Adrienne Rose Bitar

Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University

Adrienne Rose Bitar is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of History at Cornell. She specializes in the history and culture of American food, popular culture, and health. Her first book, Diet and the Disease of Civilization, was published January 2018 with Rutgers University Press. The first full-length study of diet books, Diet and the Disease of Civilization reveals how 20th century dieting systems have articulated a powerful response to anxieties about the psychic and physical costs of modernity, crafting new stories positioning civilization itself as a disease and diet as the cure. Following an imaginary chronology of human origins, the book examines Paleolithic diets, biblical diets, precolonial diets, and environmentalist detoxification programs. Other academic publications include articles on competitive eating, Paleo diet mythologies, dude ranches, locavorism, and grocery store couponing.

She earned her PhD in 2016 from Stanford University in Modern Thought and Literature. She has taught in American Studies, English, and the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford and in the History Department at Cornell. She can be reached at


  • –present
    Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University