When King Henry VIII wanted three pounds of sugar for his guests at an important banquet, he had a tough time getting it. Now the average American eats that much sugar in a single week.
Once a rare, exotic ingredient, sugar has become a dietary staple, leaving its sticky fingerprints all over the globe. Anthropologist and sweets expert Julia Harrison takes participants on a journey from ancient sugar cane plantations to modern candy factories, uncovering sugar’s economic and social significance. From slavery and mass migration to environmental changes and nutrition, the consequences of sugar’s rise are global—and not always sweet.
Julia Harrison is an anthropologist and avid traveler for whom all roads lead to sweets. Her projects include a multimedia online map of bakeries, desserts, and candy-makers around Puget Sound. She received a MA in Applied Anthropology from Macquarie University and spent two years studying Material Culture theory and methodology at University College London.
Harrison lives in Seattle.
About Speakers Bureau Events
Speakers Bureau talks are free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, and everything in between. Humanities Washington’s roster of presenters are professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. All talks are free and open to the public, and each lasts about an hour. They are hosted through a wide range of organizations throughout Washington State.