16: living in New Zealand, leaflet from local wine store for Christmas. He thought it
was interesting. He ordered about 12 bottles of wines from the leaflet. He was underage,
and they had a discussion, but she eventually let him have it.
• His parents had disapproved of drinking. The mother snuck the wine into his room.
• He began to study it, look for particular kinds of wines. They were super cheap in the
• Got a job in a restaurant, promoted quickly to wine steward.
• He still loves wine. Decided to write a history of wine.
• A few years later (early 2000s), was teaching at Carleton and the History department
took a huge hit. Lower student numbers means less faculty assigned to the department.
They needed courses to bring in a lot of students. He suggested History of Sex and
History of Alcohol, and it solved the numbers problem…
• It fills up every year, still. People like alcohol.
• Currently working on multi-volume set on the cultural history of alcohol, 50-60 academics
working on it. Also working on a book on the history of food.
• Writes wine column for the Ottawa Citizen, Nouveau Magazine for Vancouver, other
magazines in Canada and the UK. Wine judge for competitions around the world, travels
to vineyards and wineries. Just came back from Greece on Saturday!
• Wrote a column for the Citizen a few years ago
o July 1: supposed to write about beer…he doesn’t like it…he said that beer
doesn’t have the range of flavours and textures that wine has
Wine: sparking wine, fortified wines (port), red wines, etc. Beer doesn’t have that range
The beer lobbyists were up at arms, saying he didn’t know what he was
talking about, there were tons of kinds of beers. They demanded he
should be fired. In the end he had to write an apology to the beer people.
So he wrote, “I’m so sorry. I wouldn’t have written what I did…had I known
that beer drinkers could read.”
• We’re going to look at beer, wine, and spirits, and their rich history.
• COURSE OUTLINE (**where is it??**)
o There isn’t any good history of alcohol.
o Our book for the course (“Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol”) is good but flawed
in many ways.
o Office: PA 409, Mondays 10-11am office hours. Phone and email provided. On
campus most days, can arrange a time to meet.
o Prefers to discuss essays/course/etc. face-to-face.
o The books are available at Octopus Books. But “Drink” hasn’t come in yet.
o So they’re trying to get us a pdf version online. The first few chapters, until Drink
arrives in the bookstore.
o There are readings for next week in the meantime…
o BOOK REVIEW—read a book, analyse it critically. Will go through the parts of a
book review later. It’s a good challenge.
o Critical of the evidence, the logic, the way the argument is put forward.
o Choose a book to write on for the review—he listed four in the course outline
(bottom of page 2)
Punch Drunk: alcohol surveillance and the LCBO
• Individual liquor permit
• LCBO: Liquor CONTROL Board of Ontario!
• Formed in 1927, when prohibition came off in Ontario
• Afraid that people had been deprive dof whiskey, rye, gin, beer,
etc. in Ontario, there would be mass drunkenness
• Established the LCBO
• Before 1916, could be alcohol in stroes. After prohibition, went to
state control everywhere in Canada. It’s still that way, largely,
except for Alberta. • They controlled the retail side (you buy it all from there, have
minimum drinking age, prevent certain people elike Native
Canadians from drinking)
• You had to get a permit to drink! Had to fill out a form—name,
address, age, occupation. If you had been in jail, couldn’t get one.
If Native Canadian, couldn’t get one. If known drunk, couldn’t get
one. If housewife, only with husband’s permission.
• If you got the permit, like a passport, whenever you had a
transaction it was marked in the book.
• They’d mark the date, number of bottles, signed by cashier.
• If you bought too much or made too much money, the manager
would talk with you. Monitoring the liquor purchasing.
• Until early 1960s!
• It has a warning: liquor must not be drunk during carriage. Take
purchases unopened directly to your room. Drunkenness is a
serious offence. Etc.
• Punch Drunk has to do with the punch cards, the control aspect of
Deadly Medicine: on Indians and alcohol in early America
• The experience of native Americans with alcohol, emergence of
the stereotype of the drunk Indian
• Origins of that, evidence used to promote that Indians couldn’t’
hold their drink
• Underlied the denial of alcohol to native americans
Ale, Beer, and Brewster’s Ailment
• Brewing in England 1300-1600, transformation of brewing
• Used to be done by women (brewing part of provisioning the
family with food and drink)—bread and beer very closely linked
• Women were the brewsters
• As beer became commercialized, Europe urbanized, people no
longer producing their own beer, commercial breweries emerged
and the women disappeared
• Women in the alcohol industry
When Champagne Became French • Champagne is a sparkling wine from Champagne, France
• Iconic drink, emerged in 1600s, tremendously commercial product
• Sold it so well, sold it as something to celebrate with (get married,
baptize children, launch ships, etc.)—the celebration drink.
