Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas
B.A. English, 2006
M.A. English, 2008

TCU, Fort Worth, Texas
Ph.D., English, August 2015
Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies
Graduate Certificate in New Media Composing and Teaching
Dissertation Committee: Sarah Robbins (chairperson), Charlotte Hogg, Rebecca Sharpless (TCU Department of History), Elizabeth Engelhardt (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, American Studies)


Southern Discomfort: Pleasure and Pain in Southern Cookbooks

The cookbook genre tends to be oriented toward celebration and pleasure. My first book, Inventing Authenticity: How Cookbook Writers Redefine Southern Identity (University of Arkansas Press, 2018), offered an understanding of the ways in which recipe headnotes act as origin stories as a means to celebrate the “authenticity” of recipes. This new project examines another narrative convention of the cookbook genre to reveal the unique ways that writers negotiate the expectation that cookbooks are tools for pleasure. The central questions of this book attempt to understand the unique rhetorical situation of the Southern cookbook as it finds itself situated between the expectations of the genre and the metanarrative of essential Southern experiences, one focused in pleasure and one focused in pain. Each chapter is devoted to a different kind of pain, examining how that particular kind of suffering connects to an “authentic” Southern identity and how narratives of that suffering negotiate the conventions of the genre as they relate to pleasure. My unique application of these ideas is to examine the cookbook as a genre, where pleasure is a convention of the genre, an expectation of the reader, and a constraint on the writer.

Full-length Book

Inventing Authenticity: How Cookbook Writers Redefine the South, University of Arkansas Press (August 2018)
Inventing Authenticity is an investigation of the relationship between food labeled “authentically Southern” and the performance of “real Southern” identity. This study takes up authenticity as a rhetorical construction and a cultural practice by examining the language used to define authenticity in the discourse of Southern food, namely in the stories told in cookbooks. This study identifies three specific forms of origin narrative (historical, citation, and personal narratives) that attempt to convince a reader of the recipe’s authenticity by providing evidence of the recipe’s invention in the South.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“The Chef Goes to the Slaughterhouse: Animal Pain and Ethical Pleasure in Southern Cookbooks.” Food, Culture, and Society. (Under Review).

“Mapping the Imagined South in Contemporary Southern Cookbooks.” Special Issue: Digital Souths, Southern Quarterly. (Forthcoming 2020).

Co-authored with Amanda Milian and Heidi Hakimi-Hood. “Cookery and Copyright: A History of One Cookbook in Three Acts.” Gastronomica. (November 2019).

It’s Southern, but More”: Southern Citizenship in the Global Foodscape of Garden & Gun.” Southern Quarterly. 56.1 (Fall 2018): 147-163.

Co-Author Sarah Ruffing Roberts, “Gathering Around Hull-House Dining Tables, American Studies. 57.3 (2018): 11-38.

History and Memory: Arguing for Authenticity in the Stories of Brunswick Stew.” Food and Foodways. Special Issue on Food, Memory, and Narratives. 24.1 (Spring 2016): 48-66.

“’Acting it Out Like a Play’: Flipping the Script of Kitchen Spaces in Faulkner’s Light in August.Southern Quarterly. 53.2 (Winter 2016): 58-73

‘Squirrel, If You’re So Inclined’: Recipes, Narrative, and the Rhetoric of Southern Identity” Food, Culture, and Society. 17.4 (December 2014).

Chapters in Edited Collections

“’A New Confederacy’: The Economy of Southern Hospitality in William Faulkner’s Sanctuary.” Modernism and Food Studies: Politics, Aesthetics, and the Avant-Garde. Eds. Keel Geheber, Jessica Martell, and Adam Fajardo. (February 2019, University of Florida Press)

“Writing Culture: A Feminist Historiography of Recipe Origin Narratives.” Food, Feminisms, and Rhetorics. Ed. Melissa Goldthwaite. Southern Illinois University Press. (June 2017)

“Copying and Copyright: The Recipe Text as Offal.” Offal: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. Co-authored with Amanda Milian and Heidi Hakimi-Hood. (June 2017)

Review Essay

The Pecan: A History of America’s Native Nut. James McWilliams. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013; Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon.  Cindy Ott. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012; and Pure and Modern Milk: An Environmental History Since 1900. Kendra Smith-Howard. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. In Journal of American Culture. (Solicited, June 2015)

Book Reviews

Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine. By Kelley Fanto Deetz. (Lexington, KY: University of Press of Kentucky, 2017. In The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. Solicited, 2019).

