Food as a medical object in Paris, 1670-1815. (360G-Wellcome-078727_Z_05_Z)
The project's central focus is upon the constitution of medical authority over diet in Paris between 1675 and 1815. Against the backdrop of a medical marketplace increasingly dominated by luxury and novelty foods, I will explore the ways in which different medical groups, especially physicians and apothecaries, formulated knowledge about food in relation to rival corporations courting the same clientele. I ask how successful licensed medical practitioners were in reforming domestic eating practices, as well as considering hospitals and soup kitchens as sites for alimentary experiments on the larger scale. While physicians concerned themselves with traditional dietetics, pharmacists turned increasingly to chemical analysis of foodstuffs, producing a successful programme of analysis and industrial exploitation of foods by the First Empire. The project will draw upon recent methodological developments in a variety of fields, including cultural history, anthropology, sociology and literary theory, which offer new ways of writing a history of food and diet. The timescale is chosen to permit a study of the transforming politics of diet during the Revolutionary years. Based on little-known archival and printed materials, the study will provide the first comprehensive account of the various medical understandings of foods and diet in this period.
£170,483 10 Nov 2005