Conference: Empowering Appetites: The Political Economy and Culture of Food in the Early Atlantic World

Conference: Empowering Appetites: The Political Economy and Culture of Food in the Early Atlantic World
Oct 12 - 13 , 2018

Friday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

This interdisciplinary conference focuses on the transatlantic dynamics of food and power in the long 18th century. Historians, historical geographers, and literary scholars will assess the significant role of food in shaping interpersonal and geopolitical relations during this period, focusing in particular on the perceived and real impact of scarcity and social unrest. $25. Register online. Rothenberg Hall


Conference Schedule



9 a.m. - Registration & Coffee


9:30 a.m. - Welcome: Steve Hindle (The Huntington)


Opening Remarks: Jennifer Anderson (Stony Brook University)
Anya Zilberstein (Concordia University)


10 a.m. - Session 1: The Politics of Food
Moderator: Anya Zilberstein


Michael LaCombe (Adelphi University)
And for you, sir? Roast venison? Or sod bread made up round [like] a tennis ball?: Serving Out Status in Early English Travel Accounts


Rebecca Earle (University of Warwick)
Potatoes, Political Economy, and Population in the Eighteenth Century


Jonathan Sachs (Concordia University)
Cowper's Swelling Gourd: Politics and the Periodicity of Cultivation


12:30 p.m. - Lunch


1:30 p.m. - Session 2: Provisioning Empire
Moderator: Jennifer Anderson


Bertie Mandelblatt (John Carter Brown Library)
Ce pain est de telle substance que bien facillement nos François sy accoustument: Missionaries, Hunger and Plenty in the early Franco-Caribbean


Shauna Sweeney (Omohundro Institute)
Feeding Empire, Forging Freedom: Jamaican Market Women and the Political Economy of Slavery


Suzanne Schwarz (University of Worcester)
Feeding Freetown: Sources of Supply in an Early African Colony, c. 1790-1815




9:30 a.m. - Registration & Coffee


10 a.m. - Session 3: Managing Food Supplies
Moderator: Anya Zilberstein


Nicholas Crawford (Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse)
The Physical Force of the Plantation: Slave Provisioning and the Politics of Population in the British Caribbean Colonies


Carla Cevasco
Sophisticated Food: Counterfeit Comestibles in Early North America


Emma Hart (University of St. Andrews)
Flies, Filth, and Forestalling: Entrepreneurs versus the Good of the Whole in British North Americas Provisioning Markets


12:30 p.m. - Lunch


1:30 p.m. - Session 4: Changing Appetites: Cultural Meanings of Food
Moderator: Jennifer Anderson


Julie Kim (Fordham University)
Subsistence in Carib Lands


Kristen Block (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Unwholesome Appetites: Edibility and Nourishment in the 17th- to 18th-century Caribbean


Joyce Chaplin (Harvard University)
Why Drink Water?: Dietetics and British Imperialism


4:30 p.m. - Concluding Remarks: Anya Zilberstein and Jennifer Anderson


Funding provided by
The Huntington’s William French Smith Endowment and
The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute



About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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