Northwestern Events Calendar


Global Lunchbox: Marijuana Boom: The Rise and Fall of Colombia's First Drug Paradise (Lina Britto)

When: Friday, January 24, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Harris Hall, Room 108, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Cindy Pingry   (847) 491-7980


Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement, Women 150


Please join the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies for the second meeting of the Global Lunchbox, a weekly lunchtime colloquium designed as an informal conversation, every Friday from 12pm to 1pm. Each meeting features a faculty member talking about their current work or a theme that interests them, followed by a conversation.

This meeting of the Global Lunchbox will be a book launch for Marijuana Boom: The Rise and Fall of Colombia's First Drug Paradise (University of California Press, 2020) by Northwestern faculty member Lina Britto.

Book synopsis

Before Colombia became one of the world’s largest producers of cocaine in the 1980s, traffickers from the Caribbean coast partnered with American buyers in the 1970s to make the South American country the main supplier of marijuana for a booming US drug market, fueled by the US hippie counterculture. How did Colombia become central to the creation of an international drug trafficking circuit? Marijuana Boom is the story of this forgotten history. Combining deep archival research with unprecedented oral history, Lina Britto deciphers a puzzle: Why did the Colombian coffee republic, a model of Latin American representative democracy and economic modernization, transform into a drug paradise, and at what cost?

Speaker bio

Lina Britto is Assistant Professor of History at Northwestern and is affiliated with the Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) Program and the Science in Human Culture (SHC) Program. Her courses at Northwestern focus on the hemispheric history of the drug trade and the war on drugs, popular music and nation-state formation, oral history and Cold War terror, and contemporary Latin America in historical perspective. She has been awarded grants from the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies and Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

"Lina Britto’s Marijuana Boom is a stunning history of transitions and dependencies, from one drug to another: coffee, pot, and cocaine. Britto synthesizes a number of scholarly approaches––including commodity and cultural studies and social, economic, and diplomatic history––to present a work far more valuable than the sum of its methods. Connecting the Andean highlands to the greater Caribbean and then outward to the United States, Marijuana Boom reveals how the seeds, so to speak, of today’s narco hellscape were first sown during an earlier, seemingly more edenic moment. A tour de force."

—Greg Grandin, Professor of History at Yale University and author of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America

Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in