Class-by-Class Schedule

NB: Copyrighted course materials are available on the readings page. You will receive the password to this page on the first day of class.


Tuesday, August 18 – Overview I

  • Li Young Lee, “Persimmons,” from Rose (BOA Editions, 1986).

Thursday, August 20 – Overview II

  • Georges Perec, “Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and the Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by Me in the Course of the Year Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Four,” trans. John Sturrock, in Granta 52 (1995).

Unit I: Origins and Methods

Tuesday, August 25

  • Michael Pollan, “Our National Eating Disorder,” from The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin, 2007).
  • William Bradford on Thanksgiving, from Of Plymouth Plantation (ca. 1620)
  • Edward Winslow on Thanksgiving, from Mourt’s Relation (1622)

Thursday, August 27

  • James McWilliams, “Getting to the Guts of American Food,” from A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Columbia UP, 2007).
  • George Horse Capture, “Reservation Foods,” from Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions (Ted Speed Press, 2004).
  • Fernando and Marlene Divina, “Braised American Buffalo,” from Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions (Ted Speed Press, 2004).

Tuesday, September 1 – Blog Week 1

  • Roland Barthes, “Toward a Psychosociology of Contemporary Food Consumption,” originally published as “Vers une psycho-sociologie de l’alimentation moderne” in Annales: Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations 5 (1961).
  • Mary Rowlandson, A True History the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, 4th ed. (Joseph Poole, 1682) (start)

Thursday, September 3 – FIELD TRIP TO GT ARCHIVES

Tuesday, September 8 – Blog Week 2

  • Mary Rowlandson, A True History the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, 4th ed. (Joseph Poole, 1682) (finish)
  • OPTIONAL: Jill Lepore, “Beware of Any Linguist,” from The Name of War (1989)

INTERLUDE: Consider the Cookbook

Thursday, September 9

  • Jane Busch, “Using Cookbooks as Research Documents”
  • Eliza Smith, “Preface” to The Compleat Housewife: Or, Accomplish’d Gentlewoman’s Companion (1727)
  • Amelia Simmons, “Preface” to American Cookery (1796)
  • OPTIONAL: Stephen Mennell, “Taste, Culture, and History,” in Petits Propos Culinaires 78 (2005).

Tuesday, September 15 – Blog Week 3

  • Arjun Appadurai, “How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India,” in
    Comparative Studies in Society and History 30.1 (1988)
  • Mary Randolph, “Preface” and “Introduction” to The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook [1824] (1838)
  • Malinda Russell, excerpts from A Domestic Cookbook (1866)

Thursday, September 17

  • Kyla Wazana Tompkins, “Consider the Recipe,” in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 1.2 (2013)
  • Lydia Maria Child, “Introductory Chapter” to The Frugal Housewife, Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy (1829)
  • Catherine Ward Beecher, “Preface,” “The Peculiar Responsibilities of American Women,” “Difficulties Peculiar to American Women,” and “Remedies for the Preceding Difficulties,” in A Treatise on Domestic Economy, For the Use of Young Ladies at Home, and At School (1842).

Tuesday, September 22 – Blog Week 4

  • IN CLASS: Midterm project planning session

Unit II: Making Sense of Taste

Thursday, September 24

  • Carolyn Korsmeyer, “Philosophies of Taste: Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic Senses,” from Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy (Cornell UP, 1999).
  • Richard Ligon, “Pineapple,” from from A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados (1657)
  • John Locke, “Of Ideas in General, and their Original,” from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689)

Tuesday, September 29 – Blog Week 5

  • Denise Gigante, “Aesthetics and Appetite,” from Taste: A Literary History (Stanford UP, 2005)
  • Joseph Addison, “On Taste” and “On the Pleasures of the Imagination” (1712)
  • Jonathan Edwards, “A Divine and Supernatural Light” (1734)

Thursday, October 1

  • Anne Allison, “Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunch-Box as Ideological State Apparatus,” in Anthropological Quarterly 64.4 (1991).
  • Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Part I (ca. 1771)

