I am currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at Brown University, where I explore the connections between food, nutrition, public health, and identity in the everyday American experience and popular culture. My dissertation, titled “The Dudification of Diet: Food Masculinities in Twenty-First-Century America,” examines how media representations of food, cooking, and dieting construct and negotiate masculinities in our current historical moment.
I am also editor-in-chief of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies and lead organizer of Food Studies at Brown and serve on the boards of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, the Graduate Association for Food Studies, and H-Nutrition, the H-Net network for the history of nutrition science.
I was born in Australia and grew up in the Big Sky Country of Montana. Spending a bit over a decade training in classical ballet, I next turned my attention to the study of food, health, and culture.
At the University of Oklahoma, I majored in Letters and minored in Medical Humanities, while completing the pre-requisites for nutrition science. Advised by Julia Ehrhardt, I wrote my honors thesis on the language of the dieting industry. I went on to study public health nutrition at UC Berkeley, where I also taught undergraduate nutrition courses, finding my true passion in teaching. I next tried my hand at employee wellness, helping to launch Healthy Workforce at Kaiser Permanente. I’ve written about my experiences working in public health nutrition here.
Seeking a return to my interdisciplinary roots, I then studied Gastronomy at Boston University in the program co-founded by Julia Child and Jacques Pépin, taking courses with Rachel Black, Carole Counihan, and Ken Albala. In my master’s thesis, advised by Warren Belasco, I analyzed the marketing of the three leading diet programs in the United States (Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and Jenny Craig) to men in the twenty-first century, exploring their constructions of masculinity in an age of obesity.
My work has been published in Gastronomica, the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures, Fat Studies, and the Yearbook of Women’s History, among others. I have also written for the Providence Journal, Inside Higher Ed, The Inquisitive Eater, and Zester Daily, which was a 2016 IACP Award finalist in the Culinary Website category.
About This Blog
Since July 2012, this blog has been a place for some of my finished work (like this essay on Montana food culture), as well as lots of projects that are in process or ideas that are just rumbling around in my mind, like why Budweiser’s summer 2016 America rebrand matters or what Star Wars has to do with Edward Hopper’s food paintings.
It’s also become a place to share academic learnings and advice, such as how to write a winning statement of purpose, get the most out of academic conferences, get started on Twitter, or publish in food studies journals.
No matter what you’re here to read, please feel free to comment and engage—and know you’re most welcome to contact me if you’d like to discuss anything further.