Past Event

Who Cooks? American Cookbooks and Changes in Gender Roles

A Road Scholar Program by Penelope Bingham

American cookbooks-their authors, their implied audience, the social structure implicit in their recipes and meal plans-tell the story of the changes in the role of women and social structure in 20th century America. The cookbook is much more than a “how-to” manual; it documents the expectations for “good food” and for a “good cook.” Looking at a century’s most popular cookbooks brings to light its changing values. This program invites audiences to think about the links between who cooks our food and how our society is structured.

Penelope Bingham holds degrees from Wellesley College and the University of Chicago and has been an avid collector and appraiser of cookbooks for many years. Her personal collection of cookbooks now exceeds well over 2,000 volumes, and she has given numerous programs on American culture and cookbooks to libraries and professional organizations around Illinois.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Sherry Sparks, 217.434.8027.