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College of Human Ecology

Cornell University

Annotated Bibliography

For Further Reading:
An annotated bibliography compiled by students in HD 455: Research in The History of Home Economics taught by Professor Joan Jacobs Brumberg

Berlage, Nancy. The Establishment of an Applied Social Science: Home Economists, Science, and Reform at Cornell University, 1870-1930 in Gender and American Social Science: The Formative Years. Ed. Helen Silverberg. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1998.

ILR Library (in Ives Hall) - call number H53.U5 G45 1998.
Olin Library - call number H53.U5 G45x 1998.

Berlage uses the development of home economics at Cornell University to demonstrate the complex nature of the field, and also to comment on the difficulties home economics faculties faced in establishing themselves within a research university. She characterizes home economics as an applied social science and shows why that is problematic. Berlage points to the paradox of the field, showing that while home economics did reinforce traditional womens ideals, it also gave women a chance to study science and develop a public voice.

Beyer, Glenn H., ed. The Cornell Kitchen. Ithaca: New York State College of Home Economics in association with the Cornell University Housing Research Center, 1952.

Fine Arts Library (in Sibley Hall) - call number NA8330.B46.
Hotel Administration Library (Statler Hall) - call number TX653.B48.
Library Annex - call number TX653.B57.
Mann Library - call number TX653.B57.
Olin Library - call number NA 8330 B57+.

This book deals with the history, standards, design and technological aspects of the modern American kitchen. It condenses and analyzes the research of Cornell Professor Glenn Beyers project to establish a set of kitchen design criteria which considered both human and technological requirements. Chapter four, by far the most interesting chapter, discusses the need to consider the socio-psychological aspects of kitchen design to ensure the satisfaction of its user, and outlines different optimum kitchen layouts depending on ones orientation towards life in general. The text functions best not as a source of functional information, but as a cultural artifact, capturing the ideology and language of the interdisciplinary techniques used by home economists.

Burman, Barbara, ed. The Culture of Sewing: Gender, Consumption and Home Dressmaking. Oxford: Berg, 1999.

Mann Library - call number TT504.C85x 1999.

Burman explores the broad impact of home sewing on women's experience by looking at the interplay of gender, social class, technology, consumption and visual representation. Burman provides insight into the importance of the culture of sewing in womens lives, a subject often overlooked or marginalized due to its association with traditional femininity and domesticity. For information about home economics and sewing in America, see chapter ten.



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