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Eleanor (Elly) Barnett

Eleanor (Elly) Barnett

Eleanor Barnett is available for consultancy.


I am an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at Christ's College, studying food and religion in the European Reformations, using Protestant England and Catholic Italy as case studies, c.1560- c. 1640. 

I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Warwick in 2015, and an MPhil in Early Modern History at the University of Cambridge in 2016.

Research Interests

I approach the religious changes of the Reformations through 'lived religion', and am interested in how people understood and interacted with the material world in accordance with religious beliefs. My PhD project focuses on food as a uniquely ubiquitous and perishable aspect of the material world, asking how attitudes towards food and consumption practices played into early modern religious change. 

My research is based on a broad range of printed and archival sources in English and Italian, as well as material culture, and included a six month research trip to Italy.

I am also keen to explore new technologies and creatives mediums in order to present academic work to a public audience, and I am therefore involved in public history initiatives at Cambridge including the blog Doing History in Public

Research Supervision

My PhD is supervised by Professor Craig Muldrew and Professor Ulinka Rublack. 


I have experience supervising, teaching seminar groups, and lecturing in the following papers: 

Part I: Paper 9 - British Economic and Social History, c. 1500-1750

Part I: Paper 4 - British Political History 1485-1714

Part I: Paper 14: Material Culture in the Early Modern World 

Part II: Paper H - Food and Drink in Britain and the Wider World, c. 1550 - 1800 

Part II: Historical Argument and Practice

I have also jointly run a history for schools event, aimed at KS2 (7 - 11 year olds) students. 

Other Professional Activities

Co-organiser of conference 'Waste Not, Want Not: Food and Thrift from Antiquity to the Present' September 2019

Organiser of conference 'Food and Faith in the Early Modern World' November 2018

Co-organiser of conference 'Food and Embodied Identities in the Early Modern and Modern World, c. 1500 - c. 2000' June 2018

Christ's College MCR, Ents Officer 2018-9

Postgraduate Pioneer 2017

Graduate Digital Communications Coordinator for Early Modern History 2017-9

Co-founder and convener of AHRC-funded interdisciplinary student group 'Cambridge Body and Food Histories' 2017-9

Creator of 'Hidden History Maps' and Historical Recipes Blog 

Editor at Doing History in Public 2015-7 


  • Early Modern History

Key Publications

‘Reforming Food and Eating in Protestant England, c. 1560 – c. 1640’, Historical Journal, (Online edn. October 2019). 

‘Food and Religious Identities in the Venetian Inquisition, c. 1560 – c. 1640’, Renaissance Quarterly [Forthcoming, 2020].

‘Food Gifts and Exchange’, ‘Food and the Seven Deadly Sins’, ‘Sharing Food and Charitable Giving’, ‘Trencher from an Accouchement Set’, ‘Special Diets for the Life Cycle’, in  Melissa Calaresu and Victoria Avery (eds.), Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800 (London, 2019).  

Other Publications

‘As thy body stands in need of food, so doth thy soule also’: Food and Religion in Richard Bernard’s 1616 handbook’, Graduate Journal of Food Studies, 5 (2018), no. 2.

‘Commemorative Funerary Monuments in Reformation Bristol, c. 1490 – 1640’, Reinvention: an International Journal of Undergraduate Research, 8 (2015).