Venue Hire

Radical Temperance: Social change and drink, from teetotalism to dry January

University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 28-29 June 2018



Featuring Keynote addresses by:
  • Professor Scott Martin, Bowling Green University, Ohio
  • Professor Betsy Thom, Middlesex University

This conference seeks to explore the radical aspects of the avoidance of alcohol. We are looking for contributions from a range of perspectives, places and periods and from both academic and non-academic contributors.

Of the many anti-drink movements across the world, one of the most influential, teetotalism, started in Preston in 1832. We are proud to honour this history by holding the first international conference on temperance in Preston to consider it across the centuries to the present day. Alcohol management remains a key social issue; the many active support groups, dry bars, and third sector organisations in our society take varying stances on alcohol and temperance.

We invite academics, students, professional and voluntary workers with a focus on control of or abstinence from alcohol to join us. We aim for a wide range of angles from the field of support for alcohol issues, and groups or individuals with an interest in how societies approach alcohol, from around the world – please come and present, listen, publicise, share ideas and strategies, discuss, and learn…


There will be academic panels, roundtables and poster presentations, but also more informal discussions, stalls, and displays presenting work by third sector organisations. Meals and entertainments, including a walking tour, exhibition and live temperance magic lantern show, will have ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ options.

We encourage you to think creatively within and around the suggested topic areas and to identify new directions. We hope that during these two days of the past encountering the present we will all make some radical discoveries…

Suggested topics:
  • Temperance and labour movements
  • Gender and drink/temperance
  • International perspectives and influences
  • Social improvement and temperance
  • Contemporary and historical images
  • Historical perspectives and contemporary debates
  • Alcohol as a political issue
  • Policy making and alcohol pressure groups
  • Narratives of recovery
  • Social/cultural attitudes to alcohol
  • Literature and alcohol
  • Anti-temperance
Submission details

Proposals for 20-minute papers, panels, roundtables and posters, or stalls and displays, should be submitted to by March 4th 2018.

We are open to varied ways of presenting, publicising and sharing your ideas, so if in doubt, please use the contact email above or

Subsidised places

We appreciate that funding is tight if you come from the third sector, including support groups and individuals, so each day we hope to offer some subsidised places.

There will be much more information about the conference, plans, and Preston on the webpage soon.