Jennifer Jordan

Position title: UW-System Fellow (2022-2023)

Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Headshot of a gray-haired white woman standing in front of the ocean in a black windbreaker, looking off camera

Before Craft Beer: Lost Landscapes of Forgotten Hops

My current book manuscript, Before Craft Beer: Lost Landscapes of Forgotten Hops, explores the rise and fall of hop growing in 19th century Wisconsin, and the landscapes where the plants grew, the ways the plants changed over time and moved across space, and the labor forces harvesting the hops. Taste shapes space in powerful ways. I use detailed archival analysis and landscape-based research to understand the effects of consumer demand for hops, revealing the centrality of women’s labor and the almost invisible traces of this once vibrant industry, and offering a model for the broader study of tastes and landscapes.

Jennifer Jordan is Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Structures of Memory: Understanding Urban Change in Berlin and Beyond (Stanford University Press, 2006), and is completing a book on hops in 19th century Wisconsin, under contract with the University of Chicago press. She has written numerous scholarly articles on cities, tomatoes, dumplings, and kitchen gardens, and the ways they relate to memory and materiality. Her research addresses the ways that the stories we tell about the past shape the world around us—whether in orchards and vegetable gardens, or in the urban landscape of Berlin, or forgotten hop fields and archival documents. She has been a Fulbright scholar and a senior scientist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, among other fellowships.