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Kelly Kean Sharp


  • M.A., History, University of California, Davis 2015
  • B.A., History, cum laude, Willamette University 2011


Kelly Kean Sharp is a PhD candidate in early American history. Though a native of southern California, her hobby of family genealogy spurred a love of southern history which she pared with her second hobby, eating.

Her dissertation, Farmers's Plots to Backcountry Stewpots: The Culinary Creolism of Antebellum Charleston, examines how foodways shaped urban Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry environs in the first half of the nineteenth century. Agriculture underlies a region’s foodways, shaping not only Charleston’s economy but also forming the backdrop for much of its cultural distinctiveness. Broadly, her research interests include social and economic history of antebellum America, women and gender history, and food and material history. While her scholarship is centralized on the role of Charleston within its immediate environs, Sharp place Charleston foodways in an Atlantic world context to highlight the economic, biocultural, and social contributions of Africa, Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean in shaping regional Lowcountry culture.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters:

“The Creolized Kitchen: Interpreting the Life of a Catawba Indian-Made Pan from Urban Charleston, 1800-1830” in Folk and Folks: Variations on the Vernacular, The Eighth Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts ed. Dale Couch (Athens, GA: Georgia Museum of Art. Publication), date forthcoming.


Book Reviews:

Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, vol 117 no 3 (2017), South Carolina Historical Society.

 Encyclopedia Entries:

“Fruits and Vegetables,” “Roasted Meat,” and “The Virginia Housewife,” in World of Antebellum America: A Daily Life Encyclopedia, ed. Alexandra Kindell (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Press, 2017).


2017     United States History, 1619-1865 (Instructor, Summer Session II)

2017     United States History, 1619-1865 (Teaching Assistant, Spring)

2017     Food and History (Teaching Assistant, Winter)

2016     World War Two (Reader, Fall)

2016     United States History, 1865-Present (Teaching Assistant, Spring)

2016     United States History, 1919-1945 (Reader, Spring)

2016     Food and History (Teaching Assistant, Winter)

2016     United States Women and Gender History, 1865-Present (Teaching Assistant, Winter)

2015     Introduction to Gender Studies (Teaching Assistant, Fall)

2015     History of the 1960’s (Reader, Fall)

2015     United States History, 1619-1865 (Teaching Assistant, Spring)

2015     History of East Africa (Reader, Spring)

2015     United States Women and Gender History, 1619-1865 (Teaching Assistant, Winter)

2014     United States History, 1865-Present (Teaching Assistant, Fall)

2014     American Revolution, 1763-1785 (Reader, Spring)

2014     Safavid Empire (Reader, Winter)

2013     Civil War and Reconstruction (Reader, Fall)


2017    Frank Goodman Fellowship, University of California, Davis

2017    Kerr Prize, Business History Conference Denver, Colorado

2017    Sallie E. Simons Scholar, Charleston Preservation Society Charleston, South Carolina

2016    Cheryl A. Robertson Fellowship, Winterthur Library, and Gardens Wilmington, Delaware

2015    Frank L. Horton Scholarship, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts Winston-Salem, North Carolina