Root is officially launched!

Wondering what I’ve been up to since I’ve moved on from KSU? I’ve had a big, exciting new project up my sleeve and am so excited to finally share it!

Root scan 1

My new business, Root, uses my background in food history, curation, visual arts, libraries, social science, teaching, and more to build community using food as a medium for learning and connection.

Starting next Monday, folks who subscribe to the monthly service will receive weekly historical recipes and stories. Plus, I’ll be launching online workshops, in-person classes and community events, collaborative art projects, and more. Subscribers get discounted first access to all of these, plus access to an exclusive Facebook community and discounts on one on one historical menu consultations with me.

You can learn more about Root here, and more about the monthly subscription here. Plus, make sure to check out my press release, which I’ve created to celebrate the launch! Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you, and I’m so excited to share this new journey with you!

Fermentation, afternoon tea, and other February notes

I’m a bit radio silent because I’m starting a food history business (more info on that TBA!) and finishing my book manuscript for Rowman & Littlefield’s Food Culture and History series (more info on that TBA too! I have some great ideas for afternoon tea-related events and so many things to share with all of you).

I also have a few other exciting announcements (beyond starting a business and publishing a book which, I know, are already pretty big announcements):

  • Fermentation residency: I’ve been accepted to be a part of this amazing workshop, fermenting food and learning to build outdoor ovens (so I can then build my own in my yard and make all the baked goods). The workshop ends on my birthday, and I can’t think of a better way to spend it! This is especially exciting since the food history business I’m starting will (eventually) also be coupled with a nonprofit, so I can use my business to build connections between people and the past through hands-on food instruction, and bring food-making and art-making skills to parts of our community who might not normally have access to such classes. I’m very excited to learn some new skills in this workshop and to deepen my appreciation of fermented foods so I can use that to inform my work moving forward.
  • Ink making: I’ll be joining my friends from Explore Wildwood, The Homestead Atlanta, and Eventide Brewing again this month for the Wildcraft Palette Curiosity Club. I’ll be talking about ink making using natural pigments (I just finished making an ink with cloves, for example, which smells amazing!) If you’re around on 2/20, come out to Eventide and see us!
  • Common Good 10th anniversary: I am so very excited to be celebrating my colleagues at Common Good for their 10th anniversary this Sunday. They have transformed the lives of so many incarcerated scholars, and bring such a passion to their work. I count myself as very lucky to know Sarah and Bill, and am so happy to have a chance to celebrate them and all they do.



New adventures

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front, but not because it’s been quiet over here! A few weeks ago I decided to resign from my position as a rare books curator. I love the work I did and the collection I worked with, but it was time for a change, so after some soul searching, I’m setting out in a new direction. I have a really big business announcement coming later this year, but at the moment I’m finishing my book manuscript for Afternoon Tea: A History (due 3/1!) and offering individual consulting for academic colleagues looking for some guidance as they do their own career-related soul searching (one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my post-PhD life has been articulating what I want and identifying transferable skills to get me there, but now that I’ve done it I hope I can help others too!)

I’m very excited about all the great things I have in store this year, and am excited to see where the collection I helped shape is going next. Prior to leaving, I initiated work on the museum’s next exhibit, which is on the Harlem Renaissance (a topic near to my heart). Specifically, it is on Nella Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston, but it touches on the experiences of discrimination faced by all Black women writers at this time. It’s still in its early stages so I’m not sure how it will change as it develops, but I’m hoping that lots of folks will go see it and learn about the really incredible Harlem Renaissance-related collection that Mr. Williams built, and to learn more about two of my favorite authors.

Life beyond work continues to evolve in some exciting ways too–traveling to see friends (or hosting traveling friends), building a garden full of native edible and medicinal plants, and adopting one of the neighborhood community cats.

That’s it for updates for now–here’s to an adventurous 2018!

Gallery representation!

I’m very excited to announce that my work is now being represented by two galleries,  both international:

1340 Gallery (Netherlands) is hosting some of my smaller works, and has them available for sale on their website.

PrimoPiano gallery (Italy) is carrying some of my smaller works (and one large piece, which is a personal favorite), and exhibiting others at shows in southern Italy.

How’s the job search going? (Every academic’s favorite question)

The academic job search process is…complicated, to put it mildly, especially since many programs don’t prepare folks to think about their work outside of the context of one (or maybe two) career paths. There are many, many studies and media articles related to the lack of tenure-track positions, postdocs, etc., and it can feel (really) overwhelming. I’ve gone through the academic job search in tandem with alt-ac and non-ac searches multiple times, and it has given me some great tools, both in terms of practical resources (e.g. which jobs databases I like best) and a healthy perspective about all the great things academics CAN do with our degrees beyond working as tenure-track faculty.

My cat (Gir) making the same face I made during most of the job hunt.

As some of my readers know, I’ve been doing one-on-one career coaching informally for some time. With the new year, I’ve decided to refocus on this work, after hearing the concerns of many fellow academics whose searches have them feeling unmoored and frustrated, and unsure how to begin feeling unstuck. My approach is highly personalized and collaborative–I tailor my recommendations to each person’s situation and together we come up with a set of goals and actionable items related to those goals.

The thing many clients struggle with most is the feeling that they’ve somehow failed (I get it, I felt the same way too when I started searching for TT jobs). I’m here to remind you that 1. you haven’t and 2. Your degree and yourself still have immeasurably great value no matter what career direction you choose. My goal with each client is to help them identify what matters to them in a career, and how to get over the paralysis of the job search to start moving in that direction.

The thing to keep in mind during the job hunt: It’s your career and happiness, not anyone else’s!

Stay tuned for some exciting updates, and if you want to talk with me more about how we could work together, get in touch!




Show in Brindisi, Italy

If you follow my Instagram account, you may have seen me gush about sending my work off to my first international group show in Brindisi. I just got the initial photos back from the event, and it looks amazing: Riccardo did a fantastic job curating the show and wrangling us artists and our work (and handling all the international shipping drama). You can see the photos, including the press conference and opening night here!

It’s up through early January, so if you’re in the area go take a look (and let me know what you think!)

Current food events

I have been posting more art stuff and less food stuff lately, but the food stuff is still happening. Here’s a quick run down:

-A dear friend and I have decided to conduct a study on the archaeological evidence on my property of foodways past. My yard has the remains of lots of former buildings, as well as the remains of many past pig roasts, etc., so I’m gathering and labeling bones in the bit of landscaping I’m doing, and then we’ll do a more comprehensive exploration later.

-I’m still plugging away at my next book, due to be published by Rowman and Littlefield next year. As with any research project, there are a million rabbit holes I want to go down that I just don’t have the space for–once I get a second to come up for air from writing the book I’ll get back to blogging about all the cool stuff I’m finding

-I’m bringing this 1615 wafer recipe to the holiday celebration for the prison classroom next month, which is a great opportunity to connect food history to some of the early modern lit and history they’ve been working with. Added bonus: If you click the link you can enjoy my neglected old food blog I made for my first book.

-In totally random news, I was interviewed for Mel Magazine.  I appear at the very end, but the sources I pointed to in my interview are scattered throughout. It also made an appearance in the Dollar Shave Club newsletter, so same story, two different pubs (but owned by the same folks). Enjoy!