Reading Responses

  • ~400 words
  • Bring PAPER COPIES of your responses to class when they are due.


  • We will divide up into three groups, but this isn’t group work; everyone works independently. To keep things easy to remember, we’re following a set schedule of who does what for each week.
  • Tuesdays: 1: description/argument; 2: sources; 3: rest
  • Wednesdays: 1: rest; 2: description/argument; 3: sources
  • Thursdays: 1: sources; 2: rest; 3: description/argument


This group practices summarizing the variety of readings.

  • What are the key take home arguments or descriptions of the readings? What themes stood out to you?
    • Note this is a synthetic exercise! You should be tying together the themes across the readings
  • What did you find most interesting /surprising / confusing about the selections? Why?


This group practices evaluating the kinds of sources used by our readings (whether in footnotes or just described in the text). It should also encourage us to think critically about how sources are being used to make historical arguments about food.

  • What kinds of sources are used?
  • Do the sources and examples adequately support the argument?
    • Are the quantity and variety of sources and examples sufficient?
    • For instance: if our reading says that New Englanders ate X, but cites only 1 example from 1 cookbook, would that be considered sufficient evidence? Or an overgeneralization?


This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read anything! You are still expected to answer questions at the top of the reading schedule page.