TITLE: Women's History and Food History: New Ways of Seeing American Life
SPEAKER: Barbara Haber
EVENT DATE: 08/11/2006
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 46 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Barbara Haber, distinguished women's history librarian and culinary historian, spoke on "Women's History and Food History: New Ways of Seeing American Life" in a program sponsored by the Science, Technology and Business Division.
Haber told the Harvard University Gazette that cookbooks, as artifacts of social history, can illuminate the lives of people and culture in new ways. "Social history is all layering," Haber said. "My layer has to do with women and food."
Speaker Biography: Barbara Haber is the author of "From Hardtack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals" (2002). In 2003, after 34 years of service, she retired as curator of books at the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, a world-renowned resource for American women's history. During her tenure, Haber increased the collection from 8,000 to 80,000 books. She assembled volumes on women's history, health and psychology, and popular fiction in which women were protagonists. Because of her interest in the historical importance of food, Haber increased the culinary collection as well. Haber received a "Who's Who in Food and Beverage" award from the James Beard Foundation and in 1998 won the M.F.K. Fisher prize, awarded each year by the culinary organization Les Dames d'Escoffier to a woman who has made a contribution to food and its history.