The Recipes Project

The Recipes Project: Food, Magic, Art, Science, and Medicine

Elaine Leong, Amanda Herbert, Laurence Totelin, Lisa Smith, Amanda Herbert

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Julia Child at KUHT.  Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Recipes are deceptively simple: they encourage us to dig beneath and around a seemingly straightforward list of ingredients and directions, provoking conversations about historic foodways, linguistics, scientific praxis, conceptions of race and class, medical breakthroughs, and religious prohibitions. “The Recipes Project” is an international collaborative project aiming to gather and showcase interdisciplinary research on recipes across broad temporal, geographical, and epistemic spans. Located at the intersection of history of science and medicine, literary studies, technical art history, food history, and more, recipe studies is a flourishing research field. Our project provides a platform for researchers to share their newest archival discoveries of recipes with a broad range of readers who work both inside and outside of academia: botanists and gardeners, professors and pharmacists, scientists and fabricators, food service workers and professional cooks.

“The Recipes Project” blog is envisioned as a long-term digital research network, fostering cross-discipline conversations amongst researchers at all stages of their careers. The project juxtaposes case studies from the ancient worldChina and JapanRenaissance Italy, early America and more and covers a range of areas from medicine to alchemy to art techniques to food. Through our collaborative endeavors we hope to further understand recipes as a textual genre and as a way of knowledge transfer. We also run thematic series, offer a resources areas with a collective Zotero bibliography, and, every September, we highlight the wonderful ways in which colleagues use recipe texts in their teaching activities.