Sarah Holliday is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in Modern British History, working under the supervision of Catherine Molineux. Her dissertation examines nineteenth-century British coffee consumption, and what the persistence of Britons’ interest in coffee 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. Sarah received a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Clark Library and UCLA’s Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Studies in the summer of 2017. She will attend the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS) in October of this year as a panel organizer and participant. Her paper, “Hiding in Plain Sight: Coffee Consumption and Cultural Memory in Nineteenth-Century London,” will be part of a panel entitled “Society’s Stomach: Food, Drink, and Societal Ideas in Britain and Her Empire.”