Rachel Herrmann

Herrmann sotonI completed my PhD in history at the University of Texas at Austin, and am a Lecturer in Early Modern American history at the University of Southampton. I grew up in Manhattan, and earned my BA at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I decided to go straight from undergrad to grad school because I’m a huge nerd. So, I moved to Austin and entered the PhD program there in 2007. From 2010 to 2013 I was on the road, doing dissertation research, and then on one-year predoctoral fellowships at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies (in Philadelphia) and at International Security Studies at Yale (in New Haven).

My book, No Useless Mouth: Hunger and the Revolutionary Atlantic, is under contract with Cornell University Press. It asks how Native Americans, free blacks, and slaves used food to wage war and broker peace during and after the American Revolution. It argues that people were not useless mouths; they portrayed hunger strategically, and took steps to avoid it. I have also written about cannibalism and Anglo-Indian foodways in colonial Virginia, initially for my MA, and then for my first article, which appeared in the January 2011 issue of the William and Mary Quarterly. My second article, on taste, eating, and work in Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, was published in Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. You can read my article on black Loyalist food laws for Slavery & Abolition here. In 2015 I organized a conference on cannibalism, and am editing a book on the subject for the University of Arkansas Press. In summer 2016 I’ll co-host, with Jessica Roney (Temple University) a conference on frontiers in Atlantic history. I also write for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

In my spare time I enjoy baking, cooking, drinking red wine, and deploying large doses of sarcasm. I’m happy to talk to anyone about applying to grad school, researching or writing about food, and early America in general.

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