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Beyond cooking: global histories of food-making and gender across the early modern world

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In a global context of exchange of ideas, people and commodities, women played a crucial role in the multilateral ways of assimilation and adaptation of new food commodities and tastes across the early modern world. The relation between gender and food has been mainly categorized as masculine/public/skilled and feminine/domestic/unskilled, but little attention is given to the wide range of food-related labour performed by women inside and outside the household, such aspreserving, brewing, baking and cheese-making.

This interdisciplinary conference brings into dialogue diverse geographies, disciplines and approaches to reflect on the gender dimension of food and cooking in the crucial period of the early globalisation. We will look closely at the ‘making process’, as a highly gendered and embodied experience and as a form of production and transmission of ideas, skills and identities. Building on recent scholarship on ‘making and knowing’, we consider ‘making food’ as a framework to build cross-cultural stories of food and gender and, thereby, contribute to the growing field of food studies.

The conference brings together international scholars from history, anthropology, archaeology, material culture and gender studies to further develop interdisciplinary approaches and experimental methodologies for the study of food in the past.

Full programme and registration: https://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/29831/

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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