ACM Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 ACM-Newberry course has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Information on the Fall 2021 course, “The Politics of Performance,” can be found here.

Food for Thought

The upcoming Spring 2021 Seminar is Food for Thought: A Thousand Years of Cooking and Eating in Illinois and Chicago. Cities are shaped by people, and people in turn are shaped by the food they grow, process, cook, and consume. This seminar explores how the production, transportation, and preparation of food transformed urban landscapes in the Midwest since the time of the Indigenous city of Cahokia to contemporary Chicago. 

Looking at food from an interdisciplinary perspective will allow humanities students to explore a variety of the Newberry Library’s collections. Readings, lectures, and site visits will serve as a launch pad for participants to complete their own independent study using the Newberry’s source materials including 19th century maps of stockyards and Indigenous villages in the Midwest, postcards and ephemera from the World’s Fair, recipe collections, household guides, and environmental and economic studies.   

The seminar will cover the history of farming and food in the Midwest; the growth of Chicago as a center of commodity markets; cultural shifts in cuisine due to human migrations, immigration, and special events like the Columbian Exposition of 1893; gender roles related to food production and preparation; and the significance of food to twentieth-century food sovereignty activism. 

Faculty Bio

Rosemary O’Neill

Kenyon College

Professor O’Neill’s research and teaching take up the literature of later medieval England, with a particular interest in how religious practices shaped the poetry of writers such as Chaucer, Langland and the Pearl-Poet. At Kenyon, she teaches courses on medieval drama, medieval women writers, and literature and religion in medieval England.

Previous ACM-Newberry Seminar Courses