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Nikki de la Rie MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Modern & Contemporary History, Oral History & Life Writing, Urban History

Cohort/Start PhD: 2021-2022

Psychedelic Capital

Open University

Promotor(es): Prof. Gemma Blok & dr Susan Hogervorst

Start from: September 2021

The PhD research conducted under this title analyses psychedelic drug use within subcultures within the city of Utrecht in the period between 1968 and 1988 (also known as the first and the second Summer of Love). The background of this research is the controversial idea (in the Netherlands mostly upheld by Christian politicians) of the so called ‘normalization’ of drugs nowadays. Regardless whether this assumption is right or wrong the origins of this ‘new normal’ will be explored by going back to the seventies and eighties in interviews with the former users and eyewitnesses which narrate those years where not only recreational drug use, but also subcultural life and governmental regulations arose. The question to what extend the subcultural drug use in the past has played a part in the alleged cultural integration of drugs cannot be answered by the oral history method alone, so secondary literature archives and media on this topic will also be analysed. The main role in this narrative however is reserved for those who lived the history.

This PhD trajectory will be carried out between 2021-2024 at the Open University, faculty of Culture History, in Heerlen. Supervision will take place by the promotors Professor Dr. Gemma Blok and Dr. Susan Hogervorst.