Danielle Willcutt

Year in Program: 2

Fields: U.S. Food & Labor History, African American History, 20th Century Migration

Educational Background:
+ M.A. in Gastronomy from Boston University (2018)

+ Master’s Certificate in Economic Development via Tourism Management from Boston University (2017)

+ B.A. in History; B.A. in International Relations from Grand Valley State University (2010)

Advisor: Helen Veit

Committee: Lisa Fine, LaShawn Harris, Kirsten Fermaglich

Email: willcut2@msu.edu

My professional and academic paths converged in 2015 when I began my Master’s in Gastronomy at Boston University. At that point I was able to intellectualize the experiences I gained from over a decade spent working as a server, bartender, manager, and prep cook in the restaurant industry. A keen interest in spirits led me to investigate the sustainability of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail as a culinary tourism asset.

Today, my academic interest is on Michigan and the Great Lakes Region as a whole. My dissertation topic is Restaurant Workers in Michigan. By collecting oral histories I hope to investigate the centrality of restaurants in peoples’ lives as well as the ways that migrants have used food as a way of creating space for themselves in their new home.

Graduate Assistantships:
IAH 201 American Diasporas, Fall 2018
HST 220 History of Food and Alcohol, Spring 2019
HST 320 Michigan History, Summer 2019 & Fall 2019