Curriculum Vitae

Rachel A. Snell


University of Maine, Orono. Doctor of Philosophy in History, 2016

GPA: 3.9 of a maximum 4.0

Dissertation Title: “The Place of Happiness”: Recipes, Cookbooks, and the Negotiation of Domesticity in Anglo-America, 1830-1880

Major Fields: Nineteenth-Century North American History, Women’s History, Early American Religious History, Nineteenth-Century Sentimental Literature, Food History

University of New Hampshire, Durham. Master of Arts in History, 2008

GPA: 3.73 of a maximum 4.0
Credits Earned: 31 Semester Hours

Master’s Thesis: Watchmen of the New Jerusalem: Jedidiah Morse, the Bavarian

Illuminati and the Refashioning of the Jeremiad Tradition in New England

University of Maine, Orono. Bachelor of Arts (Highest Honors) in History, 2006

GPA: 3.6 of a maximum 4.0
Credits Earned: 128 Semester Hours
Major: History Honors: Magna Cum Laude

Honors thesis: Jedidiah Morse and the Crusade for the New Jerusalem:

The Cultural Catalysts of the Bavarian Illuminati Conspiracy




Historical Research

Grant Management & Application


Oral Communication & Presentations

Written Communication

Collections Management

Active Learning Strategies

Seminar-style Teaching

Humanities Teaching & Research

Social Media Engagement

Exhibit Design

Curriculum Development

Educational Programming

Editing & Publishing




Independent Researcher, The Virginia House-wife Project (July 2020 – present) – 10 hours per week

  • The Virginia House-wife Project is a public history website aimed at contextualizing the recipes form Mary Randolph’s 1824 cookbook, The Virginia House-wife. For this project duties include, conduct research on historical recipes, adapt historical recipes for a modern audience, website development, manage website and social media campaigns, and prepare lesson plans for teaching with recipes for preschool through middle school.

Researcher and Advisor, Margaret Chase Smith Recipes Research Collaborative (May 2018 – May 2020) – 10 hours per week

  • Advise undergraduate student research related to Sen. Smith and the recipe collection, conduct research on Sen. Smith and the recipe collection, present research and mentor student presentations, apply for and manage funding for the collaborative from college departments, the university and outside grants, supervise social media presence for the collaborative.
  • Work with a team of faculty and students to develop goals and agenda for the collaborative.

Lecturer and Faculty Coordinator, Honors College, University of Maine (September 2018 – December 2019) – 40 hours per week

  • Taught first-year Honors courses and upper-level courses on academic specialty and research, advise students, and serve on College committees.
  • Worked with the staff coordinator to plan, organize, and manage lectures for the HON 111 and 112 cohorts.
  • Planned a series of faculty development workshops focused on aspects of teaching in Honors, including best practices for teaching writing, integrating material culture into class discussion with a tour of the campus museum, and active learning strategies for Honors teaching.
  • Worked with Writing Center staff to create a satellite writing center specifically for Honors students.
  • Developed and lead active learning style classroom exercises for 300+ student lecture.
  • Lead efforts to increase diversity in the curriculum. Selected efforts include designing a unit on Native American mythology and organized a panel discussion to explore reintegration narratives in The Odyssey and the experiences of present-day veterans.

Curator of Collections and Managing Editor, Mount Desert Island Historical Society (MDIHS), Mount Desert, Maine (April 2017 – August 2018) – 30 hours per week/$30,000 salary

  • Managed Society’s physical and digital collections, analyzed historical documents and museum collections, conducted research and analysis related to regional history, conducted research to respond to historical inquiries and requests for information.
  • Served as subject matter expert on local history for researchers. Activities included locating documents, conducting historical research, fact-checking, and making historical recommendations.
  • Managed exhibit creation, including research and analysis of historical documents and objects related to the exhibit, collaborated with exhibit designer, communicated with professionals at other museums to arrange loans, designed exhibit website, and wrote exhibit labels and panels.
  • Maintained accessibility of online materials, including supporting the development of the History Trust, a collaborative effort among MDIHS’s collecting organizations to preserve, digitize, and engage the community in the region’s collective archives.
  • Co-Managing Editor and author for the 2018 edition of Chebacco, MDIHS’s annual publication, exploring local history through material culture studies. Managed research, writing, proofing, and design for four authors. Researched and wrote an article related to regional history. The 2018 edition was recognized with The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Leadership in History Award in 2019.

