My MSc is in Ethnobotany through the University of Kent at Canterbury.
Thank you everyone who has offered! I was in bed at that point (darn time difference) so I have just sent out copies of my dissertation now. Abstract clipped from my project proposal below.
The first aim of this project is to assess the history of absinthe, its so-called ‘sordid past’. A historical record will be put together from varying sources, both past and present, in order to provide a base for subsequent threads of research to branch out from. In the second aim, in order to assess how the past perceptions at the height of absinthe's popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s continues to affect public perception and beliefs to this day, questionnaires will be used to gather a sample of public knowledge and beliefs in regards to absinthe. The third aim of this project is to determine which herbs are being used by distillers in different countries to make absinthe and how those herbs affect public preference. Semi-structured interviews will be used to determine why current distillers are choosing the herbs that they choose to include in their absinthe recipes, as well as to record the diversity of plants being included. Following this will be an organoleptic session with volunteers to gauge opinion on taste preferences based on herbs included in each absinthe, as part of the fourth and final aim. By weaving together the many strands of minor research in this project in order to create a verdant tapestry, I hope that it will clarify how the history of this herbal beverage is effecting the perceptions and decisions currently surrounding its revival.