Canceled: Does Food Have a Gender?


Mar 19, 2020, 6:00 pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge
three pairs of hands handle raw food ingredients

We continue to monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and prioritize the safety of our visitors, staff, students and volunteers. In the interests of reducing the number of people on campus and slowing the opportunity for transmission, the university museums are closing to the public, at the end of business on Thursday, March 12 until further notice. All public programs, classes, and events have been canceled. Over the next few weeks we will be assessing the situation and reviewing options for when we will be able to re-open to the public.

Free Public Lecture

Barbara Haber, Food Historian

Lydia Shire, Chef, Restaurateur, and Entrepreneur

Food is an indispensable part of culture and a symbol of profound social and political realities. Using Virginia Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own as a jumping point, Barbara Haber and Lydia Shire will discuss the connections among culinary history, women’s history, and social history, highlighting how food and cooking have been—and continue to be used—to mark gender roles. Moderated by Louisa Kasdon, CEO and Founder of Let’s Talk About Food.

Barbara Haber is the former curator of books at the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, where she developed a large collection of cookbooks and books on the history of food. She both writes and speaks publicly on the subject on the history of food.

Lydia Shire has launched six acclaimed restaurants including BIBA, Pignoli, Excelsior, Blue Sky, and Scampo. She has won three James Beard awards, most recently “One of America’s Top Five Chefs” and has been named “One of America’s Top Ten Chefs” by Food & Wine Magazine. Shire’s kitchens have been a training ground for some of Boston’s finest culinary talent, such as Jody Adams, Dante de Magistris, Gordon Hamersley, Amanda Lydon and Susan Regis. A powerful creative force, Lydia Shire’s passion for excellence and culinary talent is evident in all that she does.

See the related exhibition, Resetting the Table: Food and Our Changing Tastes.

Presented by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology in collaboration with Let’s Talk About Food.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Advance registration required. Visit for details. 

This event will be live-streamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) Facebook page. A recording of this program will be available on the HMSC Lecture Videos page approximately three weeks after the lecture.

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