Adjunct Instructor, History Department, Honors College, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, University of Maine, Orono, Maine (Sept. 2016 – May 2018) – 30 hours per week

  • Independently designed, taught, and assessed student work in history, women’s studies, food history, and world civilization courses.

Ph.D. Candidate, History Department, University of Maine, Orono, Maine (Sept. 2012 – May 2016) – 40 hours per week

  • Extensive primary and secondary source research into a major historical topic as well as research and discussion of related topics.
  • Gave oral presentations related to my research at conferences, campus events, and local public history venues.
  • Published excerpts of my research in academic and public history forums.
  • Completed course work and dissertation project to assess my ability to provide expertise, analysis, and sound critical judgement of historical resources and accounting of historical events and relationships.

Graduate Assistant, Center for the Humanities, Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire (Oct. 2007 – May 2008) – 20 hours per week

  • Assisted with everyday office activities, including copying, filing, and mailings.
  • Assisted with writing and editing grant proposals and the Center newsletter.
  • Assisted with the management of the Center’s grants.

Interpreter, Museum Teacher, and Tour Guide, Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (May 2007 – July 2008) – 20-30 hours per week

  • Acted as intermediary between the public and the site’s historic structures and objects at 10-acre museum with 37 buildings (covering the period 1695-1950); introduced visitors to the history of the Puddle Dock community through individual engagement in historic houses interpreted to several different time periods.
  • Developed and lead tours engaging visitors with the history and landscape of the facility.
  • Facilitated history and archeology themed workshops for elementary and middle school students.



The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Leadership in History Award (2019)

Young Scholar Award, Middle Atlantic & New England Conference for Canadian Studies (2016)

Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,

University of Maine (2015)


  • Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Grant, University of Maine, 2019
  • Beholdings: Fourteen Introductions to the History around Us,” Maine Humanities Council Major Grant, 2018
  • Events and Experiences Program Grant, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Maine, 2017
  • Canadian-American Center Fellowship, University of Maine (2013-2016)
  • Hunter Teaching Fellowship, Graduate School, University of Maine (Spring 2016), declined
  • John J. Nolde Lectureship, History Department, University of Maine (Spring 2015)
  • Research Support Grant, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England (2015)
  • Graduate Student Travel Award, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (2015)
  • Short-Term Research Fellowship, Winterthur Museum and Library, Delaware (2014)




Recipes, Cookbooks, and the Negotiation of Domesticity in Anglo-America, 1830-1880 (manuscript in preparation, under contract with Lexington Books).

Selected Journal Articles

“Banana Bread, Pineapple Pudding, Cocoanut Dainties, and Date Bars: Favorite Recipes as a Window into Women’s Lives in Early-Twentieth Century Downeast Maine,” Backstories: The Kitchen Table Talk Cookbook, Cynthia Prescott and Maureen Thompson, eds., Digital Press of the University of North Dakota (forthcoming, 2021).

“Judith Somes’ Sampler: Needlework and Education in Rural Maine before 1820,” Chebacco: The Magazine of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society XXI (2020), 70-78.

Favorite Recipes: Relationships Past and Present in the Pages of a Regional Community Cookbook,” Chebacco: The Magazine of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society XIX (2018), 43-49.

“‘God, Home, and Country:’ Women, Historical Memory, and National Identity in English Canada and the United States,” American Review of Canadian Studies 48, no. 2 (2018), 244-255.

“The Sabine Women Re-Imagined: Women and the Power of Persuasion in the Early National Peace Movement,” Maine History 51, no. 1 (2017), 63-82.

“As North American as Pumpkin Pie: Cookbooks and the Development of National Cuisine in North America, 1796-1854,” Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures 5, no. 2 (2014),



Selected Conference Papers

“Sweet Dainties and Hearty Staples: Favorite Recipes of Early Twentieth-Century Downeast Maine”

Rural Women’s Studies Triennial Conference, May 11-15, 2021.

“The Virginia House-wife Project: Recipes, History, and Engagement,” New England Historical

Association, Virtual Conference, October 17, 2020.

“Dishing Out History: Recipes as a Pedagogical Tool in the Classroom” and “Recipes of Resistance:

Food and the Negotiation of Women’s Political Roles,” Joint Conference of the Association for

the Study of Food and Society, Agriculture, Food, Human Values Society, University of Alaska

Anchorage, June 26-29, 2019.

