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Online Event | The Drink Question in Britain: Temperance, Public Health, and Moral Panics

  • 6th Jul, 2021
  • 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Online via Zoom

[Please note this is a lunch-time event]


Guest speaker: Ryosuke Yokoe

When we write about beer, we are never quite writing only about beer. Alcohol is a contentious subject, a substance through which political interests are played out, a site of struggle for control. For those who simply want to celebrate beer, this can be a source of frustration and a dilemma. There are those in the public health community who seem to be the enemies of drink. But is the answer simply to join the opposing camp, the industry? Or is there another approach?

A good way of beginning to understand the complexities of the drink question is through its history. Our main speaker for this event is Ryosuke Yokoe, a historian specialising in drink, medicine, and public health in 20th-century Britain. He completed his PhD on the history of alcohol and liver disease at the University of Sheffield in 2019 and is now a postdoctoral researcher based at the University of Tokyo.

Ryo will take us through the long 20th Century of alcohol politics in Britain, covering the legacy of Victorian temperance, the upheavals of World War One, the period of ‘moderationism’, the 1970s paradigm shift in understanding alcohol problems and the issues of the present day.

Along the way, he’ll deal with matters of science and morality, the pathologised drinker and the politics underlying alcohol policy.

His presentation will be introduced by beer and pubs journalist Phil Mellows, author of the Politics of Drinking blog, who will look at the subject from the point of view of the working beer writer, and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

To RSVP, contact

All attendees will be sent the Zoom link the day before the event.



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