Skip to main content

J. W. Hubbard

Justin Hubbard is a historian of medicine and the twentieth-century United States.  His research examines the origins of what many refer to as the War on Drugs, by tracing the invention and introduction between 1955 and 1975 of urine drug screens, drug-sniffing dogs, and methadone detox and rehab within the Department of Defense.  In “Altered States: Scientific and Governmental Uncertainty and the Invention of the War on Drugs, 1955 to 1975” he shows how competing ideals about the federal government’s responsibilities toward stimulating scientific experimentation and a welfare state paralleled concerns about the efficacy of new drug-control technologies to result in a drug-free society.  These twinned uncertainties, he claims, steered the US into its second-longest, still-ongoing war.

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Mr. Hubbard holds a BA from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, and an MA from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.  Prior to beginning graduate school, he was a labor organizer at the Service Employees International Union. For AY 2017/2018, he served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching.  He has presented his research at the Society for Military History Conference, the Policy History Conference, and the Sigerist Circle.

His committee is composed of Arleen Tuchman (chair), Sarah Igo, Laura Stark, and Caroline Jean Acker.

During his final year of graduate school, he will reside in Philadelphia, PA with his wife, Nona, and their own sniffer dog, Dwight.