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Research Centre for the History of Food & Drink, University of Adelaide

Research Centre for the History of Food & Drink, University of Adelaide, Australia
For its website, see here.

Abstracts of papers (some of them not recent, so the biographical information may not always be accurate).

Several of the papers appear in full in Robert Dare, ed. Food, Power and Community (Wakefield Press), namely those of Andrea Cast, Brett J. Stubbs, and Anna E. Blainey (and can be read via Google)

Anna Blainey, Wowserism Reconsidered: The Ethos of the Total Abstinence and Prohibition Movements in Australia, 1880-1910
Unlike the US anti-alcohol movement, little has been written on the movement in Australia. The one widely read work on this subject, Keith Dunstan'sWowsers, draws largely from the words of the anti-drink movement's opponents who attributed to the teetotallers largely imaginary motives and obscured their true agenda. The so-called "wowsers" themselves, however, did not see drink in terms of the spiritual evils of pleasure as their enemies insisted. Rather, they presented drinking and especially moderate drinking as an unethical act - an act which impacted on and harmed others in various and complex ways. Their anger, however, was directed not at drinking but rather at drink selling which they saw in terms of the infliction of damage on others - comparable to crimes of violence against the person. The anti-drink movement saw alcohol as the expression of the ethos of individualism and the profit motive at the expense of social responsibility and community protection.
Anna Blainey is currently completing a PhD at La Trobe University. She has taught and written teaching texts for History and Women's Studies subjects at Deakin University.

PO Box 257, East Melbourne VIC 3002
[email protected]

George Bretherton, Food, Drink, Sex and The Body in the Light of Temperance Propaganda in the British Isles, 1830-60
The way temperance advocates developed their notions about what was fit or not to ingest naturally had basic and very profound effects on all sorts of attitudes towards food and drink. Alcohol, which had been regarded as a health and strength giving substance in the pre-temperance days, had to be discredited, which was done mainly in two ways. First by showing that alcohol was unhealthy, an argument put forward in medical treatises--Irish and Scottish physicians were especially important among the first generation of temperance people--and in more homely ways; Joseph Livesy's malt lecture is a good example a talk he gave to many a Mechanics' Institute audience in which he subjected a pint of beer to chemical analysis, revealing that far from deserving the appellation "liquid bread" it consisted entirely of poisons. The relation between food and drink also needed to be rethought. If drinking was healthy and the more you drank the healthier you were then a stout physique and a red face, not atypical results, were signs of health.
Dr. George Bretherton is Associate Professor of History at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He wrote his PhD dissertation on the Irish temperance movement, has published many article and given many conference papers on various aspects of the history of the temperance movement, and is currently working on the role of Theobald Matthew in the temperance movement.

Department of History, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043

Andrea Cast, Drinking Women in Early Modern English Drinking Songs
Drinking alcohol has always been a significant event, imbued with cultural values and meanings. In early modern England everyone drank alcohol every day. What can we learn about early modern English society from looking at the public drinking of women? We do not have access to direct information about alehouse and tavern culture but we do have many of the ballads that were written, sung, sold and displayed there. From these drinking songs historians can glean information that may shed some light on how women participated in what can only be described as the national pastime.
Andrea Cast is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at The University of Adelaide. Her thesis topic is the consumption of alcohol by women in early modern England.

Department of History, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5000
[email protected]

Valmai Hankel, The Eager Oenographers
Unlike today, most books on wine published in Australia in the nineteenth century were written by winegrowers for winegrowers rather than for consumers. At the same time, in England wine book writers were sometimes wine merchants, whose opinions of Australian wines were often less than flattering. This paper will look at nineteenth-century Australian wine books and the portrayal of Australian wines in English books of the same period. It will draw on the resources of the State Library of South Australia, which has the largest collection of wine literature in the southern hemisphere.
Valmai Hankel is Senior Rare Books Librarian at the State Library of South Australia. She is the wine writer for The Adelaide Review and also writes a column on wine history for the national magazine Winestate. For six years she chaired the Consumer Panel of judges for the Advertiser-Hyatt Regency South Australian Wine of the Year Awards.

