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Thursday 2/2, 1-2pm: Campus Kitchen and the Market of VT: Food Recovery & Food Security

Campus Kitchen increases food access and  reduces food waste by redirecting unserved food from on-campus dining centers to local hunger relief agencies. The new Market of Virginia Tech provides food assistance to students who have a hard time obtaining regular, healthy meals. Come learn about both and ways to get involved in campus food security efforts! We'll hear from Izzy Largen, Assistant Director for Food Access Initiatives at VT Engage, and Aislinn Guinee, Campus Kitchen Graduate Assistant. Register for this Zoom session:

Thursday 2/23, 4-5pm: "US History in 10" - VT Humanities Week

How might we see history differently if we looked at it through new lenses? In this panel as part of VT Humanities Week, four presenters will each share 10 slides in 10 minutes, telling stories of foods, wild animals, condiments, and technological workers that can make us rethink US History and the people, foods, and environments of which it is comprised. The talks will be engaging, fast-paced, and accessible entry-points for anyone to think about our past in new ways. Theme-appropriate refreshments will be served. Newman Library Rm. 101S, VT-Blacksburg Campus.

Monday 2/27, 7-8:30pm: Author talk on "US History in 15 Foods" with Anna Zeide 

Join Blacksburg Books and Food Studies Director Anna Zeide to hear about her new book US History in 15 Foods. From whiskey in the American Revolution to Spam in WWII, food reveals a great deal about the society in which it exists. Selecting 15 foods that represent key moments in the history of the United States, this book takes readers from before European colonization to the present, narrating major turning points along the way, with food as a guide. A selection of the 15 foods will be available as refreshments!  Blacksburg Books, 401 S Main St Suite 106, Blacksburg, VA 24060. 

Tuesday 3/21, 5-6pm: “A Pickle Problem: The Deli Revival and American Jewish Religion”

Prof. Rachel Beth Gross (San Francisco State University), a former faculty member in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech, will be talking from her new book Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice and the everyday ways that memory and place engage what we call “religion.” All are welcome. 129 McBryde Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24060.

Thursday 3/30, 11am-12:15pm: Leni Sorensen Public Lecture -- "It Takes the World to Make a Meal: Dinner at Cawson’s 1796"

The first of a series of events with acclaimed Black culinary historian, Leni Sorensen, who has been a curator at Monticello, stages historical dinners at her Indigo House, was featured in Netflix's High on the Hog, and was profiled in this recent New York Times piece. (Squires, Brush Mountain A). In this public lecture, she will explored the meals--and the enslaved people who performed the labor, cooking and serving--at a late 18th-century Virginia plantation as a way to illustrate eating traditions and to highlight the lives of the enslaved people who, at all levels of production, made them possible. Squires Student Center, Room: Brush Mountain A, 290 College Ave., Blacksburg, VA 24060.

Thursday 3/30, 7-8:30pm: "Tasting African American Food History: The Antebellum Roots of Chef Edna Lewis's Desserts, with Dr. Leni Sorensen”

In this pay-what-you-want ticketed event with acclaimed Black culinary historian Leni Sorensen, enjoy a dessert course featuring Chef Edna Lewis's bread pudding, prepared by Food Studies students, and with commentary from Dr. Sorensen. Edna Lewis was a renowned American chef, teacher, and author who helped refine the American view of Southern cooking, making the case for black Southern cooking as the foundation of our national cuisine. All proceeds support the Food Studies program's student initiatives. Reserve your tickets here: And if you are a student who would like to cook with Dr. Sorensen and volunteer for the event, please sign up here. Wallace Atrium, Wallace Hall,  295 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060. 

Friday 3/31, 4:45 pm: "Reading Between the Lines: Finding Real Life in Original Documents," Dr. Leni Sorensen

As part of the 26th annual Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Research Conference, Dr. Leni Sorenson will deliver the keynote address on Friday, March 31.  She owns a farmstead devoted to teaching the public about culinary history, historical meals, and effective home provisioning techniques. As a food historian, she researches a wide variety of topics varying from the lives of Black cooks, with a particular emphasis on the American Colonial period and the early nineteenth century, contemporary culinary practices, gardening, and animal processing. Hahn Garden Pavilion, 200 Garden Ln, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Saturday 4/1, 12:30-1:45pm: "Stirring the Pot: Race, Slavery, and Food," Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz

As part of the 26th annual Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Research Conference, Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz will deliver the luncheon address on Saturday, April 1. She is currently the Vice President of Collections and Public Engagement at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. She is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley where she specializes in African American and African Diaspora Studies. Her 2017 book Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine used archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to focus on the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. Graduate Life Center Multipurpose Room, 155 Otey St, Blacksburg, VA 24060

