Before 'Farm to Table' Co-Directors
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 Literature, Shakespeare Studies, Gastronomica, 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 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 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 (emmo.folger.edu), co-principal investigator of Shakespeare’s World (shakespearesworld.org), curator of Shakespeare Documented (shakespearedocumented.org) 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
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.
Neha Vermani holds a PhD in History from Royal Holloway University of London. Dr. Vermani specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early-modern Islamicate Mughal South Asia, with larger interests in the contemporary Safavid and Ottoman Empires. Her doctoral thesis examined food consumption practices at the Mughal court from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Committed to the decolonisation of knowledge, this work engages with the themes of kingship, duty, and civility – encompassing notions of ethics, pleasure, taste, dietary regimens, emotions, and sexuality – to present a nuanced grammar of courtly culture. While at the Folger, Dr. Vermani is using the library’s collection of recipe manuscripts, household accounts, letters, and colonial treatises to explore how early colonial encounters shaped culinary practices in South Asia and Britain. As part of the Before ‘Farm to Table’ team, she is examining the circulation and translation of English cookbooks in South Asia. Dr. Vermani aims to locate these texts within a wider early modern global trading nexus. Employing insights gained from this project to further nuance her doctoral thesis, Dr. Vermani is currently preparing her book manuscript.
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
Justine DeCamillis holds an MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is completing her PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park in English, where she studies early modern English drama. Her previous work for the Folger Institute includes co-editing the DIY Quarto, an interactive guide to the printing of the second quarto of Hamlet. Justine has served as the Before 'Farm to Table' Project Coordinator since June 2020.
Jonathan MacDonald holds a MA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in History, which he completed in 2017. Jonathan served as the Before 'Farm to Table' Project Coordinator from January 2018 to June 2020 and is now working on his PhD in American Studies at Brown University.
Julia Fine is an MPhil student in Modern South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge. As part of her work with Before ‘Farm to Table,’ Julia researched and wrote about cultural understandings of turmeric’s color and the early modern history of tea in India, among other projects. She served as the Dumbarton Oaks Humanities Fellow from 2019-2020.