Sarah Cook is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Modern British History, working under the supervision of Catherine Molineux. Her dissertation will examine coffee in nineteenth-century Britain, and what the persistence of coffee consumption can tell us about the evolution of British imperial character, the development of scientific authority, and the construction of difference in domestic social structures. Sarah is also involved with Vanderbilt’s Institute for Coffee Studies (ICS), an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to examining the human dimensions of coffee production, trade, and consumption.
During her first two summers at Vanderbilt, Weaver Awards from the History Department allowed Sarah to travel to London, where she spent time at the British Library and the National Archives, and to the John Carter Brown Library in Rhode Island to conduct exploratory research. She presented the results of that research, “Coffee and Controversy: The Science of Reform in 1850s Britain,” to the Midwest Victorian Studies Association’s annual conference in April 2017. This summer she will spend time at the Clark Library as one of their Predoctoral Fellows.