How do cookbooks speak? What stories do they tell—and whose? What do cookbooks reveal about power and how it operates? How do cookbooks communicate and construct gender? These are some of the questions my students and I have pondered lately in our course “Food and Gender in U.S. Popular Culture” at Brown University. For our first assignment, students analyzed how cookbooks prescribe and transgress conventional gender roles. A uniquely interdisciplinary field, food studies scholarship often employs various methods, but the close reading of cookbooks is one method that approaches universality. Perhaps that’s part of why I’ve written on them so often (like here, here, and here). I’m working with a thoughtful and engaged group of 20 mostly first- and second-year students. While most had read and used cookbooks for cooking, few had previously considered them as elements of popular culture, as valuable historical evidence, as prescriptive literature that shape notions of gender, or as sources in which the so-often-silenced voices of women and people of color can be heard. In an effort to fully scaffold and support our work with cookbooks, we first did some reading. …
In addition to being a public scholar, I endeavor to reflect publicly and often on teaching, aiming to share what I learn and to learn from others. Each semester, I try to experiment with a new assignment or project and share the results: Food Media Syllabus Unessays Infographics Teaching “Persuasive Influences in America” Student-Faculty Interviews Defining American Food Class Blog (Class 1 and Class 2) Food and Gender in U.S. Popular Culture e-Journal Designing Dietary Guidelines Teaching Writing through Cookbooks
Drawing from hundreds of cookbooks from 1390s-1920s, the Reading Historic Cookbooks seminar taught participants to listen to the voices in these texts.
Through historic cookbooks, Instagram, and 30+ virtual guests, “Food Media” critically considers our global food system through media.
Jennifer Jensen Wallach and Michael Wise discuss the new fellowship, food studies at UNT, and what it’s like to live, work, and eat in Denton.
I blog as an academic for a number of reasons, but this year I had some new reflecting to do.
Consider these writing productivity tips from food historian Ken Albala, author or editor of 25 books to date.
The blog is turning five! Here’s five more reasons why I blog, and why other academics should too.
I wondered how students exposed to critical nutrition studies might view food advice differently and reimagine dietary guidelines. This is what happened.
I’m celebrating National Cookbook Month with some of my past writing on cookbooks as texts, technical guides, objects, ephemera, historical evidence, collector’s items, keepsakes, family heirlooms, art, and symbols.
My research explores the connections between food, the body, health, and identities in contemporary U.S. media and popular culture. I’m Assistant Professor of Media Studies at The University of Tulsa, and my current book project is Diners, Dudes and Diets: Gender and Power in U.S. Food Culture and Media with UNC Press. I am also co-editing You Are What You Post: Food and Instagram.
I’m thrilled to share my students’ final project, an e-journal that culminates our course, “Food and Gender in U.S. Popular Culture,” at Brown University. In this seminar-style course, twenty students (mostly in their first and second years of study) completed four main writing assignments — a cookbook analysis (which I blogged about here), a mini media exhibit, an interview profile, and a restaurant review — all of which engaged the themes of food and gender. For the final project, students worked to revise one of these assignments for inclusion in the class e-journal. We invite you to start with the About page to learn more about the class and our writing. As you will read, these writing assignments expect (and deliver!) clear and sophisticated argument, as well as what we called “compulsively readable” prose. Course readings included not only academic food studies texts, but also a full serving of food writing, providing a taste of different styles and formats. Throughout the semester, we aimed to craft not only compelling thesis statements, but also at least one “aspirational sentence” …
Here is a round up of my public writing on sites dedicated to food, feminist media, medicine, and academia: Nursing Clio “Desire Work, Gender, and Sexuality in South African Ex-Gay Ministries: A Conversation with Melissa Hackman.” May 30, 2019. “At the Crossroads of Comfort TV and Comfort Food.” March 5, 2019. “Photos with Santa Paws: Ruminations on Pets, Precarity, Consumption, and Family.” December 18, 2018. “How the ‘Advisory State’ Shapes American Bodies and Politics: A Conversation with Rachel Louise Moran.” December 13, 2018. “How to Start a Feminist Restaurant: A Chat with Alexandra Ketchum.” September 4, 2018. “Diet Books as Utopian Manifestos: A Conversation with Adrienne Rose Bitar.” July 31, 2018. “I Was Trolled – Here’s Why I’m Turning It into a Teaching Opportunity.” July 17, 2018. “Canned Food History: An Interview with Anna Zeide.” March 20, 2018. “Community Food Justice: An Interview with Garrett Broad.” March 6, 2018. “Not a Day for Salads: The Football Food Rules of the Super Bowl.” February 1, 2018. “An Interview with Janis Thiessen on Snacks.” December 5, 2017. “Microwave Cookbooks: Technology, …
Education Ph.D. Brown University, 2018 American Studies with Gender and Sexuality Studies Certificate, Advisor: Susan Smulyan M.A. Brown University, 2015 American Studies M.L.A. (Award for Excellence in Graduate Study), Boston University, 2013 Gastronomy, Advisor: Warren Belasco, Reader: Carole Counihan M.P.H. University of California, Berkeley, 2009 Public Health Nutrition B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), University of Oklahoma, 2007 Letters with Medical Humanities Minor, Thesis Advisor: Julia Ehrhardt Appointments Assistant Professor, Media Studies, The University of Tulsa, 2018— Publications Works-In-Progress Book manuscript, Diners, Dudes, and Diets: Gender and Power in U.S. Food Culture and Media (Under advance contract with University of North Carolina Press) Edited volume with Zenia Kish, You Are What You Post: Food and Instagram Refereed Journal Articles “Welcome to Flavortown: Guy Fieri’s Populist American Food Culture.” American Studies, The Food Issue 57, no. 3 (2019), 143-160. “The Spicy Spectacular: Food, Gender, and Celebrity on Hot Ones.” Feminist Media Studies. Commentary and Criticism: Food Media Special Issue. 18, no. 4 (2018), 769-773. “‘Lose Like a Man:’ Gender and the Constraints of Self-Making in Weight Watchers Online.” Gastronomica: The Journal …