“What to Read Now: Literary Cookbooks.” World Literature Today. 25 June 2018 

“Cookbook Club Cook(s) Korean! – A Review of Robin Ha’s A Comic Book with Recipes,” Entropy (Solicited, 2 April 2018).

“The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook by Natalie Eve Garrett – A Review,” Entropy (Solicited, February 2017).

The Larder: Food Studies Methods from the American South. John T. Edge, Elizabeth Engelhardt, and Ted Ownby, Editors. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2013. In Journal of American Culture. 37.3 (September 2014).

Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food. Allison Carruth. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. In Gastronomica. 14.3 (Solicited, Fall 2014).

Online Publications

Invited submission for Storyburgh, in collaboration with ENG 245 Advanced Writing Workshop, “Stories of Our Elders.”

Invited Guest Blogger for Teaching Recipes series: “The Literary Cookbook.” The Recipes Project. Edited by Amanda Herbert, Folger Shakespeare Library.

Creative Writing

A Record of Breakdowns.Entropy. 20 November 2017.
Dinner.Entropy. 16 November 2015.  
Food Chain.Entropy. 28 September 2015. 
Dirt.The Texas Review. Fall/Winter 2010.
Home.”  The Texas Review. Fall/Winter 2010.
“The Fire.” Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Spring/Summer 2010.


Interview with Gretchen McKay. “Chatham students connect generations through a cookbook.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 2019.

Interview with Amanda Walz. “Community cookbooks define holiday dinner tables and so much more in Pittsburgh and beyond.” Pittsburgh City Paper. November 2019.

Interview with Jennifer Justus. “Cooking Country with Minnie and Tammie.The Bitter Southerner. January 2019.

Interview with Worley, Sam. “How Cookbooks Write (and Rewrite) 08 July 2016.


As host of the New Books in Food podcast channel on the New Books Network since summer 2019, I review new academic books in food studies and interview the authors. New episodes come out monthly. A full list of episodes can be found here. 

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor
Director of First Year Writing
Chatham University – Pittsburgh, PA

Podcast Host – New Books in Food
New Books Network

Graduate Instructor
Fort Worth, TX

Lorraine Sherley Research Fellow

Adjunct Instructor
Davis and Elkins College
Elkins, WV

Adjunct Instructor
West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon, WV

Adjunct Instructor
Hardin-Simmons University
Abilene, TX

Adjunct Instructor
(Sabbatical Replacement)
Alderson-Broaddus College
Philippi, WV

Fall 2015 to present
Spring 2017 to present

Summer 2019 to present

Fall 2014 to Spring 2015
Fall 2012 to Spring 2013

Fall 2013 to Spring 2014

Fall 2009 to Spring 2011

Spring 2009 to Spring 2011

Summer 2009

Fall 2008

Professional Development

Faculty Technology Fellowship

“Reading Historic Cookbooks: A Structured Approach”
Seminar taught by Barbara Ketchum Wheaton at The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

“Geographical Information Systems in the Digital Humanities”
University of Victoria, Digital Humanities Summer Institute

Fall 2017-Spring 2019

June 8-13, 2014

June 8-12, 2015

Conference Presentations

“Steel Magnolias: Canning and Women’s Kitchen Labor in Southern Cookbooks.” Panel: Consuming in the South, Consuming the South: Selling the Past and Present. Association for the Study of Food and Society, Atlanta, GA. May 2020 (Cancelled due to Covid-19 Closures).

“Apologetic Rhetoric: Shame in Southern Cookbooks.” Panel: Uses and Abuses of Shame. Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference, Fayetteville, AR. March 2020 (Cancelled due to Covid-19 Closures).

“Democracy, Distinction, and Distressed Wood: Imagining Southern Poverty in Contemporary Cookbooks.” Panel: Visualizing Southern Poverty. American Literature Association Conference; Boston, MA. May 2019. 

