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Reading and Writing Recipe Books: 1600-1800

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This international interdisciplinary conference provided a much-needed environment for recipe book scholars to meet and discuss important issues such as comparative methodologies and periodization, and thereby offered a key opportunity to shape the course of future research on this genre.

This conference was the 2007 winner of the American Study and Student Exchange Committee's (ASSEC's) 'US/Warwick Interchange Funding'--a generous and competitive award offered annually to the best proposed conference seeking to enhance links between the University of Warwick and American research institutions.  It was the first conference worldwide to focus exclusively on early modern recipe books.

8-9 August 2008 at the University of Warwick


Margaret Ezell (English, Texas A&M University)

Mary Fissell (History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University)

Gilly Lehmann (Université de Franche-Comté)

Janet Theophano (Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania)

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Paper topics included:

  • Methodological essays from the disciplines of history of medicine, literature, material culture, culinary history, etc.
  • Possibilities of new scholarly directions (e.g. recipe books as life-writing sources)
  • Periodization of generic conventions
  • Evidence of larger cultural influences, such as gender, social status, religion and geography
  • How manuscript and printed collections relate to one another

Click here to read delegate abstracts.

Co-organised by: Michelle DiMeo and Sara Pennell (

This conference was funded by generous grants provided by ASSEC, the Wellcome Trust, and the Royal Historical Society.

Sponsored by the University of Warwick's Department of English & Comparative Literary Studies and Centre for the History of Medicine

Images provided by Wellcome Library, London