Hi! I’m Julia.
I’m first and foremost a food person (a food historian and fermentation specialist, specifically) at this point in my life, but am also a curator, artist, teacher, social science researcher, and more. I’ve purposefully sought out a lot of experiences, and built up some diverse skills sets, so that I can use all of them to tackle big problems creatively and collaboratively.
Building my community, whether it’s my neighborhood, my city, my classroom, or academic discipline, is my central focus no matter what. I am always looking for ways to facilitate learning, get people involved in something they care about, and to spark excitement and curiosity. Outreach is one of my passions , and you’ll notice that many of my recent blog posts deal with the outreach program I’ve built to support underserved communities.
My dedication to community and curiosity shows up across all my work, as a scholar, artist, business owner, teacher, and more. I love teaching, and feel incredibly fortunate to regularly work with amazing and inspiring students and colleagues. I teach classes at several universities for undergraduates and graduate students. My focus is on dynamic, collaborative classrooms that prepare students to think deeply and critically, while also thinking contextually.
I also do work with food history, and my work is rooted in the belief that food is a powerful tool for human connection and memory. This appears in my research, my teaching (both academic instruction and skills workshops), and in my latest art projects.
My artistic training is in calligraphy, book art, and 2D art. I consider my work an organic, growing thing, and as such new media and new themes often get folded in. You can see some of my work here.
I received my doctorate in Information Studies from Florida State University. Most of my research focuses on how we engage with change in various contexts, and my work cuts across several disciplinary areas in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Some of my research has a historical focus, and my social science research focuses on change in 20th century libraries. This includes theory testing and theory building, which you can learn more about here and here.
I also explore contemporary issues, including social media (the ‘change’ component of that comes in by seeing how people use social media in times of change and uncertainty, like political uprisings and natural disasters), and information seeking behavior (I am a part of a theory building project to model the information seeking behaviors of sexual assault survivors so we can provide information that is responsive to their needs during the healing process). The theoretical work I engaged in during my dissertation informs and is informed by a research group called 3 Js and a G, a collaborative endeavor created with the goal of successfully building and utilizing a universal codebook across three very different research projects.
My Humanities research explores culinary history, with an emphasis on English history but also with nods to American food history and the food of other former English colonies. My work has explored this from a range of perspectives, including through the lens of technology, trade, and social change, and through the lens of social change and the spread of food traditions through colonialism (which will be a part of my new book, Afternoon Tea: A History, coming in 2018).
Like the rest of my work, my food history work is part theory and part practice, and involves getting in the kitchen or getting out in the community and learning (or trying to teach others) how to make a historic dish, just as often as it involves sitting at my computer and working on my book.
You can learn more about the work I’ve done on my CV. I get really excited about the work I’m doing, and equally excited to hear about others’ thoughts and projects, so please feel free to contact me!
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