“Culinary Capital and the Cookbook Reader.” Symposium: Cookbooks: Past, Present, and Future. Portsmouth University, Portsmouth, UK. March 2, 2019.

“Ones to Watch in Southern Food Writing.” MLA Conference; Chicago, IL. January 3, 2019. 

Southern Cookbooks and the (Non)Suffering South.” Society for the Study of Southern Literature Conference, Austin, TX. February 2018.

 “Certifying the Celebrity Chef: Proving Southern Citizenship Through Narrative.” MLA Conference, Philadelphia, PA. January 2017. 

“Exotic American Cuisine: Writing About Food and American Identity.” MLA Conference, Philadelphia, PA. January 2017.

“Copying and Copyright: The Recipe Text as Offal.” Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, UK. July 2016. (Collaboration with Amanda Milian and Heidi Hakimi-Hood of TCU; paper will be published in conference proceedings)

“Mapping the Imagined South: GIS Mapping of Contemporary Southern Cookbooks.” Keystone Digital Humanities Conference, University of Pittsburgh. June 2016. (Collaboration with student research assistants: Lisa Cuyler, Rachel Geffrey, Kaitlyn Shirey, Tessa Weber, Emily Carter, and Carina Stopenski)

“The Gentrification of the Abattoir, Or the Chef Goes to the Slaughterhouse.” Okra 2 Opera 3: Conference on Southern Culture. Converse College, Spartanburg, SC. April 8-9, 2016. 

“Canon Plus: A Case for Using Cookbooks in Memoir and Autobiography Courses.” MLA Conference, Austin, TX. January 2016. 

“Evolving Cultures of Food and Morality at Jane Addams’ Hull House.” Moral Cultures of Food Conference. University of North Texas, Denton, TX. April 2015. Co-presented with Dr. Sarah Robbins.

“‘You Cook. He’ll Want to Eat’: Resisting Gendered Southern Hospitality in Sanctuary.” MLA Conference; Vancouver, BC. January 2015. 

“‘A Little Less History in Our Hearts’: Arguing Authenticity without History in Garden & Gun.” American Studies Association Conference; Los Angeles, CA. November 2014. 

“Booze and Borderlands: Historicizing Race and Class in the Liminal Spaces of Light in August and Sanctuary.”  Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference; Oxford, MS. July 21-25, 2014. 

“The Stories of Southern Cooking: History, Ethnicity, and Authenticating Strategies in Recipe Origin Narratives.” Okra 2 Opera: Conference on Southern Culture; Converse College, Spartanburg, SC. April 16-19, 2014.

“‘Not in my life and my love’: Throwing Up Compulsory Heterosexuality in Faulkner’s Light in August.” PAMLA Conference; San Diego, CA. November 1, 2013. 

“Soul Food: Queering the Mammy in Morrison’s Love.” National Women’s Studies Association; Cincinnati, OH. November 10, 2013. TCU Women’s Studies Graduate Research Award. 

“Identity and Disordered Eating in Light in August and Breath, Eyes, Memory.” Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference; Oxford, MS. July 21-25, 2013. John W. Hunt/Faulkner Journal Scholarship.

“The Silent Scapegoat in Eudora Welty’s The Ponder Heart.” Society for the Study of American Women Writers; Denver, CO. October 12, 2012.

“‘Hongry for what you denied it’: Queer Hunger, Feeding, and Eating in Song of Solomon.” Southern Writers, Southern Writing Graduate Student Conference; Oxford, MS. July 12-14, 2012. Second Place Colby H. Kullman Prize.

Invited Presentations

Case Western Reserve University: Symposium Series

Middlebury College: The Urgency of Pleasure (cancelled)

Carnegie Mellon University: Book Launch for Nico Slate

Cooper Siegel Community Library: Walt Whitman at 200

Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf: Career Day

Bike PGH, Women and Biking Forum: Activating Your Voice: Writing Your Cycling Story,”

For Chatham University:

 “Personal Statement Workshop” for Pre-Med Club, Pierette Appasamy

Panel discussion Emily Mohn-Slate’s Minor Bird Lab

Panel discussion Alice Julier’s Food and Gender class

Feminist Movie Night, Discussion Leader

Pittsburgh Area Gender Scholar Symposium, Women’s Institute Launch

Faculty Panel, Carson Conference, Sigma Tau Delta

February 7, 2020

March 12, 2020

March 3, 2020

October 2019

March 2019

April 2018

March 2018

February 2019

October 22, 2015

November 7, 2015

November 14, 2015

Grants Awarded

Council of Independent Colleges and AARP, Intergenerational Connections
“Food Story/Food Secure,” a Service Learning Project Proposal funded in the amount of $13,000 the for a one-year period starting May 1, 2018.

