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Xaq Frohlich joined Auburn University’s Department of History in the fall of 2017. His research focuses on the historical intersection of science, law, and markets, and how the three have shaped our modern, everyday understanding of food, risk, and responsibility. His work explores questions relating to consumerism and the changing relationships between the state, experts, and the public in the production of everyday knowledge: how do we “know” what we know about food and its relation to health? In what ways has our informational environment for food changed with the industrialization of food production and retailing?
Dr. Frohlich is currently completing a book manuscript, From Label to Table: Regulating Food in the Information Age, which explores the history of efforts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manage food markets through the regulation of food labels in the second half of the twentieth century. The book explores the evolving policy debates between government officials, food industry representatives, consumer advocacy groups, and medical professionals over what kinds of expert information should the public, or even does the public need to know about the foods American consumers purchase at the supermarket.
Dr. Frohlich earned his PhD in History, Anthropology, and STS at MIT in 2011. He was a 2016–2017 Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin, has been a Fulbright scholar in Spain, visiting professor at the University of Vienna, and a postdoc at KAIST in South Korea. He teaches the Technology & Civilizations sequence and will also teach on Food and Power.
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2011
B.A. University of Texas at Austin, May 2002
Articles, Essays, and Chapters
- “The informational turn in food politics: The U.S. FDA’s nutrition label as information infrastructure,” Social Studies of Science, Vol. 47, Iss. 2 (Apr. 2017): 145-171.
- “Accounting for Taste: Regulating Food Labeling in the ‘Affluent Society,’ 1945-1995,” Enterprise & Society Vol. 13, No. 4 (December 2012): 744-761.
- “Buyer be-aware: The ethics of food labelling reform and ‘mobilizing the food consumer’,” in Global food security: ethical and legal challenges, eds. Carlos M. Romeo Casabona, Leire Escajedo San Epifanio and Aitziber Emaldi Cirión (Wageningen Acad. Pub., 2010), 221-227.
- “Tsukiji on the Verge of Change,” Food+City Magazine, Issue 2 (Feb. 2017): 30-39: http://www.foodandcity.org/digital/2017/2/16/tsukiji-on-the-verge-of-change.
- “Labels for Life” Limn Magazine No. 4, “Food Infrastructures” (Spring 2014): 42-45.
- “What’s the Beef with Horsemeat?,” Risk & Regulation Magazine No. 25 (Spring 2013): 20-21.
Last Updated: August 24, 2017