ASFS Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight


The Corn Harvest, Pieter Bruegel the Elder; Antwerp, 1525-1530.

The ASFS consists of more than 300 scholars researching, writing, teaching, and advocating on food topics. Our members’ backgrounds span academic disciplines, whose interests range from agriculture to food preparation to consumption (and beyond to food waste) and from issues that intersect with politics and gender, to class and performance.  The Member Spotlight introduces us to such a diverse group of scholars, activists, farmers, and artists. The interviews are conducted by Dr. Greg de St. Maurice and Dr. Beth M. Forrest.


Dr. Alice Julier is Director of Chatham University’s Food Studies Program. Her research focuses on issues of gender, class, race, and food.


Dr. Alice Julier is author of the award-winning Eating Together: Food, Friendship, and Inequality (University of Illinois, 2013). A sociolologist, she serves as Associate Dean and the Director of the Food Studies Program at Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability. Currently an an ASFS Fellow, she has served on the board since 1999, including several terms as President and Vice President.

Here (January 2018) we ask her about her work as well as her thoughts on the incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination in the food industry that have been in the media spotlight recently.






Cruz Miguel Ortíz Cuadra, Puerto Rican food scholar, shares his experiences and impressions of life in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.


Dr. Cruz Miguel Ortíz Cuadra is a professor of humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao. The author of Eating Puerto Rico: A History of Food, Culture, and Identity, Dr. Ortíz Cuadra studies shifting food habits and cultural attitudes towards food since Spanish conquest. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Puerto Rico.

Read More! (October 2017)





Jason Jay, graduate student in Food Studies at the University of the Pacific, prize-winning para-visually impaired archer, and accomplished cook. ©Jason Jay, 2017.

Jason Jay is a Master’s student in Food Studies at the University of the Pacific. Jason lost his sight in 2014 while working as a professional cook. Since then, his research has focused on food accessibility issues for the vision impaired. Jason tells us about his research, cooking, and also about competing as a para-visually impaired archer.

Read more! (September 2017)






Dr. Jennifer Jensen Wallach, winner of the 2017 ASFS Edited Volume Book Award. Pork shows up a lot in her research. How much does it appear on her plate?

Dr. Jennifer Jensen Wallach is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Texas. In addition to winning the 2017 ASFS Edited Volume Book Award for her book Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama (Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 2015), she has also authored How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) and the forthcoming Tomorrow I’ll be at the Table: African American Foodways from Slavery to the Present. She edited American Appetites: A Documentary Reader (U. Arkansas, 2014) and coedited The Routledge History of American Foodways (Routledge, 2016.)

Read More! (July 2017)


John Lang, professor of sociology at Oxy and lover of the roast pork at Tony Luke’s.

Dr. John Lang is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Occidental College. The range of his work considers influences that impact public perceptions on food and eating, from noise levels in restaurants to consumer trust of food producers. His work appears in a number of publications, AgroBioForum to International Journal of Public Opinion Research to Gastronomica, and he has contributed to the books Savoring Gotham (2015), Food Issues (2015), and the forthcoming Organic Food: Farming and Culture (2017). Moreover, he is Book Review Editor of FC&S and host/organizer of the 2017 ASFS annual conference.

Read More! (May 2017)




Dr. Jeff Birkenstein, Professor of English, who has coined the term “Significant Food” in his work on food in film and fiction. ©Jeff Birkestein 2016

Dr. Jeff Birkenstein is Professor of English at St. Martin’s University. He is the co-editor of Critical Insights: American Writers in Exile (2015), The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It’s a Mad World (2013), and Reframing 9/11: Film, Popular Culture, and the “War on Terror” (2010). His work has been published in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, Lore: An E- Journal for Teachers of Writing, and a number of edited volumes. He is currently working on a book project about what he has termed “Significant Food.”

Read More (April 2017)


Dr. Melissa Caldwell, anthropologist, editor of Gastronomica, and advocate of Russian cuisine. ©Melissa De Witte, 2016


Dr. Melissa Caldwell is an anthropologist at UC Santa Cruz. In 2013, she assumed the role as editor of Gastronomica. She is author of Not by Bread Alone: Social Support in the New Russia (2004), Food and Everyday Life in Postsocialist World (2009, with Elizabeth Dunn) Dacha Idylls: Living Organically in Russia’s Countryside (2010) and, most recently, Living Faithfully in an Unjust World: Compassionate Care in Russia (2016). In addition, she is editor of The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating: A Reader (2004) and Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World (2014).

Read More (March 2017)

Dr. Maria Grazia Quieti, Director of the MA in Food Studies at The American University of Rome, former Senior Policy Officer for the Food and Agricultural Organization, and adventurous eater.

Dr. Maria Grazia Quieti is Director of the MA in Food Studies Program and Dean of the Graduate School at The American University Rome. Prior to this she had a long career working on issues related to agricultural production, rural development for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences (Cardiff), a Master’s in Public Administration (Harvard), and a laurea di dottore in cultural anthropology (Rome, Sapienza).

Read More (February 2017)






Brad Jones, lover of Comte, and president of GAFS

Bradley M. Jones is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the founding editor of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies and, currently, president of the Graduate Association of Food Studies (GAFS). Learn more about Brad, his research and his work with the GAFS!

