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Melissa Gray

Ph.D. Student (ABD)



Fields of Interest: transnational social and economic history; comparative histories of consumer societies; the culture of American capitalism; food and identity.  

Academic Biography: B.A., Mt. Holyoke College, 2006.  M.A., The College of William & Mary, 2008.  

Conference Presentations: "Advertising an Immigrant Food: Strategies in Macaroni Marketing, 1900-1960," Graduate Research Symposium, The College of William & Mary, March 2012  

Awards: Bicknell Scholar, 2011-2012  

Field Exams: US History to 1815 (with Karin Wulf)  
 US History since 1815 (with Carol Sheriff and Andrew Fisher)  
 Consumerism in World History (with Charles McGovern) Comparative 14th-17th European Expansion (with Dale Hoak)

Dissertation: “Pasta’s Apotheosis: A Transnational History of an Ethnic and Industrial Food in Italy and the US, 1890 to 1975” (working title)

I use a transnational framework that compares consumer societies by exploring the evolution of discourses that link food and identity in two different countries. My study that looks at the international development of pasta industries and pasta consumption in the US and Italy considers histories of immigration, advertising and tourism to explore how the food became a symbol of multiculturalism in the US and influenced the politics of national and regional identities in Italy, especially after World War II.