The Lyceum Hosts Food History Symposium Jan. 23

The Lyceum Hosts Food History Symposium Jan. 23

Lectures Explore Early Culinary Heritage at Alexandria’s History Museum

The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, is hosting a daylong symposium exploring early American food production and consumption. "Food For Thought: A Food History Symposium" will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, at The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street. The series of lectures will examine public markets, pottery vessels, bakeries, chocolate, and African-American foodways, with an emphasis on Alexandria and the Chesapeake region.

The registration fee is $50. Advance registration is encouraged and can be done online at or by calling 703-838-4994. Those wishing to register the same day should arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. Participants will have a break for lunch on their own.

The schedule of lectures follows:

9:15 a.m. – "Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America" by Helen Tangires, administrator of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Tangires, who holds a Ph.D. in American studies from The George Washington University, is the author of Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003) and Public Markets (W.W. Norton, 2008).

10:15 a.m. – "Chocolate – The Indian Drink, 1500-1700" by Marcy Norton, an associate professor of history at The George Washington University. Norton, who holds a Ph.D. in history from U.C. Berkeley, is the author of Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World (Cornell University Press, 2008).

11:30 a.m. – "Pottery for Alexandria Kitchens" by Barbara Magid, Assistant City Archaeologist for the City of Alexandria and the top authority on Alexandria pottery. Magid, who holds an M.Phil. in archaeology from Cambridge University, is the author of several studies of Alexandria pottery, including five articles in Ceramics in America (Chipstone).

2 p.m. – "African-Virginian Foodways in Alexandria and the Potomac Region" by Michael Twitty, a leading expert on African-American foodways. Twitty, a culinary historian who is completing his undergraduate degree in African-American studies and anthropology at Howard University, is the proprietor of and the author of Fighting Old Nep: The Foodways of Enslaved Afro-Marylanders 1634-1864 (Michael Twitty, 2006).

3 p.m. – "Everyone Can Afford a Cracker: The Rise and Fall of George Hill's Alexandria Bakery" by Elaine Hawes, an independent researcher with an M.A. in American studies from the University of Delaware. Hawes has worked for a variety of art and historical agencies and lectures widely on American material culture, with a concentration on the material culture and related commercial development of Alexandria.

For more information, visit or call 703-838-4994.