Matthew June

A PhD candidate and T.H. Breen Fellow at the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies, Matt specializes in twentieth century United States politics, law, and society. Entitled, “Users and Abusers: From Protecting Consumers to Policing Prescriptions to the ‘War on Drugs,’” his dissertation examines the legal underpinnings of the contemporary carceral state. The dissertation reveals how related initiatives to reform narcotics laws and protect consumers from dangerous medicines – first emerging in the 1950s and institutionalized under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson – created the foundation for a massive expansion of federal policing of illicit drugs. Centered on the history of the Food and Drug Administration and it’s short-lived Bureau of Drug Abuse Control, it shows that federal regulation of pharmaceuticals solidified the authority to classify and police unapproved uses and users of all drugs. In short, protecting users became the basis for policing perceived abusers.

Matt has worked as a teaching assistant at San Diego State University and Northwestern University and is now teaching his own classes at Northwestern, including the History of the Sixties and an upper-level research seminar, “Drugs and Trade in American History.” In recognition for his teaching, Matt has won the History Department’s Lacey Baldwin Smith Award for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award. He currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and works as a Teaching Consultant for the Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching.

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