Conferences & Symposia

Siting Julia

A Julia Child Centenary Symposium
Photo by Paul ChildPhoto by Paul Child

The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which houses Julia Child's extensive papers, is sponsoring this symposium to mark the centenary of her birth.

Distinguished speakers will focus on three "sites" that Julia Child inhabited, learned from, and influenced:

Post–World War II Paris

Cambridge, Massachusetts

National Television

The event is free and open to the public.

Explore the Julia Child Papers at the Schlesinger Library online.


9:15 a.m.

Lizabeth Cohen, Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Department of History, Harvard University

Nancy F. Cott, Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America; Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University 

9:45 a.m.


Laura Shapiro, author of Julia Child and Perfection Salad who has also written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Granta, and Gourmet

10:15 a.m.



Alice Kaplan, John H. Musser Professor of French at Yale and the author of Dreaming in French, French Lessons: A Memoir, The Collaborator, and The Interpreter

Alex Prud'homme, coauthor with Julia Child of My Life in France, trustee of the Julia Child Foundation and grandnephew of Paul and Julia Child

Bob Spitz, author of the biography Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child and The Making of Superstars, Barefoot in Babylon, Dylan, and Shoot Out the Lights


Philadelphia Cousins, a trustee of the Julia Child Foundation and a niece of Julia Child

11:45 a.m.


1:15 p.m.



Dorothy Zinberg, lecturer in public policy and faculty associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and a longtime neighbor of the Childs in Cambridge

Michela Larson, longtime restaurateur in Cambridge and Boston

Jane Thompson, an urbanist, designer, and planner with Thompson Design Group who, with her husband Ben Thompson, equipped Julia Child's television kitchen and came to know her well


Mark DeVoto, musicologist, composer, and professor emeritus of music at Tufts University; his mother, Avis DeVoto, worked extensively with Julia Child and was a close friend of hers

2:45 p.m.


3:00 p.m.



Russell Morash, a television producer and director at WGBH of many PBS television shows—including The French Chef and other Julia Child series

Dana Polan, professor of Cinema Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and author of numerous books, including The SopranosScenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film, and, most recently, Julia Child's "The French Chef"


Lisa Abend, TIME correspondent in Spain whose writing about food has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and the Christian Science Monitor.

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.