arrow grid linear view icon
The College of Arts Sciences Search

You are here

Adrienne Rose Johnson (Bitar)

Postdoctoral Associate

Mcgraw Hall

Educational Background

Ph.D., Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University, 2016. 

B.A., American Studies, UC Berkeley, 2009. 


I specialize in the history and culture of American food, popular culture, and health.  My first book, Diet and the Disease of Civilization, is forthcoming December 2017 with Rutgers University Press.  The first full-length study of diet books, Diet and the Disease of Civilization reveals how 20th century dieting systems have articulated a powerful response to anxieties about the psychic and physical costs of modernity, crafting new stories positioning civilization itself as a disease and diet as the cure.  Following an imaginary chronology of human origins, the book examines Paleolithic diets, biblical diets, precolonial diets, and environmentalist detoxification programs.  

 In 2017, I will be teaching "Food in America" and "Consumer Culture. " My courses for 2018 are "Food Culture" and "The History of Health."


  • History



Diet and the Disease of Civilization.  Rutgers University Press, 2017.  

“The Paleo Diet and the American Weight Loss Utopia, 1975-2014.” Utopian Studies. Vol. 25, No. 2, (Spring 2015): 101-124.

“For the Starving, Eat ‘Local’ Isn’t an Option.” Wall Street Journal, 3 Dec. 2013, p. A15.

“Romancing the Dude Ranch, 1926-1947.” Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 4, (Winter 2012): 437-461.

“Magic Metabolisms of Competitive Eating.” Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World. Routledge, 2011.