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Food and Drink History Reading Group

Welcome to Food History Reading Group. This reading group is convened by postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the History Department at the University of Warwick. We aim to provide a friendly and inspiring environment to discuss different themes and approaches to food history, and welcome students and scholars from different disciplines to join in our discussion.

Sessions are held once a month at term times. During each session, one group member will convene the session and lead the discussion. Each meeting will be on a different topic, and please do feel free to only join us for the discussions that interest you!

We look forward to seeing you in our next session. Please email this address if you would like to join us: Thank you!

Next session:

Wednesday, the 27th of October.
Venue: H0.43
Convenor: Shrikant Botre

1) Ian MacLachlan, 'Humanitarian Reform, Slaughter Technology, and Butcher Resistance in 19th Century Britain' in Pula Young Lee (ed.) Meat, Modernity, and the Rise of Slaughterhouse, (Hanover: University of New Hampshire Press, 2008), pp. 107-126.

2) Priscilla J. Brewer, ' "We Have Got a Very Good Cooking Stove": Advertising, Design, and Consumer Response to the Cookstove, 1815-1880' Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring, 1990), pp. 35-54

In this session, we will talk about the relationship between food and technology in the 19th century West. The set of articles explore how technologies related to food production and cooking shaped and were shaped by socio-political and economic situations of the time. Ian MacLachlan examines the British discourse around slaughter tools in reference to humanitarian arguments, private versus public abattoirs, class politics, and the state. Focused on America, Priscilla Brewer shows how the invention and circulation of the cooking stove and subsequent changes in its manufacturing were intertwined with gendered realities of labour in kitchen management, industrial economy, and nostalgic notions of domesticity.

To see our past events and discussions, please look here. You can also find the programme for our 2021 Conference here.

Credit to Jack Baker@jackhughbaker

Floating grocery

'Floating grocery' ca.1800-1820
/V&A collections

'Morning Coffee' 1739

François Boucher/ Musée du Louvre

Food shop in India. ca.1870s