Rebecca Earle is a professor of History at Warwick University. She is interested in how ordinary, every-day cultural practices such as eating or dressing, or even using postage stamps, shape how we think about the world.
Rebecca Earle is a historian of food, and of the cultural history of Spanish America and Early modern Europe. She is interested in how ordinary, everyday cultural practices such as eating or dressing, or even using postage stamps, shape how we think about the world. Her early work was rooted in a very particular part of the world (southern Colombia). These days she tends to study the movement of ideas and practices across larger geographies.
In her most recent book Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato she offers a global history of the potato. Potatoes originated in the South American Andes and Earle is interested in the potato's success as a global food, and in its spread in eighteenth-century Europe in particular. Thinking about potatoes is thus a way of understanding the dramatic changes in ideas about populations, political economy and the state ushered in by the Enlightenment.
The Body of the Conquistador: Food, Race and the Colonial Experience in Spanish America, 1492-1700
Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato
The Return of the Native: Indians and Myth-Making in Spanish America, 1810-1930
Epistolary Selves: Letters And Letter Writers, 1600 1945 (Warwick Studies In Humanities, 4)