A Recipe for Celebration

A Julia Child Centenary Symposium at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s Schlesinger Library
September 21, 2012

Karla Strobel

Cambridge, Mass.— On September 21, the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which houses Julia Child’s extensive papers, is sponsoring “Siting Julia: A Julia Child Centenary Symposium” to celebrate the legacy of Julia Child on the centenary year of her birth.   

WHAT: The daylong symposium focuses on three “sites” that Julia Child inhabited, learned from, and influenced: post–World War II Paris; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and national television. Authors, television producers, restaurateurs, and the Child’s family and neighbors provide a behind-the-scenes view of the life and work of American phenomenon Julia Child, who brought her passion for learning and teaching French culinary arts to homes across the United States.

WHO: “A Julia Child Centenary Symposium” brings together more than 600 attendees for an inside look into Julia Child’s work in France and Cambridge and on television with speakers:

  • 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.
  • Philadelphia Cousins, a trustee of the Julia Child Foundation and a niece of Julia Child
  • Mark DeVoto, musicologist, composer, and professor emeritus of music at Tufts University. (His mother, culinary editor Avis DeVoto, whose papers are also at the Schlesinger Library, worked extensively with Julia Child.)
  • 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
  • Michela Larson, longtime restaurateur in Cambridge and Boston
  • Russell Morash, 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 Julia Child’s “The French Chef”
  • 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
  • Laura Shapiro, author of Julia Child and Perfection Salad who has also written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Granta, and Gourmet
  • Bob Spitz, author of the biography Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child
  • Jane Thompson, an urbanist, designer, and planner with Thompson Design Group who equipped Julia Child’s television kitchen
  • 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

WHY: The Schlesinger Library holds the Julia Child papers and features treasures from the Julia Child Papers online, including photographs of Julia and Paul Child, audio of Julia Child speaking about her work and the materials she donated to the library, images of her television production notes, and a video slideshow of items in the Julia Child collection. 

WHEN: Friday, September 21, 9:15 AM–4:30 PM

WHERE: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Radcliffe Gymnasium, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA. Please contact Karla Strobel at karla_strobel@radcliffe.harvard.edu if you would like to attend. The event is at capacity.


From the convenience of your newsroom or home, you can watch the event’s live webcast at www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/event/2012-siting-julia-symposium.

About the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is dedicated to creating and sharing transformative ideas across the arts, humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences. The Fellowship Program annually supports the work of 50 leading artists and scholars. Academic Ventures fosters collaborative research projects and seminars, and sponsors lectures and conferences to engage scholars with the public. The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America furthers the Institute’s commitment to the study of women, gender, and society. For more information about the people, ideas, and events of the Radcliffe Institute, visit www.radcliffe.harvard.edu.

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