Boston! Upcoming Harvard talk on milk in China

Another busy week.

Last Sunday, I flew to Boston, not (as I had dreaded) through Newark, but through Delta’s pleasant hub in Detroit. Why the change? Because the whole Northeast was blanketed in thunderstorms, which prompted a last minute rerouting. It also made the flights themselves a real adventure, especially for those of us in the back of the plane.

But arrive I did, and after a long uber ride, found myself in my hotel, which was not only surprisingly far from the airport, it was also surprisingly built over the expressway. There is a rest stop like this on the way to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and as kids we always wanted to stop there for the sheer thrill of stuffing our faces full of White Castle as cars passed underneath. It’s rather less fun for a hotel.

The next morning I went out to Boston University, where I met some old friends, and some new ones in their gastronomy program, which also has a new journal on food history. On Wednesday I went to U Mass to see my former MA student from Singapore, who has since gone on to get a PhD and is now a faculty member in History.

Sushi boat!

In between, I have been working at the Harvard libraries, which have been a mixed bag, as far as results. All of the libraries were extremely welcoming and helpful, which is no small thing, since I am no longer university affiliated, but it seems that even here, there just isn’t all that much on my topic.

Main campus

Business campus

Since I am working on commodity history, I did get to spend some time at the business library. Harvard is iconic, but the Business School across the river is palatial. It’s still the same architecture as most of the campus, but beautifully laid out and maintained.Also, as the pictures would suggest, it doesn’t have the problem of roving amine monsters.


All this leads up to Monday, when I will give my milk talk to the Environment in Asia series. I like the poster. It used to feature a picture of me leaning over a plate of noodles, but the swapped me out for this suspicious cow. I think they made the right choice.