CONFERENCE | Empowering Appetites: The Political Economy/Culture of Food in the Early Atlantic World

Empowering Appetites

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.


Recent Videos and Recorded Programs

two cherubs reading a medical book
A History of the Medical Book
Jan. 28, 2019

This conference brings together a range of perspectives on medical texts that emphasize their lives as books, bringing together the disciplines of the history of medicine and of book history. Speakers will explore a wide variety of medical genres in diverse chronological contexts, posing questions about change and continuity in the nature of the medical book.

Fara Dabhoiwala, professor of history at Princeton University
Speech Before Free Speech
Jan. 23, 2019

Fara Dabhoiwala, professor of history at Princeton University, explores why speech, before the 18th century, was continually monitored and policed in every sphere of life across the Western world; no one believed speech should be free. This program is a Crotty Lecture.

purple flower with six petals
Border-Crossing Botanicals: The Curious History of Saffron in Japan
Jan. 22, 2019

Susan Burns, professor of history at the University of Chicago, explores the incorporation of saffron into Japanese pharmacology, a complex process that involved the rise of natural science and a "productive confusion" that linked saffron with other botanicals. This program is part of the East Asian Garden Lecture series.


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