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The Culinary Worlds of 18th Century Women in Britain, USA & Türkiye

Meeting, Exceeding and Defying Expectations: The Culinary Worlds of 18th Century Women in Britain, USA & Türkiye

Join historians from Britain, the USA and Türkiye as explore the culinary worlds of women in the long 18th Century.

For middle class women in Britain, the USA & Türkiye the 18th century saw an increase in literacy, social mobility and involvement in public life. In some instances, women's responsibility for food and cooking, provided them with opportunities to generate income through publishing and commerce, while others were able to exert power in the private sphere by adopting new culinary fashions. Bringing together three experts from the USA, Türkiye and Britain, this panel discussion will explore the role of culinary culture in shaping and enabling middle-class women's lives during the long 18th Century.

This event is a collaboration between the OFS and the British Library Food Season, and we are happy and honoured to welcome Özge Samancı, Neil Buttery and Megan Elias at our Kitchen Table. The Conversation will be moderated by Polly Russell.

Özge Samancı is a historian whose research interests include Ottoman and Turkish food history and culture. She is associate professor and head of the department of Gastronomy and Culinary Arts at Özyeğin University in Istanbul. Samancı has authored books such as “Flavours of Istanbul  (2007), “Turkish Cuisine (2008) and “La Cuisine d’Istanbul au 19e siècle” (2015); “Yeni Yemek Kitabı (2018); of book chapters such as “Culinary Consumption Patterns of the Ottoman Elite during the First Half of the 19th Century” in the Illuminated Table, the Prosperous House (2003), “Pilaf and Bouchées: The Modernization of Official Banquets at the Ottoman Palace in the Nineteenth Century” in Royal Taste (2011), “ Food Studies In Ottoman-Turkish Historiography”, in Writing Food History: A Global Perspective (2012), “Cuisine” in Dictionnaire de l’Empire Ottoman (2015).

Neil Buttery is an author, blogger, podcaster and chef who has been studying and cooking traditional British food for over fifteen years. His first book, A Dark History of Sugar, written under lockdown and published last year, and his second, Before Mrs Beeton: Elizabeth Raffald, England’s Most InfluentialHousekeeper, was published in March. His research, discoveries and recipes can be read on his blogBritish Food: a History, and heard on The British Food History Podcast.

Megan Elias is an associate professor and director of the Graduate Program in Gastronomy at Boston University. An historian by training, Elias’s work focuses on the history of food writing, gender, and home economics. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Food, Culture & Society. Elias's books include Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture; Lunch: The History of a Meal; and Food in the United States, 1890-1945, which was selected as an “Outstanding Academic Text” for 2009 by the American Library Association.

Polly Russell is a food historian, the founder and curator of the Food Season and the Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. Polly co-organises the OSFC monthly Wikiedit workshop and is a former OSFC Trustee. Polly was the on-screen historian for BBC2’s Back in Time series and has a regular food history column in the Financial Times Saturday Magazine.

Zoom Event Details

25th May 2023
5:00 pm BST
Free – £15


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