A Historian’s Take On Food and Food Politics
Rachel Laudan has published widely on food history and politics, most notably her book Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History (2013) and an influential article “A Plea for Culinary Modernism: Why We Should Love Fast, New, Processed Food” (2001).
“A Plea for Culinary Modernism,” which argues against the foodie food ethos of small, local, slow, and natural, has been reprinted multiple times in the past twenty years in publications across the political spectrum.
Cuisine and Empire has been praised as “an exposition as lucid as it is authoritative [which]gives deserved prominence to a long-neglected theme in world history . . . a triumph, pointing the way to a wholly new kind of historiography” in the New York Review of Books. It has been translated into Japanese, Chinese (both on the mainland and in Taiwan), and Korean and a Spanish translation is forthcoming.
As a food historian, Rachel has regularly appeared on television, radio, and print media. She reviews for the Wall Street Journal and the Times Literary Supplement. She has acted as expert witness, editorial and museum board member, and consultant. She was Scholar in Residence for the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Rachel is a frequent speaker, keynoting events hosted by culinary, academic, and business organizations.
Currently Rachel Is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
I have had an academic career as a historian and philosopher of science and technology (CV Rachel Laudan 2016); a childhood on a farm; and the chance to live for extended periods of time on five continents.
My research on food history has made me an unabashed, though not uncritical enthusiast about modern food. Most of what I talk about on my blog revolves around that.
I love comments, discussion, and criticism (constructive, of course).