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'You Are What You Eat’: Food and Identity From The Middle Ages to the Modern

Warwick Food History Conference, 2021

Organisers: Maria Reyes Baztán, Serin Quinn, and Louise Morgan

Click here to register! This event is free, but registration is required as places are limited. For any questions please write to

(All times British Summer Time (BST))


9:00am MS Teams room open

Professor Beat Kümin, University of Warwick

9:30 – 10:45 PANEL ONE – Body, Soul, and Community: Food, Drink, and Religion in Pre-Modern Europe

Are You Really What You Eat? Eating and Morality in Last Supper Sculpture in Twelfth-Century France
Mazi Kuzi, Tel Aviv University

‘I saw Jesus Christ at a London Inn, and he told me: Do not eat so much’--Gluttony, Mental Intoxication and Spiritual Fasting in the Manuscripts of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)
Vincent Roy-Di Piazza, University of Oxford

'Streetlookers' and Confiscated Pails: Wells and the Construction of Community in Early Modern England.
Daniel Gettings, University of Warwick

11:00-12:15 PANEL TWO – Nourishing Change: Modern Food Reformer Movements

Reproductive Diet of a Brahmachari: Celibacy, Nutrition, and Caste in Late Colonial Western India
Shrikant Botre, University of Warwick

Gendering Food Reform: Women’s Realities of Food Activism in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Britain
Oihane Etayo, University of Warwick

Kneading a New Society: Bread and Socio-cultural Critique of the Dutch Alternative Food Movement (1968-1984)
Amber Striekwold, KU Leuven

13:15-14:30 PANEL THREE – Eating Across Divides: Food at the Borders of Trade, Diplomacy, and Community

Feasting and Fasting: Banquets in Diplomatic Exchanges Between Poland-Lithuania and Muscovy in the Late Seventeenth Century
Ewelina Sikora, Central European University

Negotiating Identities of Foreign Traders: Consumption of Curry in the Early Nineteenth-Century Canton
Leiyun Ni, University of Warwick

Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican Meats and Body Politics
Ricardo Aguilar-González, University of Warwick

14:45-16:25 PANEL FOUR – Global Drinks on a Local Perspective: Tea, Coffee, Sherbet, and Saloop

The Chimney Sweep’s Friend: How London's Labouring Poor Came to Define Saloop
Freya Purcell, V&A/RCA

We drink, therefore we are: Relationship Between Identities and Beverage Consumption throughout the Ottoman Empire
Onur Daylan, Independent Scholar

Early Modern Visual Representations of Tea and Coffee Drinking
Nicole Bianchini, University of São Paulo

A Biography of Sweet Tea Culture in Lhasa from the Perspective of Dietary Anthropology
Huang Shuxia, Sichuan University


9:00-9:15 MS Teams Room Open and Welcome

9:15-11:00 PANEL FIVE – Sexualising and Gendering Food from the Early Modern to the Modern

Food, drink and sexual education in Mirabeau’s Le Rideau levé, ou L’Education de Laure (The Lifted Curtain, or Laure’s Education) (1786)
Catherine Ellis, Independent Scholar

Words, images and…action: Forms of masculine representation in the illustrated ‘cookstrips’ of Len Deighton’s Action Cookbook (1965)
Lorna Sheppard, University of Portsmouth

‘Manliness’ and ‘Beastliness’: Masculinity, Sexuality and Food in Early Twentieth-Century Public School Fiction
Sasha Garwood, University of Nottingham

‘With Good Brandy Their Noddles are Soakt:’ Gendered Depictions of Brandy Drinking in Early Modern England
Tyler Rainford, University of Bristol

11:15-12:30 PANEL SIX – Food, the Final Frontier: Consuming Colonialism

‘Blooming Bananas'- Britain, Britishness and Brand Banana
Mary Irwin & Ana Tominc, Queen Margaret University

Cook and Coconuts; Culinary experiences in the Pacific during the Age of Exploration
Samuel Limby, Trinity College Dublin

A Pinch of Salt: Interrogating the Politics of Salt in Modern India
Sonakshi Srivastava, Indraprastha University

13:30-14:45 PANEL SEVEN – The Global Politics of Patriotism: Food, Drink, and the Nation

Traditional Beer for the Modern Townsman: Contestations around Municipal ‘African Beer’ in Late Colonial Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Maurice Hutton, University of Nottingham

The last cry of nineteenth-century famine in Ireland and echoes of India: the politics of food supply in 1897-8
Noel Carolan, Dublin City University

From “Sanitation” to “Uncleanliness”: The Changing Culture of Soda Water in Modern Shanghai
Haoran Ni, University of Kansas

15:00-16:00 KEYNOTE: The Global Invention of Pilsner Beer
Professor Jeffrey Pilcher, University of Toronto

Unknown Artist, ‘Original Vegetarians’, Punch, 1848

Abstract Booklet