PhD (Toronto), 2009
MA (Berkeley), 2000
Intellectual History, Alcoholism and Addiction Studies, Sub-Saharan Africa, History of Science, Global History
Jon Soske received his MA in Comparative Literature from Berkeley and his PhD in African history from the University of Toronto. From 2009 to 2011, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa and WISER at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. His research and teaching interests include intellectual history, alcoholism and addiction studies, sub-Saharan Africa, the history of science, disability and mental health (especially bipolar disorder), and theories of world history. Methodologically, he is particularly interested in the integration of history and science in longue durée accounts of transnational and global phenomenon. He is currently working on a book project entitled A People’s History of Alcoholism. Through exploring the varieties of addictive experience, this book narrates histories of capitalism, medicine, neurobiology, and race through the life stories of people with the disease of alcoholism as well as the communities that they affected in both active addiction and recovery. In addition to this work, he continues to research and publish on a number of other topics, including the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the methodology of comparative history, African Marxism, the history of race and non-racialism, the Indian Dalit leader B.R. Ambedkar, and (most recently) the mathematicians Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Outside of the academy, he is active in both peer-to-peer support and grass roots recovery advocacy.