Chew on This: Presenting the history of food in Massachusetts

A Conference for Massachusetts History Organizationslogo

Presented by Mass Humanities  •  New England Archivists  •  Massachusetts Historical Society  •  Colonial Society of Massachusetts  •  University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History  •  Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (MA SHRAB)  •  University of Massachusetts Boston Public History and Archives Tracks and the Joseph P. Healey Library

Monday, June 1, 2015

9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester

Keynote Address by Filmmaker Ian Cheney, creator of The Search for General Tso (2014) and co-founder of Food Corps.

At this, the eleventh annual Mass History Conference we will welcome the many small historical organizations and practitioners preserving, interpreting, and deepening the exploration of Massachusetts history.

You are what you eat! Or are you? At this year’s conference, we will explore the meaning and availability of food in Massachusetts History: what we grow, what we eat, food and identity, scarcity and quality. We will once again present a program that is chock-full of excellent hands-on examples of, and workshops in, the best practices in public history. We are planning workshops on topics like doing food demonstrations; conducting oral histories that focus on food and identity; and using public history in reinventing the food system. The conference will also include sessions on American food 101; archives with cookbook and other food-related collections; the history of and current strategies for feeding the hungry in Massachusetts cities and towns; multicultural food ways and local practices; Native American food practices; home economics and other twentieth-century food movements; and preserving agricultural landscapes.

MA SHRABWe are happy to welcome the 2015 MA SHRAB Forum to the Mass History Conference! MA SHRAB is holding two free sessions in the afternoon to which any Mass History Conference participant may attend. If you would like to ONLY attend these two SHRAB sessions, register for free on MA SHRAB Forum registration page.

The conference is widely celebrated as the best networking and skill-sharing opportunity for historians of our state culture. Read the full conference theme statement.

Registration Fees
Fee includes workshop, morning refreshments,
buffet lunch (vegetarian option available), and afternoon snack
Registrations cannot be refunded; however you may send another person in your place.
$90 Standard Fee per person
$60 Student Fee (include copy of student ID with registration or bring ID to event if registering online)
$80 Per person for 3 registrants from same organization at the same time
$70 Per person for 4 registrants from same organization at the same time
8:30 AM -1:30 PM
Registration, Continental Breakfast, & Networking
9:00 AM – 4:00 PMRoom 328 Mass History Commons
A place to exchange ideas and conversation, and to showcase your organization, projects, and products.
9:30-9:45 AM

WelcomePleun Bouricius, Mass Humanities

9:45-10:45 AM
Keynote Address: Ian Cheney
Documentary Filmmaker (The Search for General Tso (2014), King Corn (2007)) and co-founder of FoodCorps
10:45-11:00 AM


11-12:15 PM
Concurrent Sessions A
  1. Food in Massachusetts Archives
  2. Bringing in the Harvest: Laborers in Massachusetts Agriculture
  3. Beyond the Butter Churn: History, Food, and Social Activism
  4. How Fish Sticks Became Food: Massachusetts Food Industry and Changing Patterns of Production and Consumption in 20th Century America
12:15 – 1:30 PM

Lunch Buffet (vegetarian option available)

12:45-1:00 PM
Bay State Legacy Award – Brian DonahueMassachusetts History Commendation – Robert Forrant
1:30 – 4:30 PM

(Space is limited.Pre-registration required.)
  1. You Don’t Know Beans…’Til You Ask Someone: Oral History & Community (limit 20 participants)
  2. Creating Food Demonstration Programs at Your Historic Site (limit 25 participants)
1:30-2:45 PM
Concurrent Sessions B
  1. Innovative Partnerships in History to Address Food Issues
  2. Molasses and Marshmallow: Food and Trading in New England Account Books
  3. Native American Food Practice and Provisioning
  4. MA SHRAB Information Session – Sponsored by MA SHRAB
2:45-3:15 PM
Room 328
Join us for afternoon refreshments in the Mass History Commons
3:15-4:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions C
  1. Chocolate, Culture, and the Politics of Food in Massachusetts
  2. Interpreting Agriculture in Massachusetts through Sites, Artifacts, and Images
  3. No Food in the Archives: Pest Control and Other Issues in Archival Preservation – Sponsored by MA SHRAB