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Conference: Empowering Appetites: The Political Economy and Culture of Food in the Early Atlantic World
Rothenberg Hall, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
San Marino, CA
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Conference: Empowering Appetites: The Political Economy and Culture of Food in the Early Atlantic World
Friday, October 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, October 13, 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. Rothenberg Hall

Registration for this 2-day conference is $25, with an optional buffet lunch each day for $20.

Conference registration is $10 for current Huntington docents, and free for current Long-Term Fellows and students with a current Student I.D. Please bring your current I.D. to event day check-in. Students, please note school affiliation after your name when registering.

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 Fran├žois 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


Rothenberg Hall, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (View)
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
United States



Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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