ENGL 4326

Professor Amy Tigner

English 4326: Culinary Shakespeare, Fall 2015

In this course, we will investigate culinary and medicinal references and uses in the literature of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. We will also be working with 16th and 17th century manuscript receipt (recipe) books. Students will gain the skills to do archival research for early modern manuscript texts and to participate in the burgeoning scholarly conversations about 16th and 17th century receipt books. We will begin with an intensive study of early modern paleography, or handwriting, enabling students to read manuscripts produced in the period. Students will participate in and contribute to the two related digital humanities initiatives, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO), and Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC) by collectively transcribing and making an online edition of a seventeenth-century cookbook. Students will blog about their experiences and their knowledge both on the class blog site and on a public access blog site devoted to recipe research. Throughout the course, we will investigate how to write about these texts, both as separate entities and in concert with literary production of the period. We will be reading several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Merry Wives of Winsor, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest. Students will also read the most recent scholarly work in the field about food in the early modern period.



This syllabus is subject to change by the professor


Date Readings Assignments
Week 1

Th 8/27



Early Modern Handwriting


Week 2

T 9/1

Macbeth – Read the entire play and be prepared for a quiz.


Begin work on Cambridge Handwriting site
Th 9/3 Macbeth

Leong   “Recipe Collections”

Thirsk, Food In Shakespeare’s England.


Discussion Presentations

Work on Cambridge Handwriting site/transcriptions

Week 3

T 9/8



Merry Wives of Winsor



Th 9/10 Merry Wives of Winsor

Sebek “Wine and Sugar of the best and the fairest” Canary, the Canaries, and the Global in Windsor”

Discussion Presentations
Week 4

T 9/15

Merry Wives of Winsor

Wall Staging Domesticity chapter one

Discussion Presentations
Th 9/17 Test One: Macbeth, Merry Wives of Winsor, articles Paleography, Transcription Test one
Week 5

T 9/22

Antony and Cleopatra Transcription assignment
Th 9/24 Antony and Cleopatra

Peter Parolin “Cloyless Sauce”

Discussion presentation



Week 6

T 9/29

Antony and Cleopatra Transcription assignment
Th 10/1 Transcription day: begin transcribing Folger MS Va430 Mary Grenville
Week 7

T 10/6

No Class: Out of class transcription assignment  
Th 10/8 No Class: Out of class transcription assignment
Week 8

T 10/13


Titus Andronicus Paper one due Transcription assignment due
Th 10/15 Titus Andronicus


Goldstein “The Cook and the Cannibal”

Discussion presentation

Transcription assignment

Week 9

T 10/20

Titus Andronicus


Templeman, Sally. “’What’s This? Mutton?’: , Food, Bodies, and Inn-Yard Performance Spaces in Early Shakespearean Drama”

Discussion presentation

Transcription assignment

Th 10/22 Test Two: Antony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicus, articles, Transcription Test Two
Week 10

T 10/27

Twelfth Night Transcription assignment
Th 10/29 Twelfth Night

Appelbaum “Aguecheek’s Beef”

Discussion Presentation
Week 11

T 11/3

Twelfth Night

Doring “Feasting and Forgetting”

Discussion Presentations

Transcription assignment

Th 11/5 Transcription day  
Week 12

T 11/10

The Tempest Transcription assignment
Th 11/12 The Tempest

Fumerton “Consuming the Void”

Discussion Presentations
Week 13

T 11/17

The Tempest

Lupton “Room for Dessert”

Discussion Presentations
Th 11/19 Transcription day Extra credit transcription
Week 14

T 11/24

Writing Workshop
Th 11/26 Thanksgiving-No class
Week 15 T 12/1 Paper presentations Final paper due
Th 12/3 Test Three: Twelfth Night, The Tempest, articles, transcriptions Test Three
Week 16

T 12/8

Cooking Early Modern Recipes Final Transcriptions due


Assignments and Evaluation:

Daily quizzes: 10%

Group Transcriptions: 5%

Individual Transcriptions 5%

Conference Presentation: 5%

Participation and homework: 10%

3 Tests: 30%

Paper one: 15%

Final paper: 20%


Text: Norton Shakespeare



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.