Thursday, 4/13, 12:30pm: Food, gender, and identity in a global context: An interdisciplinary conversation with Nina Mukerjee Furstenau

This Women and Gender in Development Discussion Series event will be hosted in a panel format featuring Nina Mukerjee Furstenau and four faculty members from different divisions of Virginia Tech as panelists, Ozzie AbayeMaria Elisa ChristieKim Niewolny, and Anna Zeide. The guest speaker and panelists will facilitate a discussion on the relationship between food and food preparation on one hand, and gender and cultural identity on the other. Nina Mukerjee Furstenau is a journalist, author, and editor of the FoodStory book series for the University of Iowa Press. She was a Fulbright Global research scholar (2018-19), is on the board of directors for Media for Change, and has won the MFK Fisher Book Award, the Grand Prize Award for Culture/Culinary Writing from Les Dames d'Escoffier International, a Kansas Notable Book award, and more. Register for the event here. Newman Library Multipurpose Room (first floor, Room 101), 560 Drillfield Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060 and Zoom.

 Tuesday, 5/2, 11am-12:15pm: Intro to Food Studies Student Project Showcase

Join the inaugural class of Introduction to Food Studies to see their final project showcase, featuring a range of foods or dishes in historical, social, ethical, and scientific contexts. We'll have a series of tastings and exhibits on display for anyone to browse and engage with. Come support our students! Newman Library Rm. 207A, 560 Drillfield Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060. 

October 26 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM EDT
Author Night with Diane Flynt (in conversation with Jacob Lahne). 
Blacksburg Books, 401 S Main St. Free and open to the public. 

For anyone who’s ever picked an apple fresh from the tree or enjoyed a glass of cider, writer and orchardist Diane Flynt offers a new history of the apple and how it changed the South and the nation. Her new book is Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived: The Surprising Story of Apples in the South. Alongside unexpected apple history, Flynt traces the arc of her own journey as a pioneering farmer in the southern Appalachians who planted cider apples never grown in the region and founded the first modern cidery in the South. Flynt threads her own story with archival research and interviews with orchardists, farmers, cidermakers, and more. The result is not only the definitive story of apples in the South but also a new way to challenge our notions of history. A multiple-time James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional, Diane Flynt founded Foggy Ridge Cider in 1997 after leaving her corporate career and produced cider until 2018. She now sells cider apples from the Foggy Ridge orchards in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Diane will be in discussion with Jacob Lahne, a sensory scientist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science & Technology at Virginia Tech.

Saturday, November 4, @ 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM EDT
"Preserving Food in Cross-Cultural Context," Anna Zeide, United in Diversity Conference, Center for European Union, Transatlantic & Trans-European Space Studies (CEUTTSS) ,
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

This presentation is for high school educators as part of the conference “United in Diversity: Engaging Students in the Shared Values of the EU and the US." The event will include a hands-on food preservation workshop. 

Food Studies Events 2022 | Virginia Tech

Food Studies Events 2022 | Virginia Tech

Monday 2/7, 4:00-5:30pm EST  (In-person: McBryde 209): VT Humanities Week. “Fall Beans, Shucky Beans, Soup Beans: Perspectives in Song & Story”

An interactive program on the cultural meanings of beans in Appalachia organized by the Virginia Tech Food Studies Program with Assistant Professor Danille Christensen (Department of Religion and Culture) along with community leaders Victoria Ferguson (American Indian and Indigenous Community Center) and Ashleigh Shanti (chef and guest) . Read more and register to attend in person here

Friday 3/4, 11:15am-12:05pm EST (Zoom): “Food Studies Facing Food Science: A Conversation with Charlotte Biltekoff” 

This lively conversation with Food Studies scholar Charlotte Biltekoff (UC-Davis) will explore how her research questions and institutional location have brought her to the edges of her field and into ongoing conversation with Food Science. Charlotte’s research touches on a wide range of issues at the intersection of food studies and food science, including dietary advice, the “processed food problem,” California’s burgeoning agri-food tech sector, and who gets to creatively imagine the future of food. Join us to learn more about why Charlotte believes that food studies must include science, and food science cannot reach some of its goals without food studies--and to explore lessons learned about cross disciplinary collaboration. This session is jointly hosted by the Virginia Tech Food Studies program and the Department of Food Science and Technology. Zoom link: (no registration required). 

