Program Director and Faculty
Faculty are drawn from academic departments throughout the university, and include food experts at other institutions and working food professionals.
Program Director: Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific and author or editor of 22 books on food including Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet, Beans (winner of the 2008 IACP Jane Grigson Award), Pancake, and recently Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food and Nuts: A Global History. He was co-editor of the journal Food, Culture and Society and has also co-edited The Business of Food, Human Cuisine, Food and Faith and edited A Cultural History of Food: The Renaissance and The Routledge International Handbook to Food Studies. Albala was editor of the Food Cultures Around the World series, the 4-volume Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia and is now series editor of Rowman and Littlefield Studies in Food and Gastronomy for which he has written Three World Cuisines: Italian, Chinese, Mexican (winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards best foreign cuisine book in the world for 2012). He has also co-authored two cookbooks: The Lost Art of Real Cooking and The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home. His latest works are a Food History Reader: Primary Sources and a translation of the 16th century cookbook Livre fort excellent de cuysine. His 36 episode course Food: A Cultural Culinary History is available on DVD from the Great Courses company. Albala has also just finished editing a 3 volume encyclopedia on Food Issues which will be published in the summer of 2015.
Alison Alkon, Associate Professor of Sociology at University of the Pacific, who earned her PhD at UC Davis, is the author or editor of two books and numerous articles exploring environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainable food systems. Her co-edited volume, Cultivating Food Justice, is currently in its second printing from MIT Press and is quickly becoming the default text for undergraduate and graduate courses investigating how racial and economic inequalities affect food and agricultural systems. Her recently released monograph, Black White and Green: Farmers Markets, Race and the Green Economy, focuses on two Bay Area Farmers Markets, one predominantly black and the other predominantly white, to better understand the cultural meanings that communities apply to and use to understand food and agriculture. Her articles on related topics have appeared in top social science journals including Antipode, Sociological Inquiry and City and Community. She is based in the Bay Area and has numerous connections to community-based organizations and think-tanks working on food and agricultural reform. Her book, Black White and Green, was recently the subject of a lengthy essay in the Huffington Post.
Dr. Analiese Richard is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific. She received her doctorate from UC Berkeley in 2005. She is the author of various journal articles, chapters, and a book manuscript on the themes of rural livelihoods, environmental citizenship, and the world of non-governmental organizations in Latin America. She is currently collaborating with colleagues of the Intercontinental Research Network on Informality in the Metropolis to produce an interdisciplinary book on environmental risk and the modern state. She has also begun a new research project on biotechnology, moral authority and the role of scientists in public life in North America.
Alice McLean, PhD in English, specializes in food writing and feminist food studies. She has authored Aesthetic Pleasure in Twentieth-Century Women's Food Writing (Routledge, 2012); Cooking in America, 1840-1945 (Greenwood Press, 2006); and Asian American Food Culture (Greenwood Press, 2015). In addition to books on culinary literature and American food culture, McLean writes books reviews and essays on food studies scholarship. Recent publications include a chapter on "Food and Gender Studies" for the Routledge International Handbook of Food Studies and an essay on "The Taste of Pleasure: A Review of Relational Ethics in 21st-Century Gastronomic Scholarship" for The Aristologist. In addition to her research and writing, McLean has created and taught a range of food studies seminars including Culinary Voyages; Food, Language, and the Imagination; Revolutionary Movements in the Edible Arts; Food, Sex, Pleasure in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Film; and Eating Bodies, Consuming Cultures.
Erica J. Peters, Ph.D., is the director of the Culinary Historians of Northern California, which she co-founded in 2004. She is the author of San Francisco: A Food Biography (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) and Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam: Food and Drink in the Long Nineteenth Century(AltaMira, 2012) and is the co-editor of "Food in French History," a special issue of the journalFrench Historical Studies (Spring 2015). Peters received her bachelor's degree in history and literature from Harvard University and her doctorate in history from the University of Chicago. She has taught at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, San Francisco State University, and the University of Maryland University College. She has published numerous articles on the history of food and drink and has presented at conferences across the United States and abroad. Peters lives in Mountain View, California.
Michele Simon is a public health attorney with 18 years of experience in food and beverage law and policy. Through her book, articles, and reports, she has written extensively about food and alcohol politics, litigation, and a wide range of food and beverage advocacy efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. Her first book, Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, was published by Nation Books in 2006. Simon also offers legal advice on federal regulatory compliance for labeling and marketing, among other services. In addition to her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Michele has a master's degree in public health from Yale University. She is admitted to practice law in California, is based in Oakland, and offers legal guidance to companies nationally, working "of counsel" to Foscolo and Handel, PLLC, the Food Law Firm.