Monthly Archives: April 2022

22 April 2022 — 12:00 noon — Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports 

Jan Todd (UT)

Tour of the H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports and its archival collections

Please join us this coming Friday, April 22, from 12–1 for a tour and introduction to the H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports and its archival collections. Founded by Drs. Jan and Terry Todd in 2009, the Stark Center ( is both an archive and a museum dedicated to preserving the history of physical culture, alternative medicine, sport training, strength and strength training, the history of drug testing and ergogenic aids in sport, and it acts as the official archives for UT Sports. The Center also provides support for the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education’s doctoral program in Physical Culture and Sport Studies and publishes the academic journal, Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture. Our tour will be led by Dr. Jan Todd who specializes in the history of exercise and sport medicine. Her most recent book is Strength Coaching in America: A History of the Innovation that Transformed Sport (UT Press, 2019).

The Stark Center is Located in the North End Zone of the football stadium. Enter via Gate 16 (across from the Performing Arts Center where the large statue of football player Julius Whittier is now located), turn to the left after entering the building, enter the elevator lobby and take the elevator to level five. If you wish to park in Manor Garage, bring your parking ticket with you to the Center and Dr. Todd can stamp it for you so parking is free.

Here is a link to a description of some of the Stark Center’s extensive collections related to complementary medicine that may be of interest to some in our group. Other collections are described in the finding aids at

Light refreshments will be served.


15 April 2022 — 12:00 noon — online

Benjamin Breen (UC–Santa Cruz)

“Sciences of Survival: The Origins of Psychedelic Therapy and World War II”

During World War II and the Cold War that followed, a mobilization of social scientists and physicians took place on an unprecedented scale. Based on a chapter from my in-progress book on the history of experimental drug research in the middle decades of the twentieth century, this paper draws links between the “salvage anthropology” of cultural anthropologists like Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson and the emergence, among drug researchers, of a parallel concept of what we might call “salvage pharmacology.” Drawing on non-Western traditions of pharmacology, drug researchers began to see themselves as contributing to the continued survival of the human species — the healing of a “sick society.” At the same time, however, many also became complicit in a new form of covert, weaponized drug science. I am interested in exploring how early research on substances like LSD, mescaline, and synthetic sex hormones connects to the histories of risk, trauma, and Latin American and Asian ethnobotany during the Global Cold War.


Benjamin Breen earned his PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. He is the author of The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), winner of the 2021 William H. Welch Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine. He is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz and was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.

To take part in this event, please register in advance by using this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.