Thursday 3/17, 12:30-2:00pm EST (Zoom): Karima Moyer-Nocchi, “The History of Macaroni and Cheese”

There’s something about the combination of pasta, cheese, and butter that entices and satiates like few other food combinations can. But did you know that cooks had cottoned onto this knowledge centuries before the creamy orange stuff became a pantry staple? In an immensely appetizing course led by author and professor Karima Moyer of Siena University in Tuscany, Italy, we’ll travel back through culinary history to explore the evolution of one of the world’s all-time favorite comfort foods. Described as a fusion between a documentary and performance art, Moyer’s classes include stunning visuals to accompany her lecture. Register here in advance

Friday, 4/1, 12:00-1:30pm EST (Zoom): “How Do Other Food Studies Programs Work?”

Come learn from experienced food studies program directors about how they built their programs, supported by our NEH Humanities Connections grant. This is the final event of our 3-part series, featuring Krishnendu Ray (NYU), Stephen Wooten (University of Oregon), and Tony VanWinkle (Guilford College). All are welcome! Register here in advance.

Monday, 4/18, 5:00-6:00pm EST (Zoom): Seed Money Book Talk with Bart Elmore

Join us to hear from Bart Elmore (Ohio State) about his new book Seed Money: Monsanto's Past and Our Food Future. The book is an authoritative and eye-opening history that examines how Monsanto came to have outsized influence over our food system. Incorporating global fieldwork, interviews with company employees, and untapped corporate and government records, Elmore traces Monsanto’s astounding evolution from a scrappy chemical startup to a global agribusiness powerhouse. Monsanto used seed money derived from toxic products—including PCBs and Agent Orange—to build an agricultural empire, promising endless bounty through its genetically engineered technology. Register here in advance

Friday, 5/6, 5:30-7:30pm EST : End of Semester Potluck

To celebrate the end of the semester, we’ll gather together outside with good food and good cheer. (Note that the date has been moved to 5/6 from the former date of 5/5). The location will be outdoors; the address will be emailed directly to those who sign up on the form to be shared via our Listserv. You may also email for the location. Save the date and join us! 

Thursday 9/8/22, 5:30-6:30pm ET
"How the Truffle Saved Provence" Lecture + Tasting
Newman Library 101S, VT Blacksburg Campus

"How the Truffle Saved Provence," with Prof. Zachary Nowak, Director of the Center for Food & Sustainability Studies at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy (where we're also working to set up a study abroad program). Nowak digs deep into the history and fame of the truffle mushroom, this unlikeliest of luxury items. He explores how the homely fungus helped reverse a nineteenth-century environmental disaster in France's Provence region, and in doing so offers a portrait of this charming mushroom. A truffle tasting will follow the lecture. 

Thursday 9/8/22, 7-8:30pm ET
"Mushrooms and Foraging Around the World" Workshop
Newman Library Multipurpose Room, VT Blacksburg Campus

Following the public lecture (described above), we'll host this student-focused event, "Mushrooms and Foraging Around the World. Co-sponsored by Mozaiko, the Intercultural Living Learning Community at VT, we'll be joined by former Food Studies Student Associate Matthew Reiss, who runs Gnomestead Hollow Farm and Forage in Floyd, VA. He will bring his own farmed and foraged mushrooms for students to taste and learn to grow. This latter event is open to Mozaiko and any student interested in checking out our Food Matters Registered Student Organization (which can be any student).

Friday 9/23/22, 11:15am-12:05pm ET
Food Science and Technology Seminar: Anna Zeide
Zoom Link (No Registration Required)

The weekly seminar of the Department of Food Science and Technology will feature Food Studies Program Director, Anna Zeide. She will offer a brief overview of her research program, from her Ph.D. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology to her first book, "Canned," on the history of canned and processed food, and from her most recent book, "U.S. History in 15 Foods," to her ongoing work in building a transdisciplinary space for food studies at Virginia Tech.

Wednesday 9/28/22, 1pm-2pm ET
"Contextualizing Food, Art, and Labor: Aims and Crimes of Artisanal"
Register Here for the Zoom session

This is the September Fellows Talk of the VT Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation, with Dr. Danille Christensen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Culture and Food Studies Steering Committee Member. What cultural work does the label artisanal do? What people, sites, and processes does it "elevate" or ignore, and with what consequences? Taking processed meats and home canning as examples, this presentation explores how the appellations craft and artisanal can bolster hierarchies framed in terms of gender, class, and race. Attending to a wider range of production contexts compels us to consider intersections of tacit knowledge, physical dexterity, social savvy, and sensory power that occur outside the abattoir or atelier. See the flyer and more details here on the CFSCT website

Friday 10/14/22, 4pm ET
Cast Iron Curious?" with Katie Hoffman
Montgomery Museum of Art & History, 4 E Main St, Christiansburg, VA  

Join for this event with our partners the Peacock-Harper Culinary History Friends. An avid gardener and cook with a passion for Appalachian foodways, Katie Hoffman will share the fascinating history of cast iron cooking vessels in the U.S. and advise how to choose and maintain your own items. A talented musician, she will also sing about food and display some vintage cast iron. 

