James C. McCann

James C. McCann is a professor of history and chair of the Department of Archaeology at Boston University. He is winner of a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 Distinguished Scholar of the American Society of Environmental History.

Listed in: African Studies · Food Studies · Cookbooks · Public Health · Environmental History · Medical Humanities · African History

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Malaria is an infectious disease like no other: it is a dynamic force of nature and Africa’s most deadly and debilitating malady. James C. McCann tells the story of malaria in human, narrative terms and explains the history and ecology of the disease through the science of landscape change. All malaria is local.

“This is one of the most important books written on Africa in the last ten years—indeed, in any ten years. If this book does not win a prize, then there is truly no justice.…A superb topic, handled here by an accomplished historian at the peak of his powers…The epilogue is simply magnificent. Sparse, almost curt, it makes the case with blinding clarity…The past lives with us. The future is about adaptability, not progress.”

David M. Anderson, University of Warwick




U.S. and World Winner in the Best African Cuisine Book category, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2010

Stirring the Pot · A History of African Cuisine
By James C. McCann

Africa's art of cooking is a key part of its history. All too often Africa is associated with famine, but in Stirring the Pot, James C. McCann describes how the ingredients, the practices, and the varied tastes of African cuisine comprise a body of historically gendered knowledge practiced and perfected in households across diverse human and ecological landscape.

“A lively and engaging history of African food, cooking, and culinary cultures found within the continent and beyond. Indispensable reading for anyone interested in African history, the African diaspora, food studies, and women's contributions to culinary history.”

Judith Carney, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles