Writer, editor, & researcher

I work as a freelancer in the Hudson Valley. Quirky and unexpected histories are my jam, especially if they're about food, gender, and politics.

I have a degree in American Studies and History from Northwestern University, and I earned a Ph.D. in sociology from UC San Diego, where I wrote a dissertation about feminism and cooking. My past jobs have included writing for newspapers and editing cookbooks.

Recent Writings

Klobuchar’s hot dish and Warren’s heart-shaped cakes soothe our unfounded fear of women in office

Sen. Amy Klobuchar emerged from Iowa and New Hampshire as a serious contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination. That came on the heels of a New York Times headline focused not on her speeches or debates but on her bid to attract supporters through her cooking. The Times reported that Klobuchar’s “Taconite Tater Tot Hot Dish” — a layered dish of ground beef, tater tots and pepper jack — was the star attraction of her campaign events.

Salmon Pudding: A Suffrage Staple

The 1909 Washington Women’s Cook Book was an ingenious political tool. Published by white woman American suffragists before a statewide vote on the issue, the community cookbook helped convince white male voters to give up sole ownership of the franchise. By emphasizing their housekeeping skills, these suffragists demonstrated that women would not abandon their homes and families if they got involved in politics. Reassured that their meals would still be prepared, men were more likely to vote for the cause.
But that’s not where the politics stopped.

Personal Prefigurative Politics: Cooking Up an Ideal Society in the Woman’s Temperance and Woman’s Suffrage Movements, 1870–1920

Sociologists have systematically overlooked the family and home as arenas of social movement activity, focusing instead on episodes of public protest or actions that occur within social movement organizations. This approach is problematic for the study of women’s movements in particular, since women’s socially mandated responsibilities and understandings about femininity continue to be intimately connected to the home. For women’s movements, the home is likely a central setting in the struggle for power.

Hiding Spinach in the Brownies: Frame Alignment in Suffrage Community Cookbooks, 1886–1916

Recent studies have examined how the conventions of cultural genres help advance frames. This line of scholarship can be used to study how activists might popularize radical frames that fundamentally challenge widespread beliefs. In this article, I analyze how the gendered character of suffrage community cookbooks aids in frame alignment. I determine how these cookbooks advance ‘femininity frames’ that drew on widespread beliefs about femininity (and thus were more likely to resonate with a broa