PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BA, University of Texas at Austin
Xaq Frohlich joined Auburn University’s Department of History in the fall of 2017. His research focuses on the historical intersections 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?
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.
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, a Fulbright scholar in Spain, a visiting professor at the University of Vienna and Paris Dauphine University, and a postdoc at KAIST in South Korea. He teaches the Technology & Civilizations I & II core sequence and also teaches courses on food and power, the intersections of science, technology and the law, and the history of business and capitalism.
food and culture; science & technology studies; 20th-century U.S. politics; law & society; history of technology