Friday 10/21/22, 12:15-1:15pm ET
A Panel on Food Studies: Restaurants, Schools, Architecture, and Extension
Register Here for the Zoom Session

We'll learn from several of our Food Studies Program Associates about their research in a variety of fields: Jordan Fallon (PhD Student, ASPECT), Marcus Weaver-Hightower (Professor and Program Leader of the Foundations of Education program, School of Education), Kay Edge (Associate Professor, Architecture), and Thomas Bolles (Associate Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension). From restaurant kitchens to school lunchrooms, and from architectural spaces to agricultural extension, come learn about the way that food studies takes shape across venues. 

Wednesday 11/2/22, 7pm ET
Acquired Tastes: Stories about the Origins of Modern Food Book Club Meeting
Virtual on Zoom, Details and Registration Here

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, this is the first in a series of virtual book clubs, featuring a discussion of “Acquired Tastes: Stories about the Origins of Modern Food" with author and VT Food Studies Program Director Dr. Anna Zeide. The cost of the event is $25, which includes the cost of the book, $5 of which is a donation to the Food Studies program at Virginia Tech. All books will be mailed to the address included in the registration, and mailed within seven business days of the registration date. Register by Oct. 1 to receive a book by Oct. 15. All registrations received after Oct. 1 cannot be guaranteed arrival in time for the book discussion. Every reasonable attempt will be made to ensure the book arrives on time. Click here to register for the event.

Thursday 11/10/22, 5:30-7:30pm ET
"Nibbles and Food Stuffs: Special Collections and University Archives Open House"
Location: Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Campus  (1st floor, Newman Library, near the study cafe)

Please join Special Collections and University Archives and the Food Studies Program for an open house to learn more about our food history materials, hands-on! We'll have a selection of books, publications, and manuscript materials relating to a wide range of food and drink history topics on display in our reading room for you to explore. Plus, we will share information about our digital resources that you can access anytime and, pending staff availability, offer behind-the-scenes tours of the archives. As is only appropriate, we will have some snacks, too! This is an open house and does not require advanced registration.

Thursday 12/1/22, 7-9pm ET
Winter Holidays Food Traditions Cookie Swap & Social
Harper Hall 3rd Floor Kitchen Lounge, VT Blacksburg Campus

This cozy end-of-semester event is for everyone, but students are especially welcome. We'll have a discussion of winter holiday food traditions and share holiday food treats. We'll have cookies to eat and take home, along with a range of hot drinks. Let's take a study break and celebrate the end of the semester together! 

Tuesday 12/6/22, 6pm-8pm ET
Celebrating Food Justice and Public History
Solitude, 705 W. Campus Drive, Blacksburg VA 

This event will bring together and share student work (both graduate and undergraduate) from two courses focused on food justice and public history, one taught by Jessica Taylor in the Department of History and one by Danille Christensen in the Department of Religion & Culture. We will also profile local food justice organizations and help bring the semester to a close in community. 


Food Studies program

Friday 9/17, 12-1pm (Solitude Lawn): Lunch Social

In-person outdoor social with a light lunch (bagels+spreads, cookies, and cold drinks) from Future Economy Collective's Southpaw Cafe. We'll hear from the collective about their mutual aid and food security work in the New River Valley. Solitude Lawn and Porch (just east of the Duck Pond). RSVP here. We can't wait to see you in person!  

10/8, 12-1:30pm EST (Zoom): Food Studies Panel #1

Food Studies Program Directors Panel #1: Alice Julier (Chatham) & Dan Bender (University of Toronto). As part of our NEH Humanities Connection grant, we'll be learning from experienced food studies program directors about how they built their programs. All are welcome! Register here in advance.

10/22, 1:00-2:30pm EST (Zoom): Food Studies Panel #2

Food Studies Program Directors Panel #2: Megan Elias (Boston University) and Matthew Hoffman (University of Southern Maine). As part of our NEH Humanities Connection grant, we'll be learning from experienced food studies program directors about how they built their programs. All are welcome! Register here in advance.

