Food & History

My first book, Food, Religion, & Communities in Early Modern Europe (Bloomsbury, 2018) explores the relationship between food and three major issues of early modern European history: Inquisition, Reformation, and Witchcraft. Thinking with food, I examine wider issues of gender, religious practice, cultural symbolism, and community social dynamics. The book builds on my D.Phil in Economic & Social History at Balliol College, Oxford, which was supervised by Professor Lyndal Roper & Professor Deborah Oxley. In recent years I have extended my research into the history of fasting and fishing after the Reformation in England; the place of food in the thought of Martin Luther; and food’s relationship with embodiment in early modern European thought and culture. I have made a number of BBC Radio programmes abut my research (for example here and here), as well as this BBC Arts short film, and I recently wrote about food and identity for Tortoise. I recently worked with the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on their exhibition ‘Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500-1800’. My most recent essay, ‘Food: Past & Present’, is available (in English, and translated into Portuguese) in Electra issue 13.


I worked at the LSE as a research partner on the EU FP-7 project, ‘bEUcitizen: Barriers to European Citizenship’. As part of the research team on historical citizenship and mobility, I explored the development of economic, social, and political rights in German and central European cities c.1500-1900. My colleagues and I have published papers on our work in Theory & Society, the European Review of Economic History, and the Journal of Social History.


As part of bEUcitizen I worked on migration and labour mobility in early modern Europe, and I have also worked on contemporary Irish emigration in international context; a seminar I presented to the Geary Institute at UCD in 2014 is available here. I have written extensively on emigration for The Irish Times (for example: ‘Bringing Emigrants Home is about more than Hashtags & Tax-Breaks’), and have hosted discussions on emigration, immigration, and asylum with the Ireland’s Edge conference at the Other Voices festivals in Dingle and Ballina.