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Adrienne Rose Bitar

Postdoctoral Associate

photo of Adrienne Rose Bitar

Mcgraw Hall

Educational Background

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2016. 

B.A., UC Berkeley, 2009. 


I specialize in the history and culture of American food and health.  My first book, Diet and the Disease of Civilization, was published January 2018 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.  I am currently working on the intellectual history of blood type diets and beginning a new project on meat analogues. 

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


  • History


Food Studies; Cultural Studies; Nutrition; 20th Century American History; American Studies



Diet and the Disease of Civilization.  Rutgers University Press, 2018.  

“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.