Teaching High School American History With Cookbooks

By Carla Cevasco  “Ew! Peanut butter in tamales?” a student exclaims. This unappetizing take on Mexican food, from the 1922 cookbook Foods of the Foreign-Born in Relation to Health, provides a perfect jumping-off point for me and a classroom of high school juniors to discuss American immigration policy in the early twentieth century. Bertha Wood’s ‘Americanized’ … Continue reading Teaching High School American History With Cookbooks

Rotten or Fermented?: Disgusting Cross-Cultural Foods in Early America

By Carla Cevasco In Autumn 1764, the English missionary Samuel Kirkland was dispatched to a Seneca Indian village in western New York, where a Seneca family adopted him, as was common practice. A hard winter followed, and the family shared their increasingly scanty food supplies with Kirkland. When food ran low in early 1765, Kirkland traded one … Continue reading Rotten or Fermented?: Disgusting Cross-Cultural Foods in Early America

Listening, Tasting, Reading, Touching: Interdisciplinary Histories of American Food

By Theresa McCulla When members of the American Historical Association gathered for their annual meeting in New York City in January, attendees set out to explore disciplines other than history. Or rather, they aimed to understand where and how other disciplines intersect most fruitfully with the practice of history. To our panel of four scholars … Continue reading Listening, Tasting, Reading, Touching: Interdisciplinary Histories of American Food

Dyeing to Impress: Hair Products and Beauty Culture in Nineteenth-Century America

By Sean Trainor Readers of a certain age will surely recall their first gray hair. Perhaps they can even relate to the panic that absorbed the nameless protagonist of an April 1831 story in The Ladies’ Magazine. Not yet twenty-eight, the tale’s heroine “was shocked at the visible approach of Time, and resolved, if possible, … Continue reading Dyeing to Impress: Hair Products and Beauty Culture in Nineteenth-Century America