10/16/2013 03:30 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

'Grub and Grog' lecture series at Carleton looks at food and drink in history

OTTAWA - If your knowledge of margarine is spotty or you've wondered who was allowed to drink in taverns in colonial Canada, a public lecture series at Carleton University is bound to satisfy your curiosity.

"Grub and Grog: Food and Drink in History" also looks at other topics including cooking and edible wild foods, with speakers from this growing field being brought in from as far away as San Francisco, Minnesota and Victoria to talk about their research.

Food and drink are infused with cultural meanings, and their history covers not only the production and consumption of food, but also their relationships to power, gender, class and ethnicity.

"This is a field of research that has become important for historians, and Carleton has an unusual concentration of people working in it," Rod Phillips, professor in the Ottawa university's history department, said in a release.

"Paul Nelles teaches a course on the history of food, Matt Bellamy works and teaches on the brewing industry, while I research and teach on the history of food and drink, especially alcohol."

Charlene Elliot of the University of Calgary is slated to speak this Friday on "The Great Butter Caper: On law, fakes and the biography of margarine."

Ken Albala from San Francisco speaks about adventures of cooking of the past on Oct. 25 while Julia Roberts from the University of Waterloo describes tavern culture on Nov. 8. Nancy Turner from the University of Victoria looks at edible wild foods used by First Nations on the Pacific coast on Nov. 15.

For more information on the Shannon Lectures in History, visit or call 613-520-2828.