Theresa McCulla is a historian of the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States. Her scholarship investigates how Americans have used material and visual culture to understand race, ethnicity, and gender, especially in the realm of food and drink. Her first book, Insatiable City: Eating Food and Consuming People in New Orleans will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2024.
McCulla is the Curator of the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The Initiative documents and collects the histories of homebrewing and craft beer in the U.S. She travels the country to collect objects, documents, and oral histories from the talented women and men who make the American brewing industry the most creative in the world.
McCulla earned a PhD in American Studies and an MA in History from Harvard University; a Culinary Arts Diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts; and a BA in Romance Languages from Harvard College. Previously, she worked as an Arcadia Fellow for the Colonial North American Project at Harvard Library; managed the Food Literacy Project for Harvard University Dining Services; cooked in sweet and savory restaurant kitchens in Cambridge, MA, and Washington, DC; and worked as a European media analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. Her writing has been awarded by the James Beard Foundation and the North American Guild of Beer Writers.