Eleanor Barnett

I am a food historian at Cardiff University with a PhD from the University of Cambridge. My research uses food as a lens through which to view the past, offering unique insights into the daily lives, beliefs, and identities of ordinary people as well as wider cultural, economic, political, and religious historical processes. I have a particular expertise in the early modern period (c. 1500-1800) and the religious changes of the Reformations. I am a lucky recipient of a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, in which I explore moments of food exchange between people of different groups across the world as a way of reflecting on important themes in early modern history including colonialism, globalisation and religious tolerance. As @historyeats on Instagram, I post daily food history facts, art, and objects to a wonderful community of over 36,000 people. I am a regular contributor to public-facing media, including TV, radio, podcasts, and print. I write the monthly recipe column for BBC History Magazine.

Special subjects

The history of food waste, preservation, and sustainability. Food and religion in the Reformations (especially England and Italy). Food, colonialism, and globalisation in the early modern world. Food and art history. Food and 20th century youth culture.

Languages spoken

English (fluent); Italian (professional working capacity); Spanish (intermediate).

Regular work

I work as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Cardiff University. My research project is entitled 'Eating Exchanges: Food and Religious Encounter in the Early Modern World'. I occasionally teach at University level. I write a monthly column for BBC History Magazine and regularly feature in other publications/ speak on podcasts and radio shows.

Advisory boards / Awards

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (Jan 2022-Dec 2027). Fellowship Folger Shakespeare Library (July 2021) with special commendation. Fully funded PhD fellowship AHRC Christ's College, University of Cambridge (October 2016-October 2019).

Eleanor Barnett