In her seminar paper, “’The Chief Supper of Hogs… and Peasants who are Not Too Nice’: Vegetable Diets for People and other Animals in the Long 18th Century,” Anya Zilberstein presents her new project. She will discuss the mutual influences and broader implications of 18th-century attempts to impose dietary shifts on animals and people, by situating them in transatlantic debates about poor relief as well as experiments in the emerging food and agricultural sciences in the period. She welcomes discussion not only about the interconnections she is tracing in the past, but also their continuities with later changes in the increasingly industrialized food system as well as debates about the legitimacy and scope of government food subsidies for the poor.
Anya Zilberstein is associate professor of history at Concordia University in Montreal. She received her PhD from MIT (2007). Her first book, A Temperate Empire: Making Climate Change in Early America, published by Oxford University Press in 2016, demonstrates that debates about the politics and science of climate are nothing new. Indeed, they began as early as the settlement of English colonists in North America, well before the age of industrialization. Her new project examines the history of experiments in producing and distributing cheap, high-calorie food in non-perishable forms for working people and working animals after the unprecedented expansion of British colonial territory following the Seven Years’ War.
Sponsored by the Workshop in History of Science (HIST 295TS) and the Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara