To see events + tour stops for the Our Fermented Lives book tour, please head here!

I am a curious, multidisciplinary writer who loves to use my broad range of life experiences, from a PhD in Library Science, to daily walks as a forager, to an extended stint as a city bus driver, to craft compelling, well-researched work.

I write books, as well as longform pieces on food history, reflective essays on nature, and even commerce round-ups. I love variety, and find so much joy sitting down each day to learn and share ideas through my work.

To see a complete list of popular and scholarly publications, please visit my CV page.


Food is one of my greatest passions, and is a practice I engage in almost daily as I create content for Root, my food history and fermentation business.

I write articles and books within the broad area of food studies, including reported pieces, historical narratives, longform pieces (like this one on salt rising bread), exhibit materials for museums and libraries, and reflective or experimental personal essays like this one on sound waves and dinner plates.

I have experience writing about food waste and environmental topics, food history (including the fishy history of ketchup), and fermentation (like this piece on women in brewing), though my writing expands beyond these (such as this piece on food crafts to help with lockdown-induced boredom).

I regularly develop and test recipes for Root’s paid and free newsletters, where I’ve made everything from candied violets to mead to wild greens salads and a Renaissance-era sweet garlic tart.

I have written several books on food and food history:

  • Our Fermented Lives (Storey, 2022, foreword by Sandor Katz): covers the global history of fermentation and explores the many ways fermented food and drinks shaped the lives of our ancestors and our lives today.
  •  Afternoon Tea: A History (2019: Rowman & Littlefield), which covers the history and development of the meal and its global spread alongside English colonial practices.
  • My first was Modernizing Markham (2012: CandleLight Press), a small volume covering an interdisciplinary food and art project based on a 1615 cookery manual.

I am regularly interviewed by fellow food writers and others, and my interviews have appeared in Saveur, Business Insider, Eater, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Curiosity Magazine, Vox, Savor (formerly FoodStuff),WFAEats, Eat Sip Trip, and others.

I was awarded the Georgia Trend and Atlanta Business Chronicle‘s 40 Under 40 awards in 2020: The first culinary professional, historian, or food writer to win two such awards in the same year.

I am am represented by my fantastic literary agency, The Lisa Ekus Group.

Editing and Indexing

For all inquiries, please contact juliacskinner at gmail dot com


I have a PhD in Library and Information Science, and know how important it is to create an index that connects the reader to the information they need.

I find organizing an index to be a joyful and meditative experience: I have written all my own book indexes, and enjoy writing indexes for a range of other projects, including books, reports and grants, etc.
Because I have a diverse professional background, I can knowledgeably index books across many subjects across social sciences and humanities, food writing, and beyond, with indexes to assist academic and popular readers.

I put the same care into indexing your writing as I do for my own: Please reach out for a quote!


I have served in an editorial capacity for several publications that sit at the intersection of academic and popular writing.

These include serving as a founding writer and later Senior Editor for the Hack Library School blog, which won a Salem Press newcomer blog award during my time there. I also was a founding Editor for B Sides Journal, and most recently served as the editor of Parenthesis.

Since 2008, I have offered private editorial services for authors from a range of disciplines, and have gained experience working with everything from museum exhibit labels to dissertations to popular articles.

Academic writing

project: Underserved Patrons in University Libraries: Assisting Students Facing Trauma, Abuse, and Discrimination. Co-edited with Melissa Gross.

I have published over a dozen single authored scholarly articles, primarily in the fields of Library & Information Studies, Food Studies, and Psychology. However, much of my work is interdisciplinary in nature and touches upon focal areas across the Social Sciences and Humanities.

My academic work has been cited in nearly 150 other scholarly pieces, and my articles continue to be referenced and cited well after they have been released.

My dissertation, an interdisciplinary historical study of the 135th St Branch of the New York Public Library, engaged in theory building and testing as well as historical analysis, and received an honorable mention in the Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award competition.

Some of my writing rides the line between work for general audiences and for specialized academic ones, including my tenure at the Hack Library School blog from its founding through my time as Senior Editor. During this period we successfully recruited and mentored many brilliant writers, and won the Salem Press Newcomer Award.


I have written reported and personal essays in other areas as well, including a personal essay on race, class, and public transit for the award-winning Interstate Love Song exhibition, and have also appeared in published interviews related to my artistic practice, my scientific work, and how I celebrate my reproductive choices.

Some of my articles are not available online: If you would like a copy, please get in touch and (provided I’m able to do so) I’m happy to send you a copy.

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