Read More (January 2017)





joke mammen

Joke Mammen, Curator of Special Collections at the University of Amsterdam


Joke Mammen is Curator of Special Collections at the University of Amsterdam, notable for its History of Food Collection, its Gastronomic Library, and the Johannes van Dam and Joop Witteveen prizes. She is also an organizing committee member and registrar for the Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food.

Read More! (December 2016)





Dr. Angela Jill Cooley

Dr. Angela Jill Cooley, historian, legal scholar, winner of the 2016 ASFS book award, and maker of divinity.


Dr. Angela Jill Cooley is author of To Live and Dine in Dixie: The Evolution of Food Culture in the Jim Crow South (2015), which was awarded this year’s ASFS book award. She is Assistant Professor of History at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Prior to this she held a fellowship from the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Her research and teaching connect history, law, food, and social justice.

Read More! (October, 2016)


Gyorgy Scrinis

Dr. Gyorgy Scrinis, ASFS member who coined the term “nutritionism.”

Dr. Gyorgy Scrinis is Lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia who specializes in food politics and policy. He holds a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science, and Social Theory, from the University of Melbourne. He is author of the influential book, Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice (2013) as well as several recent articles that have appeared in: The Journal of Peasant Studies, Canadian Food Studies, World Nutrition, and The Philosophy of Food, ed. David Kaplan. He has also contributed to several popular publications including Gastronomica, Salon, and The Huffington Post.

Read More! (August, 2016)




Jeffrey Pilcher, scholar of all things tacos, beer & Toronto. Host of the 2016 ASFS Annual Conference

Dr. Jeffrey Pilcher is Professor of Food History in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. He authored ¡Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (1998), The Sausage Rebellion: Public Health, Private Enterprise, and Meat in Mexico City (2006), Food in World History (2006) and Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food (2012). He edited the Oxford Handbook of Food History (2012) and the four-volume anthology  Food History: Critical and Primary Sources (2014). He is current and founding editor of Global Food History and is writing a book on the global history of beer.

Read More! (June, 2016)

Elise Lake

Elise Lake, Sociologist, Occasional Deviant Diner, and Member of ASFS since 2005.

Dr. Elise Lake teaches sociology at “Ole Miss,” The University of Mississippi. There, she teaches classes on the family, food, criminality, and deviant behavior. She has published on the sociology of food and eating as well as the role of gender in the novels of American writer Harry Crews (1935-2012). Lake’s current research projects include considering how diet and body image are portrayed in  Good Housekeeping magazine during the Progressive Era and the relationship between politics and school lunches.

Read More! (May, 2016)




Lisa Heldke, Badass Philosopher

Lisa Heldke, Badass Philosopher and ASFS Fellow


Dr. Lisa Heldke is an ASFS Fellow who served on the board for 7 (?) years and co-editedFood, Culture, and Society for 4 years. She teaches philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College, where she holds the Sponberg Chair in Ethics. She has authored/edited several books, including: Cooking, Eating, Thinking: Transformative Philosophies of Food (2003),  Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventurer (2003) The Atkins Diet and Philosophy: Chewing the Fat with Kant and Nietzsche (2005), and most recently, Philosophers at Table: On Food and Being Human (2016). She also co-teaches the John Dewey Kitchen Institute at UVM ( food-studies- our-interrelations- in-the- world/).

Read More! (April, 2016)


Shingo Hamada--Member Spotlight photo

Dr. Shingo Hamada, ASFS member since 2010.

Dr. Shingo Hamada is Lecturer in the Food Studies Program at Osaka Shoin Women’s University in Osaka Japan. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology at Indiana University. From 2012-2013, he was a doctoral fellow for the yearlong Mellon Sawyer Seminar, “Food Choice, Freedom, and Politics,” at Indiana University and defended his dissertation in 2014. The title of his dissertation is “Fishers, Scientists, and Techno-Herring: An Actor-Network Theory Analysis of Seafood and Marine Stock Enhancement in Hokkaido, Japan.”

Shingo then moved to Kyoto, Japan to work as a project researcher at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). He is working on the 3-year project “Long-term Sustainability through Place-based, Small-scale Economies: Approaches from Historical Ecology.”

Read more! (March, 2016)

Riki Saltzman

Riki Saltzman, member of ASFS since 2010.

Dr. Rachelle (Riki) Saltzman is Executive of the Oregon Folklore Network, which is comprised of community, regional and state cultural and heritage partners. Through folklife fieldwork and activities, the organization seeks to preserve cultural traditions while increasing public awareness. She is author of A Lark for the Sake of their Country: The 1926 General Strike volunteers in folklore and memory (Manchester UP, 2012), winner of the 2012 Wayland Hand Prize from the American Folklore Society. Riki has also coordinated the student paper awards, a task that illustrates her diligence, attention to detail, and patience.

Read more! (February, 2016)


Katherine magruder

Katherine Magruder, PhD candidate in Food Studies at NYU and ASFS member coordinator.

Katherine Magruder is in her third year of her doctorate at NYU, working with Krishnendu Ray. She is busy studying for her comps and working on a dissertation proposal about food programming on radio, prior to its eclipse by cooking programs on daytime television in the 1950s and 1960s.  In addition she works with Amy Bentley as the assistant managing editor for Food, Culture and Society, and is the membership manager for ASFS. Katherine earned her BA at Johns Hopkins, where she studied oboe at the Peabody Institute and studied under Sidney Mintz, blending her interests by considering Americans’ attitudes toward “Italian” food and music in the nineteenth century.

Read more! (January, 2016)