Claudia Kreklau

Claudia Kreklau


BA, History and Culture, University of Warwick, UK
MA, History of Medicine, University of Warwick, UK

Research Interests

19th Century Germany
Food and Foodways
Repercussions of Philosophic, Medical, and Scientific ideas on Social and Cultural Identities (Race, Class, Gender)

Dissertation Topic

“'Making' the 'Middle Class' through Food, Foodways, and Food Discourses in Nineteenth-Century Germany

Faculty Advisor

Brian Vick


My dissertation uses food, foodways, and food discourses as a lens for exploring the impact of political and industrial changes on social and cultural life in nineteenth-century Germany with a focus on “Middle Class” identity formation. I ask how food, foodways, and food discourses functioned as tools for food-workers (housewives, cooks, maids, etc.) and their employers/families in creating “Middle Class” identity at economic, political, and cultural levels. My narrative begins with German reactions to French hâute cuisine at the time of the French Revolution, and ends with the establishment of “modern” contemporary consumption habits in the fin-de-siècle.

After completing my degrees in History and Culture and the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick, UK, I spent a semester at the Autonomous University of Madrid as a visiting student in the History of Science. I have been supported by the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme, Warwick University, the Wellcome Trust, London, the German Historical Institute, Washington, the South East German Studies Colloquium, Emory University's Professional Development Support Funds, and the Laney Graduate School.

I am currently conducting archival research in Germany, and was featured in the regional newspaper HAZ (Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung) for my stay at the WOK (World of Kitchen Museum) in Hannover. In my upcoming article on royal chef Johann Rottenhöfer in the IRSR (International Review of Social Research, Issue May 2017) I explore how cooks and rulers used food to express their political goals and varying degrees of absolutism in mid-nineteenth century European meals.