11/12, 12-1pm EST (Zoom): Acquired Tastes and Public Audiences

Panel discussion on new collection of food history essays, Acquired Tastes: Stories about the Origins of Modern Food and discussion with authors and writing coach Helen Betya Rubinstein about writing for public audiences. Register here in advance.

12/3, 12-1pm EST (Zoom): Celebrating the Food Timeline

Join for a panel discussion featuring Assistant Director of Special Collections and University Archives Kira Dietz, our first Food Studies program intern, journalists and scholars who have used the Food Timeline, and others, to celebrate Virginia Tech's acquisition of this leading food history website and digital archive and learn more about its future. Register here in advance.


Launch Events
Mark your calendars and join us for a series of four launch events! All on Zoom, last Fridays of the month, 12pm-1pm.  
January 29. VT Food Studies Program Launch 

Meet the Food Studies Program Steering Committee as we share our vision for the program’s future and invite you to contribute yours. We’ll offer a glimpse of the projects we’re scheming and the welcoming space that we’re creating. And as a preview of the broader community storytelling we’ve got planned for April, we’ll each narrate a food that connects our personal and professional lives. Download a flyer for this event here.

February 26. What Is Food Studies? Panel Discussion 

Scholars from a wide range of backgrounds will consider what food studies is and how food connects across disciplines and experiences. Panelists include Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown (Sociology), Danille Christensen (Religion & Culture), Jacob Lahne (Food Science &  Technology), Kim Niewolny (Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education), and Courtney Thomas (Political Science), moderated by Saul Halfon (Science, Technology, and Society). The conversation will also lead to smaller breakout rooms where we can think collectively about how food studies can facilitate shared inquiry and collaborative efforts. Register for the Zoom session here. 

March 26. A Flight of Food Studies Projects 

Join us to sample some of the food studies projects already in motion at Virginia Tech and in our broader community. We’ll learn about food archives with Kira Dietz (VT Libraries), food oral histories with Jessica Taylor (History), indigenous gardening with Mae Hey (Sociology & American Indian Studies), and a food sovereignty project with Bikrum Gill (Political Science). You’ll be able to share your own ongoing or imagined projects and think about how they might intersect with the Food Studies Program. 

April 30. Food Stories: A Pitch-In

To close out the semester, join us for an interactive storytelling session about food and identity. Choose a food that tells a meaningful personal story and add it to our virtual potluck (in other words, bring it to show on screen if you can, or just be ready to describe it). We’ll build the Food Studies community while indulging in narratives of food that give texture to our lives and histories.

Other Spring 2021 Events
Fri 2/12, 1-3 PM. Book Talk by Anna Zeide, on Canned:

The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry. Part of the "ASPECT Books" session, with presentations by three authors about their recently published books: Caroline Alphin (ASPECT alumna; Department of English, Radford University); Mauro Caraccioli (ASPECT Core faculty and Department of Political Science, VT); and Anna Zeide (ASPECT faculty affiliate and Department of History, VT). Friday, February 12 @ 1-3 pm EST. Register in advance for this meeting:

Fri 2/12, 1:30 PMDanille Christensen on "To Keep Fruit: Bottled Gooseberries and Contextual Truths." 

For the VT Department of Science, Technology, and Society Seminar, Food Studies Steering Committee Member, Dr. Danille Christensen, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Religion and Culture, will be presenting her research. This presentation traces the messy circulation of bottled gooseberry recipes in the century before Nicolas Appert's purported discovery of the invention of canning, attending to the contexts in which truths take shape and accrue power. This event will be streamed live on the VT STS Facebook page. Zoom Link:

Mon 4/12, 4-5 PM. "A Taste of Justice: How Museums are Serving Up Fresh Food Histories,"

with Michelle Moon, author of Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites and co-author (with Cathy Stanton) of Public History and the Food Movement: The Missing Ingredient. The public trusts museums and historic sites to get it right when it comes to history--but food history presentations have often misled us instead. Colonial cosplay, sketchy scholarship, and idealized visions of the abundant American "groaning board" have long pushed the truth of cooking, processing, and eating out of the historic site kitchen. Today, a new vanguard of food interpreters, hearth cooks, gardeners and scholars is freshening stale interpretations with new insight into the details of food history, broadening perspectives on culinary history through the lenses of justice, power, and access. Monday, April 12 @ 4 pm EST. Email to sign up and receive the Zoom link. Click here to download event flyer.

Check out our social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook @VTFoodStudies for posts about other food studies-related virtual events.