Event—Center for Renaissance Studies

Food and the Book: 1300-1800

Novo teatro di machine et edificii per uarie et sicure operationi, 1656. Call number: Case Wing folio Z 40291 .995

Novo teatro di machine et edificii per uarie et sicure operationi, 1656. Call number: Case Wing folio Z 40291 .995

Co-sponsored by the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library and Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, a Mellon Foundation initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The growing, preparation, tasting, and eating of food are bodily phenomena. To gain access to them through the distances of history, we must turn to words and images. This interdisciplinary conference examines the book as a primary intersection for foodways throughout the early modern world. The language and imagery of food emerge in all manner of books, including recipe manuscripts, literature, historical documents, religious writings, medical treatises, and engravings, not to mention in marginal stains and other chance material encounters. The convened speakers will explore how food interacts with books as physical objects as well as mental ones. They will examine books as ways of studying food and its representations in historical perspective, especially those of marginalized people and groups; and as instances of metaphorical food and sustenance in themselves. The conference will also host collaborations between scholars, food writers, and chefs, resulting in discussions of current food issues that will help reinvigorate questions about early modern cuisine for a contemporary world.

All sessions of this conference were recorded and posted on the Center for Renaissance Studies YouTube channel. Click on the titles of the sessions below for a link to the recording.

Presenter Bios


Friday, October 2, 2020

12-1 pm CDT

Public Program: Cooking By the Book: A Conversation with Chefs and Authors
Moderator: David B. Goldstein (York University and Folger Shakespeare Library)

Michael Twitty writer, culinary historian, and chef (Afroculinaria, The Cooking Gene, and Kosher/Soul)
Tamar E. Adler (author, cookbook author, and chef; contributing editor at Vogue)
Paul Fehribach (cookbook author and chef, Big Jones Restaurant, Chicago, IL)
Irina Dumitrescu (food writer and professor, University of Bonn)

Click here for a bibliography of books mentioned during this conversation.

1:15-1:30 pm CDT

Opening Remarks

Sarah Peters Kernan (Newberry Library and The Recipes Project)
David B. Goldstein (York University and Folger Shakespeare Library)
Allen J. Grieco (Villa I Tatti)

1:30-2:30 pm CDT

Roundtable: Cookbooks and Recipe Books
Moderator: Sarah Peters Kernan (Newberry Library and The Recipes Project)

Wanessa Asfora Nadler (Universidade de Coimbra)
Lino Mioni (Indiana University Libraries)
Carolyn A. Nadeau (Illinois Wesleyan University)
Marissa Nicosia (The Pennsylvania State University – Abington College)
Amy L. Tigner (University of Texas, Arlington)

Saturday, October 3, 2020

12-1 pm CDT

Roundtable: Documenting Food History in Archival Sources
Moderator: Michael Walkden (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Frances E. Dolan (University of California at Davis)
Jennifer Egloff (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy)
Molly Taylor-Polesky (Middle Tennessee State University)
Rob Wakeman (Mount Saint Mary College)

1-2:30 pm CDT

New Directions in Food Studies: A Graduate Student Lightning Round
Moderator: Amanda E. Herbert (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Danielle Alesi (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), "Consuming Animals Through Consuming Books: Eating Animals in the English Travel Narratives"
Daniela Gutiérrez Flores (University of Chicago), "Kitchen Scriptures: Cooking, Writing and Female Religiosity in Colonial Latin America"
Merit Hondelink (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), "Energy Use in the Kitchen: Heat and Material Culture in Early Modern Dutch Printed Cookbooks"
Eileen Morgan (University of Notre Dame), "Alimentary Grammars: A Preliminary Study of Universitat de València Biblioteca Històrica MS 216"
Anil Paralkar (Universität Heidelberg), "Food, Sickness, and Medicating by the Book: Isaac Laurence and the English Diet in 17th Century India"
Ali Ryland (University of Strathclyde), “'Unseemly' Dairymen and 'Unthankful' Dairywomen: Politicising Cheese-Production in Early Modern English Agricultural Manuals"
Hannah Smith-Drelich (Stanford University), "Into the Unknown: Cooking with Spells in Hugh Napkyn’s Approoved Remedyes"

Monday, October 5, 2020

12-1 pm CDT

Short Presentations: European Views on Indigenous American Foods
Moderator: Lia Markey (Newberry Library)

Davide Domenici (University of Bologna) "Mesoamerican Food Practices in an Early Modern Ethnographic Sub-Genre"
Allen J. Grieco (Villa I Tatti) "To Eat or not to Eat an Iguana during Lent?"
Gregorio Saldarriaga (Universidad de Antioquia), "Eating and Believing: Food as a Field for Disputing Faith in the New Kingdom of Granada in the Seventeenth Century"

1-2 pm CDT

Roundtable: Race and Food in the Early Modern Book
Moderator: Neha Vermani (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Nicholas R. Jones (Bucknell University)
Jennifer Park (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Gitanjali Shahani (San Francisco State University)

4-6 pm CDT

Leader: Heather Wolfe (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Friday, October 9, 2020

12-1 pm CDT

Short Presentations: Material Kitchens and the Social Life of Early Modern Food
Moderator: Heather Wolfe (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Deborah L. Krohn (Bard Graduate Center), “The Cartographic Table in Early Modern Europe”
Sara Pennell (University of Greenwich), "Kitchen stuff: Materializing Waste and its Avoidance in the Early Modern English Household"
Victoria Yeoman (Seneca College), "'The cry of the country and her own want': Women’s Food Riots in Early Modern Europe"

1-2 pm CDT

Short Presentations: Spiritual Eating: Food in Early Modern Conversion Narratives
Moderator: Christopher Fletcher (Newberry Library)

Michael Walkden (Folger Shakespeare Library), "Fruits of Sin: Inwardness and Indigestion in Calvinist Conversion Narratives"
Eleanor Barnett (Independent Scholar), "Food and Conversion Narratives in the Venetian Inquisition"
Elisa Tersigni (Folger Shakespeare Library) and Danielle Sottosanti (Fordham University), "From Aqua Imperialis to Spice: Muslim and Jewish Influences in Early Modern English Recipes"

Saturday, October 10, 2020

12-1 pm CDT

Discussion of Precirculated Papers: Literary Ecologies: Textual and Poetic Representations of Food Systems
Moderator: Rebecca L. Fall (Newberry Library)

Andy Crow (Boston College), "'Go compas the same': Thomas Tusser’s Agrarian Poetics"
Madeline Bassnett (University of Western Ontario), “Weather Recipes and Creative Resilience”
Kathleen Long (Cornell University), "Dining with the Hermaphrodites: Courtly Excess and Dietary Manuals in Early Modern France"

*Registrants for this panel will receive a link to papers in advance of the session.*

1-2 pm CDT

Roundtable: Digitizing Food in the Book
Moderator: Elisa Tersigni (Folger Shakespeare Library)

Bruno Laurioux (l'Université de Tours) and Helmut W. Klug (University of Graz)
Hillary Nunn (University of Akron)
Christian Reynolds (City University, London)

Monday, October 12, 2020

12-1:30 pm CDT

Indigenous Foodways Past and Present: Public Program in celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day

Sean Sherman (Chef, author, educator, and founder/CEO of The Sioux Chef)
Elizabeth Hoover (University of California Berkeley)
Eli Suzukovich III (Field Museum and Northwestern University)

Click here for a list of important links and other resources mentioned during this session.