State Library of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
[email protected]

Annie Harper, Strong Beere and Merry Lads: Drinking Culture and Popular Song in Early Modern England
This paper explores the culture of drinking in Early Modern England through the rich source of popular song. The first part of the paper examines the relationship between drinking and popular balladry. Records from the Jacobean Star Chamber offer evidence about the dissemination and composition of these songs, and indicate that the Alehouse was an important centre for the creation and dissemination of Ballads. Printed urban Broadsides were also heavily flavoured by drinking culture, and Ballad publishers, authors and performers were often associated with urban drinking establishments.
The relationship between drinking and music was symbiotic, as both the audience and the performance space of the Alehouse was reflected in the content of these songs. The second part of this paper looks at this content, examining the two main thematic motifs found in these drinking songs. One emphasises the companionship and community cohesion found in communal drinking ballads; the other represents the problems associated with drink in society, a tradition of social comment through song. In this way I shall explore some of the ambiguities associated with drinking culture at the time.
Annie Harper is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Melbourne. Her thesis topic is popular ballads in early modern England.

Department of History, University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC 3052
[email protected]

Cath Kerry, Chocolate: A History
Chocolate, as the confectionary bar we eat today, is barely 100 years old. Chocolate was used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a mainly ceremonial drink. It came to Europe and vied for popularity with coffee and tea. New technology in the 19th century set out to improve its drinkability, texture and handling qualities, and led eventually to a novelty, eating chocolate that quickly came to symbolise love, nurture, luxury and compulsion. Any interest in chocolate and why it's a part of our lives are obvious.
Cath Kerry is a chef who keeps an academic approach to food for consenting adults in private. Her interests and attitude to chocolate are influenced by her passion for knowing why we live as we do, and by her belief that eating well is one of the last affordable and safe pleasures.

Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide 5000; Fax 08 8232 7266

David K. Round, Louise Sutherland, and Anne Arnold, Going, Going, Gone: Red Wine Auction Prices in Australia
In recent years in Australia, red wine auctions have resulted in prices which have caught the attention of the public and the press, as selected labels have rocketed in price. The market for red wine in Australia is an incredibly diverse one. A given red wine from one geographic area, from the same vintage, from a particular grape variety, can vary enormously in price from other wines with identical characteristics. Why is this? Economists can explain such price discrepancies easily, at least in theory. In the formal language of economics, they depend on the underlying conditions of supply and demand. This paper presents a preliminary investigation into the operation of the red wine auction market in Australia.
We start by looking at the economic characteristics of the auction process, and then move on to describe the essential features of wine auctions in Australia. Next, we identify the major wine labels which have been driving the auction market, and consider briefly the reasons why these particular wines might be seen as so distinct by buyers. We then move on to a statistical description of the price trends for some of the most commonly auctioned red wines, and analyse the quite marked differences which appear. We conclude with some projections of future prices, and assess, from a price perspective, just what it is that makes a great wine.
David K. Round is Associate Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide, Louise Sutherland is an honours student in the School of Economics, and Anne Arnold is a Lecturer in Economics in the School of Economics. The research for this paper was funded by a grant from the University of Adelaide. Prof. Round's major research interests are in the areas of competition, policy, price fixing, and mergers.

School of Economics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005
[email protected]

Brett J. Stubbs, 'A New Drink for Young Australia': The Transition from Ale to Lager Beer in New South Wales, c. 1880 to 1930
One of the most significant twentieth century developments in the Australian brewing industry was the almost complete replacement of the traditional British top-fermented ale style by the Continental bottom-fermented lager style of beer. In the 1880s and 1890s there emerged in Australia a strong demand for lager beer which was met mainly by bottled imports from Germany and the United States of America. There were also several attempts at local manufacture. In New South Wales, at least, these all failed. During the First World War the curtailment of imports left the demand for lager unsatisfied. Perceiving this gap, Tooth & Co., the largest brewer in New South Wales, successfully launched K.B. (Kent Brewery) lager in 1918. This was a crucial turning point in NSW, providing the momentum for lager eventually to supplant the traditional ale style. This trend was paralleled in other Australian states.
Dr. Brett J. Stubbs is a lecturer in the School of Resource Science and Management at Southern Cross University. His publications include "The Revival and Decline of the Independent Breweries in New South Wales, 1946 to 1961," and his current research includes the brewing industry in Australia.

School of Resource Science and Management, Southern Cross University, P.O. Box 157, Lismore NSW 2480; Fax 02 6621 2669
[email protected]

Posted by David Fahey on February 3, 2008 at 05:10 PM in Academia, Alcohol (general), Australia, Chocolate, Temperance | Permalink