Favorite Recipes: Revisiting Maine Foodways of the Early Twentieth Century,” New England Historical

Association, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, April 13, 2019.

“Dishing out History: Recipes as a Pedagogical Tool in the Classroom,” National Collegiate Honors

Council Annual Conference, Boston, MA, November 7-11, 2018.

“Preserving Relationships through Recipes,” Northeast Popular Culture Association Conference,

Worcester State University, October 19-20, 2018.

“Embracing Smartphones in Exhibit Design for Small Museums,” Maine Archives and Museums

Annual Conference, University of Maine at Farmington, October 12, 2018.

Favorite Recipes: Lessons in Sustainable Eating in the Pages of an Early-Twentieth Century

Community Cookbook,” Joint Conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society,

Agriculture, Food, Human Values Society, University of Wisconsin, June 13-16, 2018.

Invited Talks

“Harrison Cake to Blueberry Muffins: Recipes and Maine Women’s Political Participation,” Union

Historical Society, Union, ME, October 2, 2019.

“A Place at the Table: Recipes and Maine Women’s Political Participation,” 5th Annual Historian’s

Forum: Debating Suffrage in American Before and Since the Nineteenth Amendment, Maine

Historical Society, Portland, ME, July 13, 2019.

“Tasting History: Recipe Adaptation in Nineteenth-Century North America,” Wilson Museum, Castine,

ME, June 20, 2017

“Reading a Recipe: Recipes as Primary Sources,” Guest Lecture: Anthropology of Food, College of the

Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME, February 16, 2017

“The Process of Discovery: Tales of Researchers’ Experiences with Manuscripts,” Manuscript

Cookbook Conference, Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University, May 12-13, 2016

“‘I used to feel sometimes just like a caged lion’: The Everyday Experience of Domesticity in

New England, 1830-1880,” Maine Historical Society, Portland, ME, August 12, 2014


Beholdings: An Introduction to the History around Us, Mount Desert Island Historical Society, June 2018-October 2019.


Professional Service

Mount Desert Island Historical Society

Editorial Board, Chebacco, Mount Desert Island Historical Society (Sept. 2015 – present)

University of Maine Honors College

Honors Thesis Advisor

Harley Rogers (Political Science, May 2020), “Female Political Campaigns: Just the Right Amount of Femininity.”

CUGR 2018 Summer Research Fellowship, Advisor

Makenzie Baber (Business Management), Recipes as a Historical Timepiece: New Perspectives in the Political and Personal Life of Margaret Chase Smith

Thesis Committee Member (2011 – present)

Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee (2016 – 2019)

Curriculum Committee (2011-12, 2017 – 2019)

Honors Council (2018 – 2019)

University of Maine Department of History

National History Day in Maine Judge (2015, 2016, 2019)

University of Maine Student Symposium 2018 (advisor)

Secretary, History Graduate Student Association (2011-2012)

Graduate Student Representative, Graduate Student Government (2011)

Friends of Fort George, Castine, Maine

Consultant, Historical Recipes (2017 – present)

Professional Development

“Summer Institute on Evidenced-Based Teaching,” University of Maine, June 2018 and June 2019

(Group facilitator, June 2019 Institute).

“Connecting Your Collections to Teachers and Students,” American Association for State and Local

History (New Hampshire Historical Society, 2018)

“Using GIS for Historical Research,” a three-part workshop lead by Ben Meader of

Rhumbline Maps (University of Maine, 2016)

“Reading Historic Cookbooks: A Structured Approach,” seminar taught by Barbara Ketcham Wheaton (Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2014)

Media Appearances

Bill Green’s Maine, “Here’s Your Darn Figgy Pudding,” December 21, 2018,

“Role of food in politics, public life focus of research collaborative inspired by Margaret Chase Smith,” UMaine News (March 6, 2019),

“Recipes for Success,” UMaine Today: Creativity and Achievement at the University of Maine (Spring/Summer 2019),

Amy Paradysz, “Mixing it Up with Margaret: A story of recipe cards, sociological inquiry and a political icon,” Maine Woman Magazine (May 2019),

Pod-Textualizing the Past, “Cooking an American Identity,” July 3, 2020,

References available upon request.