Nathalie M Cooke

 Nathalie M Cooke
Contact Information
Email address: 
nathalie.cooke [at]

McGill University
Department of English
AW30, 853 Sherbrooke Street West
McCall MacBain Arts Building
Montreal, QC H3A 0G5 CANADA


Faculty Members
Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies

B.A. (Queen's, Kingston); M.A. (Cornell); B.Ed., M.A., Ph.D. (University of Toronto), Professor. 

Teaching areas: 
  • Mystery, enigma, puzzles – and their literary forms
  • Genres of food writing, menus, literary food scenes
  • Relationship between Victorian newspapers and the novel
Current research: 
  • Victorian Agony Ads in The Times newspaper and novels of the period (“Ciphers of the Times, Cryptic Communications in Victorian England,” SSHRC 2021-24).


  • Co-curator News and Novel Sensations, McGill University Library (January – March 2023)

  • Co-curator Food Riddles and Riddling Ways, McGill University Library (15 March 2020, delayed to February – July 2022)

  • Co-curator Mixed Messages, Making and Shaping Culinary Culture in Canada, Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library (May-September 2018)

Selected publications: 

Book cover of "Canadian Literary Fare" by Nathalie Cooke and Shelley Boyd With Alexia Moyer  Cooking with a Canadian Classic", edited by Nathalie Cooke  "What's to Eat?: Entrées in Canadian Food History" by Nathalie Cooke  'Mixed Messages: Making and Shaping Culinary Culture in Canada", curated by Nathalie Cooke, Irina D. Mihalache and Elizabeth Ridolfo  CuiZine Journal

 "The Johnson Family Treasury: A Collection of Household Recipes and Remedies, 1741-1848" by Nathalie Cooke, Kathryn Harvey, and Erin Yanota  "Margaret Atwood: A Critical Companion" by Nathalie Cooke  "Margaret Atwood: A Biography" by Nathalie Cooke

Selected papers available on SSRN

Selected papers on Canadian Literary Fare

Selected Publications, 2020 - :

  • Co-author with Shelley Boyd, Canadian Literary Fare. MQUP, 2023.

  • “Reflecting on Home and Away – Over a Canadian Meal.” in A Taste of Home: Les saveurs de chez soi. Eds Ylenia De Luca and Oriana Palusci. Hamilton, ON: Guernica World Editions, September 2022. 1-40.

  • Co-author with Merika Ramundo and Anna Dysert, and Merika Ramundo, “Edible Enigmas: Food Riddles and Enigmatical Bills of Fare?” Collections Thinking. Eds. Camlot, Langford & Morra. Routledge, 2023. 75-90.
  • An Introduction to the Illustrated Menu Collection.” Bloomsbury Publishing, January 2022. DOI: 10.5040/9781350934351.001.  

  • Co-author with Leehu Sigler. “Riddling Menus: A History,” Petits Propos Culinaires 120 (August 2021). 13-45. 

  • Co-author with Nora Shaalan. “Database Dishes.” In  The Teaching with Archives & Special Collections Cookbook. Edited by Julie M. Porterfield. Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), 2021.  

  • “Vanns Spices: Blending Food, Women’s Friendship and Business in 1980s Baltimore.” Food and Foodways: Explorations in the History and Culture of Human Nourishment.  28.4. 297-319. 15 October 2020. 

  • “Montreal in the Culinary Imagination” in Canadian Culinary Imaginations, eds. Shelley Boyd and Dorothy Barenscott. McGill-Queen’s University Press, July 2020. 117-145.

  • Publishing Areas: Canadian Literature. Biography of Margaret Atwood (1998), critical monograph on her work (2004); articles on works by Atwood, Crozier, di Michele, Lane, Musgrave, Richler and Thomas; edited volumes of poetry (MQUP). 

  • Editing: Co-launched (with Suzanne Morton) an initiative of re-editions at McGill Queen’s University Press. Republished Phyllis Brett Young’s 1960 novel  The Torontonians  (2007) and 1959 novel  Psyche  (2008). Co-edited new editions of historical cookbooks: The Johnson Family Treasury, …1741-1848 (2015) and The Female Emigrant’s Guide of 1855 (2017). Founding editor of the born digital journal CuiZine (2008-). 

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • Honorary Lifetime Member of Culinary Historians of Canada, 2022-  

  • McGill Popular Teacher (Macleans, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000) 

  • Carrie Derrick Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, McGill (2002) 

  • Louis Dudek Award for Teaching Excellence in the English Department, McGill (1996)

Graduate supervision: 

Riddles and genres of cryptic communication, Ephemera Studies, Lifewriting, Canadian literature, Canadian culinary and cultural history, food history (1850-2000).

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