History at Leicester

The project team

The project draws on academic expertise from several disciplines, including history, post-colonial literature, linguistics and anthropology, and a key partner, the People’s Collection Wales.

Dr Deborah Toner (PI, University of Leicester) is a Lecturer in Modern History, whose research interests include the social, cultural and literary history of alcohol and drinking places in Mexico. Her first monograph, Alcohol and Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century Mexico (University of Nebraska Press, 2015) explores – amongst other things - how pulque and pulquerías featured in discussions and images of Mexican nationhood. In “Consuming Authenticities”, her case study will focus on how pulque’s past – stretching back to Aztec times – has featured in making pulque something “authentically” Mexican but always in contested ways.

Dr Emma-Jayne Abbots (Co-I, University of Wales Trinity St David) is a Lecturer in Social/Cultural Anthropology and Heritage, whose work addresses the cultural politics and consumption of artisan food in contemporary Latin America and Europe, with a particular focus on knowledge brokerage, time politics and the heritage industry. Her case study for “Consuming Authenticities” explores how craft cider producers draw on ideas of timelessness in portraying their products as authentic within the context of a complex and changing commercial environment.

Dr Ana Martins (Co-I, University of Exeter) is a Lecturer in Portuguese, whose research has explored issues of authenticity and the commodification of cultural, ethnic and gender difference through the concept of strategic exoticism in postcolonial women’s writing in the Lusophone world. In “Consuming Authenticities”, she examines acarajé's cultural “life” in the context of Brazil's diplomatic pursuit of a special Brazil-Africa relationship from the 1950s through the early twenty-first century, and the temporal concepts that helped to configure this cultural “life”.

Dr Anna Charalambidou (Co-I, Middlesex University) is a specialist in discourse analysis and sociolinguistics, who brings expertise in the interactional constructions of recipes among older Greek Cypriot women to the “Consuming Authenticities” project. Her case study will study the ways in which preparing, consuming and evaluating flaounes are interactionally constructed in everyday conversations of older Greek Cypriot women. It focuses particularly on how these women construct authenticity, temporality and timelessness in (often shared) past, future and hypothetical narratives about flaounes.

People’s Collection Wales (Project partner, National Library of Wales) is a website full of fascinating photographs, sound recordings, documents, videos and stories about the history and heritage of Wales and its people. Hazel Thomas, the People’s Collection Wales Community Engagement Officer and former chef and food consultant, will help the project to involve public voices and perspectives, particularly in collecting oral histories relating to our case study on craft cider in Wales.

Back to top