June 2016

Symposiasts at Work: Ken Albala

Ken Albala.
Ken Albala.
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Andrew Dalby introduces Symposiast Ken Albala

Ken has been a regular symposiast since 1997. Hear him speak at Oxford and meanwhile visit his blog, Ken Albala’s Food Rant, http://www.kenalbala.blogspot.com/ in which he claims to live at Stockfish, California … Believe this or believe it not, Ken was evidently fated to get trapped in the interface between words and food. One of his early books, The Banquet, surprises the reader with a series of tasty neologisms a few of which were convincing enough to escape his copy-editor’s keen eyes. Next time you encounter the word ‘apastasy’ (refusal to eat pasta) remember that Ken invented it.

Ken studied at George Washington University, Yale, and Columbia, where he took his Ph.D. in 1993. Since then he has been professor of history at University of the Pacific. He is chair of the MA Food Studies program at its San Francisco campus, editor of the Rowman and Littlefield series Studies in Food and Gastronomy, and altogether one of the most active of US food historians. His 36-part course Food: a cultural culinary history is available on DVD.

Attached to his biography page at University of the Pacific is an impressive list of his books, academic and conference papers and other writings, also visible at https://www.academia.edu/25992026/Curriculum_Vitae”>academia.edu.

Ken Albala as author

Eating Right in the Renaissance. University of California Press, 2002
Food in Early Modern Europe. Greenwood Press, 2003
Opening Up North America. Facts on File, 2005. Revised ed., 2009 (with Caroline Cox)
Cooking in Europe: 1250-1650. Greenwood Press, 2006
The Banquet: dining in the great courts of late Renaissance Europe. University of Illinois Press, 2007
Beans: a history. Berg Publishers, 2007
Pancake: a global history. Reaktion Books, 2008. Translated into Japanese 2013
The Lost Art of Real Cooking. Perigee/Penguin, 2010 (with Rosanna Nafziger)
Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese. AltaMira Press, 2012
The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home. Perigee/Penguin, 2012 (with Rosanna Nafziger)
Grow Food, Eat Food, Share Food. Oregon State University Press, 2013
Nuts: a global history. Reaktion Books, 2014
The Most Excellent Book of Cookery: an edition and translation of the 16th century Livre fort excellent de cuysine. Prospect Books, 2014 (with Timothy Tomasik)
Beyond Ramen: A World of Noodle Soup. In progress.
The Fast: Penitence and Food in the Reformation. In progress.

 The title page of Livre fort excellent de cuysine tres utille et proffitable, Lyon, 1555, from the Bibliothèque Royale copy.
The title page of Livre fort excellent de cuysine tres utille et proffitable, Lyon, 1555, from the Bibliothèque Royale copy.
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Ken Albala as editor

The Business of Food: encyclopedia of the food and drink industries. Greenwood Press, 2007 (with Gary Allen)
Human Cuisine. Thyestian Press/Booksurge, 2008 (with Gary Allen)
Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. 4 vols. Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO, 2011
Food and Faith in the Christian Tradition. Columbia University Press, 2011 (with Trudy Eden)
A Cultural History of Food in The Renaissance. Berg Publishers, 2012
Routledge International Handbook of Food Studies. Routledge, 2012. Paperback ed., 2014
Food History: a primary source reader. Bloomsbury, 2014
From Famine to Fast Food: nutrition, diet and concepts of health around the world. ABC-CLIO, 2014
Food in Time and Place: the American Historical Association companion to food history. University of California Press, 2014 (with Paul Freedman and Joyce Chaplin)
Food Issues: an encyclopedia. 3 vols. Sage Publications, 2015
At the Table: food and family around the world. Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2016

Ken Albala as Symposiast

Ken Albala’s papers given at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery can be found here