Lectures > College

"Eating the Past: Why and How To Study Food History"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
01h: 10m:39s | 2616 views

Food is the ‘fiber’ of every sect of society around the world. Exploring what people ate in the past, how they ate, who shared their meals, and what they said about food helps us to understand not only cultural norms of long ago but also how these historical societal structures are relevant to our own lives.

Dr. Megan Elias, historian and author of several books, will address the emerging field of food history in America, specifically the meal known as lunch.

Drawing on her research in American food history, Dr. Megan Elias will lecture on how the midday meal – whether it is the medieval peasant’s pottage or the Wall Street power lunch – allows new insights into major historical trends such as industrialization, urbanization, and increasing gender equality.

Dr. Elias has presented on the topic of food in American history at several national and international conferences.

Dr. Megan J. Elias, Associate Professor of History at Queensborough Community College, a College of The City University of New York (CUNY) teaches U.S. History Before 1877, American Women’s History, African-American History and Food History.

Dr. Elias is the author of Stir it Up: Home Economics in American Culture (2008, University of Pennsylvania Press), and Food in the United States, 1890-1945 (2009 Greenwood Press), chosen by the American Library Association as one of the Outstanding Academic Texts of the year. She is currently working on Taste of the Nation, a book about American cookbooks and culture. Dr. Elias is also co-author of Queensborough at 50: Celebrate the Memories, a history of Queensborough Community College, published in celebration of the College’s fiftieth anniversary.

Dr. Elias received a B.A. degree in American History and Poetry from Cornell University, an M.A. degree in History from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in History from The City University of New York Graduate Center.

Presenter: Dr. Megan J. Elias