Tobacco in History and Culture

Subject code


Course Number



M. Plastas

Course Long Title

Tobacco in History and Culture


This interdisciplinary seminar examines the role tobacco has played in shaping global political economies, cultures, and health. Students pay particular attention to how gender, race, class, and nationalism influence and have been influenced by tobacco. From the use of slave labor in seventeenth-century Chesapeake Bay colony to wooden Indians flanking the entrance of tobacco shops, to feminist slogans invoked to sell cigarettes, tobacco has functioned as a signifier and shaper of social norms and divides. Topics include labor and tobacco production, ethics of corporate power, the visual culture of tobacco, health and human rights, smoking and stigma, the global epidemiology of tobacco related illness, and tobacco regulation.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit


INDS Program Relationship

IDCM - CMS Program

GEC This Course Belongs To


Class Restriction

Exclude Sophomores, Exclude Juniors, Exclude Seniors