Before 'Farm to Table': Project Team

Before 'Farm to Table' Co-Directors

David Goldstein

David B. Goldstein is a critic, poet, and food writer, and an Associate Professor at York University in Toronto. He holds an MA in Writing from The Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in English from Stanford University. He is co-director of the multi-year, $1.5 million research project, Before 'Farm to Table': Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, a Mellon initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library. His first monograph, Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England (Cambridge, 2013), shared the 2014 biennial Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award. He has also published two books of poetry and has co-edited two essay collections, Culinary Shakespeare with Amy Tigner (Duquesne, 2016,) and Shakespeare and Hospitality with Julia Lupton (Routledge, 2016). His essays on early modern literature, Emmanuel Levinas, food studies, ecology, and contemporary poetry have appeared in Studies in English LiteratureShakespeare StudiesGastronomica, and numerous other journals and collections. He is currently at work on a monograph, With Whom We Eat: Literature and Commensality, for which he received a multi-year research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and a collection of poetry about space physics and fatherhood, funded by the Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils.


Amanda Herbert

Amanda E. Herbert is Associate Director at the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library, where she runs the Fellowships Program. She holds the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from the Johns Hopkins University, and completed her B.A. with Distinction in History and Germanics. She studies the history of the body: gender and sexuality; health and wellness; food, drink, and appetite. Her first book, Female Alliances: Gender, Identity, and Friendship in Early Modern Britain (Yale 2014) won the Best Book Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. She has published articles in Gender & History, the Journal of Social History, and Early American Studies, and her fellowships include grants from the American Antiquarian Society, the Huntington Library, and the Yale Center for British Art. She is an editor for The Recipes Project, a Digital Humanities effort based out of the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, and a co-director for Before 'Farm to Table': Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, a $1.5 million Mellon Foundation initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute; as part of this project she is co-curating an exhibit at the Folger in 2019, "First Chefs: Fame and Foodways from Britain to the Americas." She is at work on her second book project, Water Works: Faith, Public Health, and Medicine in the British Atlantic, which seeks to refigure and reclaim the early modern spa, not just as a place of elite sociability, but as an important site for the study of the history of public health. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


Heather Wolfe

Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She received an MLIS from UCLA and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She is currently principal investigator of Early Modern Manuscripts Online (, co-principal investigator of Shakespeare’s World (, curator of Shakespeare Documented ( and is co-director of the multi-year, $1.5 million research project Before 'Farm to Table': Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, a Mellon initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Her first book, Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters (2000) received the Josephine Roberts Scholarly Edition Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. She has written widely on the intersections between manuscript and print culture in early modern England, and also edited The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608 (2007), The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary (2007), and, with Alan Stewart, Letterwriting in Renaissance England (2004). Her most recent research explores early modern filing systems and the social circulation of writing paper and blank books. 


Before 'Farm to Table' Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Jack Bouchard holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in History, which he completed in April of 2018. Dr. Bouchard is an historian of the fifteenth and sixteenth century north Atlantic fisheries and is interested in maritime food production, labour, and the environment. He is currently writing about the origins and development of the Newfoundland cod fisheries in the sixteenth century. While at the Folger, Dr. Bouchard is using the library’s collection of recipe manuscripts, household accounts, government records, and colonial treatises to explore how Atlantic fishing shaped European, Mediterranean, and Caribbean foodways. As part of the Before ‘Farm to Table’  team, he has been working on transcribing and recreating seventeenth-century recipes, including varieties of biscuits, hippocras, and ales. With his fellow team-members, he has written several blogposts and organized a popup exhibit highlighting the library’s collection of items related to German food culture. In the upcoming years, Dr. Bouchard will continue to write, research, and present on all aspects of food production, preparation, and consumption in the Anglo-Atlantic.


Elisa Tersigni holds a PhD from the University of Toronto in English and Book History & Print Culture, which she completed in 2018. Dr. Tersigni combines algorithmic analysis and analytical bibliography to study the language and literature of the English Reformation. She is currently writing articles about authorship and early-modern women’s writing, the language of the Eucharist, and the transmission of language across various textual supports. While at the Folger, Dr. Tersigni is using the library’s extensive collections of early-modern manuscripts (namely receipt books, indentures, and letters) and early-modern print materials (primarily bibles and religious propaganda) to explore questions of gender, language, and media in early-modern Europe. As part of the Before ‘Farm to Table’ team, she has been working on developing a corpus of early-modern English recipes, and occasionally recreating them. Over the next few years, Dr. Tersigni will focus on researching, writing, and presenting on the digital humanities components of the project.


Michael Walkden holds a PhD from the University of York in History, which he completed in June of 2018. Dr. Walkden is influenced by anthropology, literary studies, and neurobiology; his thesis explored the relationship between mind and gut in early modern English medicine. While at the Folger, Dr. Walkden is working with the library’s extensive collection of printed medical, dietary, and spiritual literature to explore the religious and ideological dimensions of food hygiene and purity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As part of the Before ‘Farm to Table’ team, he will be working with his fellow team-members to transcribe and recreate historical recipes. His first research project at the Folger will focus on shifting attitudes towards the edibility of mushrooms in seventeenth-century England.

Before 'Farm to Table' Project Coordinator

Jonathan MacDonald holds a MA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in History, which he completed in 2017. Jonathan has served as the Before 'Farm to Table'  Project Coordinator since January 2018