Elizabeth Engelhardt joined the Department of American Studies as the John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies in January 2015. Her most recent book project, The Larder: Food Studies Methods from the American South, is an anthology that thinks about diverse ways we can write and talk about southern cultures through food. She is also the author of A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food (2011), a monograph that investigates the changing food story of the US South.
For her research she draws from letters, diaries, cookbooks, novels, photographs, government records, short stories, and material objects. She works to collect and build alternative archives as well, especially in terms of oral histories with living subjects, and, increasingly, the seeds, heritage ingredients, tastes, and even sounds of the communities whose stories she aims to document and analyze.
Elizabeth serves on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization dedicated to the documentation and celebration of the complicated stories of food in diverse communities of the US South. During her previous ten years at the University of Texas at Austin, she helped to found and served on the board of Foodways Texas, a similar organization working to understand the multi-racial, multi-ethnic cultures and foods of the state. Elizabeth earned her B.A. from Duke and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Emory.