Tuesday, October 6 – Blog Week 6

  • Sydney Mintz, “Time, Sugar, and Sweetness,” from Marxist Perspective 2.4 (1979).
  • James Granger, from “The Sugar-Cane” (1764)
  • Phillis Wheatley, from Poems on Various Subjects (1773)

Thursday, October 8 – DUE: Documentation of cooking project

  • Thomas Jefferson, Query 18, from Notes on the State of Virginia (ca. 1785) and “Agreement with James Hemings” (1793)
  • James Hemings, “Inventory of Cooking Utensils” (manuscript version here and here)
  • Virginia Randolph Trist, recipe for “Snow Eggs”
  • OPTIONAL: Lauren Klein, “Dinner-Table Bargains: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Senses of Taste,” in Early American Literature 49.2 (2014).

Tuesday, October 13 – NO CLASS FALL BREAK

INTERLUDE: Reinventing the Recipe

Thursday, October 15 – DUE: Midterm project and analysis

  • IN CLASS: The Simpsons, “The Food Wife”

Tuesday, October 20

  • Rachel Zarrell, “Someone Needs to Tell Martha Stewart Her Food Tweets are Disgusting,” Buzzfeed, November 18, 2013.
  • Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin, “The Double Logic of Remediation” and “Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation,” from Remediation: Understanding New Media (MIT P, 1999)
  • IN CLASS: Food and recipe blog analysis

Thursday, October 22

  • Kenzi Wilbur, “Why Cookbooks are More than their Recipes,” Food 52, March 4, 2015.
  • Alex Ketchum, “Regarding the State of [Scholarly?] Food Blogging,” The Historical Cooking Project, April 24, 2014.
  • Paula Salvio, “Dishing It Out: Food Blogs and Post-Feminist Domesticity,” Gastronomica 12.3 (Fall 2012).
  • IN CLASS: “Recipes @ LMC” analysis

Tuesday, October 27 – Blog Week 7

  • Andrew Haley, “The Nation before Taste: The Challenges of American Culinary History,” The Public Historian 34.2 (Spring 2012).
  • Rachel Laudon, “Getting Started in Food History”
  • IN CLASS: Final project planning session

Unit III:  How Eating Comes to Matter

Thursday, October 29

  • James McWilliams, “A Culinary Declaration of Independence,” from A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America (Columbia UP, 2007).
  • Lydia Maria Child, from Hobomok: A Tale of Early Times (1824) and The First Settlers (1828)

Tuesday, November 3 – Blog Week 8

  • Jessica Harris, “In Sorrow’s Kitchen,” from High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America (Bloomsbury, 2011).
  • Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince (1831)
  • Fanny Kemble, from Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation (1839)
  • OPTIONAL: Michele Speitz, “Blood Sugar and Salt Licks: Corroding Bodies and Preserving Nations in The History of Mary Prince,” Romantic Circles (2011)

Thursday, November 5

  • Frederick Douglass, Chapters 5-10, from Narrative of the Life (1845)
  • Harriet Jacobs, Chapters 9, 10, and 16, from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)

Tuesday, November 10 – Bonus Blog Week I

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, Preface, Chapters 2, 3, and 7, from The House of the Seven Gables (1851)
  • OPTIONAL: Kyla Tompkins, “’Everything ‘Cept Eat Us’: The Antebellum Black Body Portrayed as Edible Body,” in Callaloo 30.1 (2007)


Tuesday, November 17 – Bonus Blog Week II

  • Emily Dickinson, selected poems and recipes
  • Walt Whitman, excepts from “Song of Myself”
  • OPTIONAL: Erica Fretwell, “Emily Dickinson in Domingo,” in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 1.1 (2013)

Thursday, November 19

  • Sarah Josepha Hale, selections on Thanksgiving
  • Abraham Lincoln, “Thanksgiving Proclamation” (at end of Hale selections)
  • OPTIONAL: Amy Kaplan, “Manifest Domesticity,” in American Literature 70.3 (1998).

Tuesday, November 24 – DUE: Project Beta

Thursday, November 26 – NO CLASS, THANKSGIVING

Tuesday, December 1 – WPFE

  • IN CLASS: Project Crit

Thursday, December 3 – WPFE

  • IN CLASS: Project conferences

Thursday, December 10th.




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