Carolyn A. Nadeau

Position title: Biruté Ciplijauskaité Fellow (2022-2023)

Byron S. Tucci Professor of Spanish, World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Illinois Wesleyan University

Headshot of Carolyn Nadeau, a smiling, white women with graying hair, her chin is leaning on her knuckles. In front of her are food images of a baguette loaf, grapes, peppers, lemons, garlic, asparagus and lettuce along with a large terracotta water pitcher, two glasses, one half-filled with red wine and another on its side, and a bottle of wine.

Artistic Voices of the Columbian Exchange

In virtually all literary genres and in paintings, early modern Spanish artists incorporated New World food imagery into their works in ways that ranged from the bawdy to the mystical. This book-length project, “Artistic Voices of the Columbian Exchange,” explores how poets, especially, and also playwrights, painters, and storytellers represented New World foodstuffs and used the power of their poetic voice to create food fantasies. This study also investigates what role these artists played in the transformation of New World foodstuffs, like the tomato, pepper, potato, and chocolate, to name the most salient, into defining ingredients of Spanish cuisine today.

Carolyn Nadeau is the Byron S. Tucci Professor of Spanish at Illinois Wesleyan University. Carolyn is fascinated by the role food played in Spain’s social and cultural development. To that end, her monograph, Food Matters. Alonso Quijano’s Diet and the Discourse of Early Modern Food in Spain (U Toronto Press, 2016), contextualizes the shifts in Spain’s gastronomic history at many levels of society and in the process explores the evolving social and cultural identity of early modern Spain. Her most recent work isa critical edition and translation of Francisco Martínez Montiño’s Arte de cocina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería [The Art of Cooking, Pie Making, Pastry Making and Preserving] (1611) (U Toronto P, forthcoming). This project unpacks Martínez Montiño’s sophisticated culinary experiences and explains the trends and complexities that constitute Spain’s culinary practices during the early modern period. Other recent publications include articles on images of taste on the early modern Spanish stage, sensory ailments in early modern domestic literature, peppers and basil as Old World-New World markers in the writing of Cervantes, a gastronomic map of Don Quixote, the role of wine in the formation of Morisco identity, and contributions of medieval food manuals to Spain’s culinary heritage.