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.

McCulla is the curator of the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The Initiative is the first national-scale, scholarly project to collect 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. She speaks French, Spanish, and Italian.

Image: Seven male hands encircling a mug of beer, sitting on a table, etc., around 1876, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress