Nathalie M Cooke

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

Dean’s Suite, McLennan Library, 3459 McTavish Street, Montreal, H3A 0C9


Faculty Members
Professor and Associate Dean, McGill Library (Archives & Rare Collections)

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

Food Writing
Canadian Literature
History of the Book
Teaching areas: 
  • Shaping of Taste in Canada, 1850-2000; Canadian Foodways; Cookery Literature as Indicator of Cultural & Social History in the long 20th Century (Britain, US and Canada)

  • Women’s writing, and specifically life writing; literary genres and their rhetorical strategies; riddles and other forms of cryptic communication
Current research: 
  • Principal Investigator, SSHRC Insight Development Grant, “Food for Thought: Enigmatical Bills of Fare in England’s Long Nineteenth Century,” 2019-21. Riddles in the 1800s: dinner conversation, entertainment, and literary genre
  • Principal Investigator, SSHRC Connections Grant, “PlayOn 2020; What Happens When Libraries Play?” 2019-21.
  • Co-investigator, SSHRC Insight Grant (PI, Jason Camlot, Concordia), "The Richler Library Project: Historicizing, Processing, Developing and Theorizing the Author’s Personal Library as Collection.” 2017-2021.
Selected publications: 


Selected papers available on SSRN:
See also:

Food History:

  • “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.
  • “Writing the Chinese Restaurateur into the Canadian Literary Landscape.” Studies in Canadian Literature. 42.2 (2017). Released June 2018: 5-25.
  • Co-editor with Fiona Lucas, Catharine Parr Traill’s The Female Emigrant’s Guide, Cooking with a Canadian Classic. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, June 2017. 556pp.
  • Co-author (with Alexia Moyer). “Measuring Out Life in Coffee Spoons: Canadian Literary Breakfasts.” CuiZine : The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures. 8.1 (2017). Released 12 June 2018.
  • "Lessons from Generations Past: Timely and Timeless Communication Strategies of Some Canadian Cooks of Note," Food and Communication, Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2015. Ed. Mark McWilliams. London: Prospect Books, July 2016. 131-142.
  • "Canadian Food Radio: Conjuring Nourishment for Canadians Out of Thin Air." How Canadians Communicate. Ed, Charlene Elliott. University of Athabasca Press, February 2016. 107-128.
  • "Canadian Cookbooks: Changing Ideas about Cooking and Contamination, 1854–1898," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 32.2 (October 2015): 297-318.
  • Co-editor with University of Guelph Archivist, Kathryn Harvey (who provided high-res scans of the original manuscript), an annotated facsimile edition: The Family Treasury: A Collection of Household and Medicinal Receipts, 1741-1848. Toronto, ON: Rocks Mills Press, October 2015. See:
  • “Spreading Controversy: The Story of Margarine in Quebec.” Edible Histories: A Canadian Food History Anthology. Editors Marlene Epp, Valerie Korinek, Franca Iacovetta. U of T Press, November 2012. 249-268.
  • “Canada's Food History Through Cookbooks.” Critical Perspectives in Food Studies. Editors Mustafa Koc, Jennifer Sumner, and Tony Winson. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, August 2012. 33-48.

Canadian Literary Criticism:

Study Guides


  • 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).
  • 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)
Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • 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, Canadian literature, Canadian culinary and cultural history, food history (1850-2000).


@CookeNathalie (twitter)
@Riddles_in_Time (Instagram)




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