Core Faculty -Megan Elias

Megan Elias

Associate Professor of the Practice and Director, Gastronomy

Megan Elias is a historian and gastronomist whose work and research explores the rich history of food and culture through prisms of food writing, markets, and home economics. She has taught at Queensborough Community College, worked in administration at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and was the director of online courses at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. In addition to developing curricula and producing online courses, Dr. Elias has designed and taught classes in the areas of food studies, food in world history, American women’s history, and African-American history. Elias is the author of Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture (2017) as well as four other books about food history, including Food in the United States, 1890–1945, which was selected by the American Library Association as an Outstanding Academic Text for 2009. She is the author of articles and book chapters about food history, and serves as an editor for Global Food History Journal. She has been a co-recipient of several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other organizations.

Research Interests

  • Business history
  • Cultural history
  • Education history
  • Faculty development
  • Food history
  • Gender
  • History of food technology
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning


  • ML 622 History of Food
  • ML 701 Introduction to Gastronomy: Theory and Methodology
  • ML 706 Food and Gender

Scholarly Works


Editor, Global Food History Journal (Routledge).


Food on the Page: American Cookbooks and Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

“Food and Gender.” Invited chapter in The Routledge History of American Foodways (Routledge Press, 2015).

Lunch: the History of a Meal (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

Barbecue: A Global History (Reaktion Press, April 2014).

Food in the United States, 1890–1945 (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood, 2009). Chosen as an “Outstanding Academic Title, 2009” by the American Library Association.

Stir It Up: Home Economics in American Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).


“The Palate of Power: Americans, Food and the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.” Material Culture 46, no. 1 (2014): 44–57.

“Summoning the Food Ghosts: Food History as Public History.” The Public Historian 34, no. 2 (2012): 13-29.

“No Place Like Home: A Survey of American Home Economics History.” History Compass 9, no.1 (January 2011): 97–105.

“A Global Appetite: Food History as World History from 1500 to 1800.” Portable audio guide for teaching and learning with visual culture, part of NEH-funded Making Objects Speech project:

“Model Mamas: The Domestic Partnership of Home Economics Pioneers Flora Rose and Martha Van Rensselaer.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 15, no. 1 (2006): 65–88.

Conference Papers and Invited Talks

“’The Fine Careless Rapture of the Male’: Selling Masculinity to Women in American Cookbooks.” Association for the Study of Food and Society Conference, 2017.

“Edna Lewis and the Circulation of African-American Cuisine” Roundtable participant, Organization of American Historians Conference, New Orleans, 2017

“Edna Lewis: Cultivating African-American Cuisine.” Roundtable, Association for the Study of Food and Society Conference, University of Toronto, 2016.

“Professional Development: What Do Journal Editors Want?” Roundtable, Association for the Study of Food and Society Conference, University of Toronto, 2016.

“Edible Ethnicities in Transition.” Roundtable, Association for the Study of Food and Society Conference, Chatham University, 2015.

“Food, Space, and Nation: Crossing Culinary Borders.” Chair and Commentator, Organization of American Historians Conference, Atlanta, 2014.

“Cooking the Research, Filming the Food: A Multidisciplinary Experiment in Teaching Food History.” Roundtable, Association for the Study of Food and Society Conference, University of Vermont, 2014.

“Freak Food: Counterculture Cookbooks of the 1960s.” Anglo-American History Conference, London, 2013.

“Taking the Scalpel to School: Gender and Home Economics Education.” Organization of American Historians, San Francisco, 2013.

“Food and Advertising in the early Twentieth Century.” New York Public Library Teacher Education Program, August 2012.

“Food in the Victorian Era.” Invited Talk, Bayside Historical Society, May 2012.

“Cookbooks and Ideology.” Roundtable Discussion, The Cook Book Conference, February 2012.

Panelist, “What Is the Place of Food Studies in American Studies?: An Interdisciplinary Roundtable Discussion.” American Studies Association Conference, 2011.

Food history expert, “Comfort Food” and “Breakfast” episodes, Sundance Channel’s Love/Lust series, 2011.

“No National Dish? A History of American Food Writing.” Berger Forum, New York Public Library, July 2011.

“The Lost Meal: Representations of Southern History in American Cookbooks, 1865–2010.” American Literature Association, Boston, Mass., May 2011.

“Babies, Budgets, and Brown Bread: What Can We Learn From the Home Economics Movement?” Invited talk, King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Penn., 2011.

Grants and Fellowships

2012–2015: National Endowment for the Humanities grant for “Foodways and Humanities Project” ($74,937).

2012–2015: Lead Faculty Mentor, “Bridging Historias” Faculty/Curricular Development Program, American Social History Project, National Endowment for the Humanities ($350,000).

2014: Chancellor’s Fellowship, City University of New York.

2014: City University of New York Leadership Seminar.

2012–2013: Interdisciplinary Science Studies Mellon Foundation Fellowship, City University of New York.

2010: Five College Women’s Studies Research Center Associate.

2008: Co-recipient, National Endowment for the Humanities grant, “Making Objects Speak: professor-designed podcasts for effective student use of museum collections.”

2007: Culinary Historians of New York Amelia Scholars Grant.

2007: Schlesinger Library Research Grant, Radcliffe College.

2004, 2005, 2006, 2008: CUNY Professional Staff Congress Research Grant.