Institute for Urban Living and Innovation Small Grant Research Program
TCU AddRan College of Liberal Arts Faculty Grant to complete research on pedagogy, foodways, and ethnicity at Hull-House in archives at University of Illinois at Chicago. Applied with faculty mentor Sarah Robbins as a graduate research fellow and received funding in the amount of $2,000.

May 2018-
July 2019

Fall 2014


At Chatham University
ENG 105 First-Year Communication Seminar—Dialogues: Identity and Values
ENG 105 First-Year Writing: Writing About Food
ENG 216W American Writers I: Beginnings to 1865 (Writing Intensive)
ENG 217 American Writers II: 1865 to Present
ENG 242 Introduction to Creative Writing 
ENG 245 Advanced Creative Writing
ENG 234 Minor Bird Lab (Undergraduate Literary Journal)
ENG 262 Introduction to Women Writers
ENG 303 Food and American Identity
ENG 366 Writing Nonfiction
ENG 434 Literature of Fact (Nonfiction)
ENG 446 Wildness and Literature
ENG 468/668 The Literary Cookbook 
WGS 201 Feminist Theory

HNRS 20213 Language and Identity: Food Culture 
ENGL 20263 Intro to Women’s Writing: Autobiography, Memoir, and Life Writing
ENGL 20803 Writing as Argument: Food Fights 
ENGL 10803 Writing as Inquiry

At West Virginia Wesleyan College – Buckhannon, WV
INDS 113 The South in Literature and Film 
ENGL 101 Freshman Composition I
ENGL 102 Freshman Composition II

At Davis and Elkins College – Elkins, WV
ENGL 102 Writing about Literature
ENGL 101 Freshman Composition I

At Alderson-Broaddus College – Philippi, WV
ENGL 180 Basic Writing Instruction
ENGL 190 Freshman Composition

At Hardin-Simmons University – Abilene, TX
ENGL 1302 Freshman Composition II
ENGL 0110 Basic Writing







Student Advising and Mentoring
Faculty Advisor
Student Literary Journal, The Minor Bird 
Creative Writing Club

Undergraduate Student Internships
Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania (May 2016)
Rivers of Steel (Spring 2017)
Allegheny Intermediate School (Spring 2017)
Digital Humanities Internship (Summer 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019)
City of Asylum (Fall 2017)
City Paper, Pittsburgh (Fall 2017)
Stranded Oak Press (Fall 2017)
Chatham Library Archives (Summer 2018)
Dzanc Books (Summer 2019)
Vintage Senior Services, Recipe Blog (Fall 2019)

Fall 2015-Spring 2020

Service and Professional Activity

Director of First Year Writing

University Bike-Pedestrian Activity Committee

Search Committee, Chatham

Undergraduate Programming Committee, Chatham

Search Committee for African American Literature, TCU

Women’s Studies Programming and Events Committee, TCU

Food Culture Studies Caucus, American Studies Association

Spring 2017 to present

Summer 2019 to present

Spring 2019

Fall 2016 to present
Fall 2018-present

Fall 2013-Spring 2014

Fall 2012-Spring 2013

Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Peer Reviewer
University of South Carolina Press
Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture
University of Arkansas Press
Food and Foodways
Food, Culture, and Society
Graduate Journal of Food Studies   

Spring 2020
Spring 2020
Summer 2019
Spring 2019, Spring 2020
Summer 2018, Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Summer 2018
Spring 2016-2017
Fall 2014
Fall 2014

Professional Memberships

Modern Language Association
American Studies Association
Southern Foodways Alliance
Society for the Study of Southern Literature

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