Tigner–Engl 5308

Professor Amy Tigner

Carlisle Hall 622

Office Hours: T/Th 1:30-2:30 pm and by appointment

W 2-4:50 pm, Carlisle 212


English 5308: Culinary Shakespeare



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, Folger Va430, Mary Grenville. 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, Henry IV, parts 1 and II, 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 course counts towards the Women and Gender Certificate and therefore we will be concerned with issues of gender and will read works (specifically manuscripts) written by women.


The first two hours of class will be spent in discussion about the readings and the last hour of class will be spent learning paleography and transcribing early modern manuscript recipe books.


This syllabus is subject to change by the professor


Date Readings Assignments
Week 1




Early Modern Handwriting (paleography)


Week 2



Leong and Pennell “Recipe Collections”

Thirsk “Food in Shakespeare’s England”

Dittman in Shakespearean Foodways, 41-54


Group one: Critical commentary

Discussion presentation

Begin work on Cambridge Handwriting site

Week 3


Merry Wives of Winsor

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

Culinary Shakespeare, 53-72


Wall, selections from Staging Domesticity

(Chapter One)

 Pennell “Perfecting Practice”


Group two: Critical commentary

Discussion presentation

Begin work on Cambridge Handwriting site/transcriptions



Week 4


Antony and Cleopatra

Parolin “Cloyless Sauce…”Holland, Peter. “Feasting and Starving: Staging Food in Shakespeare.” Shakespeare Jahrbuch 145 (2009): 11–28.


Field “Many hands hands…”



Group one: Critical commentary

Discussion presentation

Transcription assignment

Week 5


Titus Andronicus


Goldstein The Cook and the Cannibal: Titus Andronicus and the New World”


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


Goldstein “How to eat a book: Ann Fanshawe and manuscript recipe culture”


Group two: Critical commentary

Discussion presentation

Transcription assignment: Folger MS Va430, Mary Grenville on Dromio

Week 6


Participate in the Folger/EMROC Transcribaton,  Folger MS v.b.366: “Receipt booke of Rebeckah Winche,”   
Week 7


Twelfth Night

Applebaum “Aguecheek’s Beef”

Goldstein “Shakespeare and Food Studies”

Doring Culinary Shakespeare, 204-231

Writing an annotated bibliography and an abstract


Group one: Critical commentary

Discussion presentation

Transcription assignment: Folger MS Va430, Mary Grenville on Dromio

Week 8



Henry IV, part I



Lemon, Culinary Shakespeare, 148-75

Parolin Culinary Shakespeare, 28-52

Albala “Cooking as Research Methodology”

Writing the conference paper



Group two: Critical commentary

Discussion presentation

Transcription assignment: Folger MS Va430, Mary Grenville on Dromio

Week 9


The Tempest

Lupton Culinary Shakespeare 259-291

Fumerton “Consuming the Void”

Group one and two: Critical commentary

Discussion presentation

Transcription assignment Folger MS Va430, Mary Grenville on Dromio

Week 10


Writing Workshop Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (15 sources minimum Due

Transcription assignment: Folger MS Va430, Mary Grenville on Dromio

Week 11


Writing Workshop Conference paper draft due 6-8 pages

Transcription assignment: Folger MS Va430, Mary Grenville on Dromio

Week 12


Writing Workshop Transcription assignment: Folger MS Va430, Mary Grenville on Dromio
Week 13


Class Conference  
Week 14


Cooking with Renaissance Recipes All final transcriptions due
Finals Week



  Final paper with revised abstract and bibliography (25 sources minimum) due via Blackboard



Critical Commentaries (4) 350 words; 20%

Transcriptions: 15%

Discussion Presentation (2-3): 5%

Conference paper draft; Due 11/18: 5%

Conference presentation; 12/2 and 12/9: 5%

Final paper, Abstract, Annotated Bibliography; Due 12/14: 50%


Text: Norton Shakespeare


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