Make Me a Sandwich: A Cultural History of the Domestic Kitchen in 19th Century America

By: Carter Goffigon '14

Advising Faculty: Jim Downs

This honors thesis aims to place the kitchen at the intersection of race, class and gender and show how the kitchen reflects the changing cultural, social and economic values that arose as a result of the rise of Capitalism. Goffigon uses 19th century ladies' journals and domestic guides as the base of her research to argue that it was in this moment that womanhood became exclusively defined by and linked to domesticity. The project examines the relationship of the middle class kitchen to design, innovation, domestic labor and food-borne illness. By studying the kitchen from multiple angles, she provides a comprehensive view into the lives of middle-class women forced to deal with dramatically changing gender roles and expectations.

This honors thesis may be read in its entirety at Digital Commons @ Connecticut College

Related Fields: American Studies