• Sold it that way from 1600s, brainwashing exercise
• We stil think of it that way
• Coleen studied 18 and 19 century, the way I which the
champagne producers marketed themselves—sweet for the
Russians, less sweet for the English, semi-sweet for the Germans,
altered the labels according to whatever occasion (a picture of
people on their wedding), labelled specifically for bicycle clubs,
even anti-Semitic labels (Dreyfus affair—French Jew accuse dof
spying for the Germans…big debate…champaigne producers
made “Champagne anti-Juif”)…
o These books are all totally different. Social control, ethnicity and race, women,
nation-building and commercial side of alcohol. A choice of themes
o BUT you don’t have to do one of these. Can choose a different book. Look in the
library or buy another one, etc.
But he has to approve it
Has to be a scholarly book, can’t be a book of essays, has to be on
o Book review due November 8—REALLY recommend that you get the book as
quickly as possible. They get sold out.
o **ABE BOOKS.COM—BIGGEST SECOND-HAND BOOK SITE IN THE
o **A lot of the material can only be found in the lectures. Material for the exams.
o ONLINE STUDENTS—these lectures will be broadcast on Wednesdays, also
posted on VOD.
o COURSE WORK
Test: 90-minutes long (hour and a half), short-answer, material from first
six lectures. October 22, in the first half of the lecture.
Book Review: 3,000 words, about 10 pages. Critique of a book. Due by
4pm on Friday, November 8. Gives the TAs enough time to start
correcting over the weekend.
Final exam (take-home): full-term’s work, it’s a choice of essay topics and
you write one essay, about 4,000 words. These are big questions. • In the past: how important is it to consider gender when thinking
about the history of alcohol? Social class? Etc.
• Not looking for dates, more like general long-term trends. Not
many names—a few processes. But it’s more about the big
picture. How you can think about the history of alcohol in big
• Due December 22.
• Gives it out at the last lecture.
• If you’ve been to the classes, you know how to write this. No
footnotes or bibliography, it’s just straight material. It could take
like three hours.
• Submit electronically
o Page 4: schedule of the course. Doesn’t stick to it exactly, but it’s roughly the way
it’s going to go. Chronologically.
o Within that chronological range, will pick out particular issues that became
important at particular times.
o Page 5: the readings. Don’t worry about readings for next week, unless he can
get a pdf up. When you get the book/pdf, do the readings right away.
• Doesn’t use CU Learn as a general rule. He doesn’t post grades online because it
doesn’t encourage people to pick up the essay. That’s depressing for a teacher.
• If he needs to contact us, he’ll e-mail us.
• LET’S TALK ABOUT ALCOHOL:
o A fuel
o Overproduction of wine somewhere in the world—convert a lot of it into ethanol
to fuel cars.
o We’re talking about beverage alcohol
o Made by the conversion of sugar to alcohol
o Sugar is fine white grains…found in all fruit, vegetables, root vegetables. The
particular kind of sugar varies from produce to produce. Usually we’re talking
about fructose (fruit sugars) when we talk about alcohol.
o The main kind of sugar found in fruit is fructose
o Sugar remains sugar unless attacked by yeasts
o They land on the sugar-bearing stuff o Wine grapes, which are grown to be sweeter than table grapes. Develop a lot of
o Table grapes bred to be seedless, but wine grapes all have the seeds in them.
Full of flesh (water, pectin, and acids). The skin (has colour—dark grape=red
wine, white grape=white wine). But the flesh is always clear. Can also use black
grapes to make white wine if you take the skin out. Leave the skins in to make
red wine. For rosee, leave the skins in for a little bit and then take them out.
o Grape will remain a grape until you expose the sugar to yeasts. Fruit flies live
where alcohol is made (fruit trees, on the walls of places near orchards) Within a
couple of days: fermentation
o FERMENTATION: when yeast attacks sugar and produces ethanol and carbon
dioxide and heat.***
o The yeasts consume the sugar. What they exc