J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

“Foodways in the Northeast” in Deerfield, 21-23 June

On 21-23 June, Historic Deerfield will host the 38th annual Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife. This year’s topic is food. In more detail:

“Foodways in the Northeast II: A Second Helping” is a three-day conference of seventeen lectures, a supporting workshop, and demonstrations on the subject of New England’s culinary history from 1600 to the present. The program complements and expands on scholarly developments presented at a previous Seminar held thirty-one years ago in Deerfield in 1982.

Beginning Friday evening with the keynote speaker, John Forti of Strawbery Banke Museum, the conference will address colonial-period foodways; the foodways of schools, politics, and culinary revivals; diet and religious foods; nineteenth-century farm management; and foodways in the twentieth century. The conference will end on Sunday with a panel discussion on the renaissance in New England of artisan and slow foods, followed by comments from Caroline F. Sloat, a speaker at the 1982 Seminar.

The Seminar is designed for educators, historians, culinarians, collectors, authors, librarians, and museum curators; students and the general public are cordially invited to attend.
More detail, including the lineup of planned papers and activities, can be found in this download of the registration form. Registration is $155 for all three days, with discounts for full-time students and Dublin Seminar members and extras for additional events.

Here’s the contents list of the 1982 Foodways volume. I particularly remember Daphne Derven’s “Wholesome, Toothsome, and Diverse: Eighteenth-Century Foodways in Deerfield, Massachusetts,” which analyzed account books from the town and discovered seasonal cycles for slaughtering and consuming different types of meat before refrigeration. That gave me a new way of looking at what I ate.

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